From our friends at Housing Advisory Group:
As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, with the mid-term elections in our rear view mirror, we believe this is a good time to acknowledge and thank those who have made the 115th Congress and 2018 a great success for affordable housing. Yes, we are not quite done with this Congress and we are hopeful to garner a few more successes before the calendar strikes January 1.
Our number one priority remains securing the 4% fixed LIHTC floor and Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are laser focused on this goal. What a wonderful farewell present it would be for Senator Hatch as he concludes 42 years of service in the U.S Senate. We are very thankful for his commitment to affordable housing and for his leadership. Senator Maria Cantwell, our LIHTC champion, easily won re-election to her Senate seat in Washington and immediately was marshalling the industry around our lame duck session strategy. More to come on this as we work through the lame duck.
We are also most appreciative of the House and Senate Leaders who championed our 9% LIHTC cap increase and income averaging in the Omnibus bill back in March. The support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), in conjunction with the exemplary efforts of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), made 2018 another winning year for the LIHTC.
As with any election there are winners and losers. We are winners in that our lead Democratic sponsor in the House, Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA), will likely be the next chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. We have been meeting with Mr. Neal and his staff on the housing agenda for the 116th Congress and pending our success in the lame duck session, are excited about potential housing legislation in the House next year. Unfortunately, we lost our lead Republican sponsor as Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) was defeated in his bid for re-election. We also saw Ways and Means members and H.R. 1661 cosponsors Pete Roskam (R-IL), Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Mike Bishop (R-MI) lose their elections. On the Senate side of the Hill we lost Finance members and S. 548 cosponsors Dean Heller (R-NV) and Bill Nelson (D-FL). We are most appreciative of these Members of Congress and their support over the years for the LIHTC.
We also want to send a note of thanks to Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for her stewardship of the THUD budget and support for housing programs. Her leadership has prevented significant cuts to these vital programs and has instead increased funding despite push back from the administration. We look forward to seeing how Senator Collins works with expected incoming House THUD subcommittee chairman David Price (D-NC), another housing supporter.