CRE Leaders and Lawmakers Discuss Domestic Policy Agenda, Ukraine, Climate and Economic Issues

Real Estate Roundtable Spring 2022 Meeting

National lawmakers and Real Estate Roundtable members met this week to discuss domestic and geopolitical issues affecting the economy and industry—including inflation and the Fed; the congressional legislative agenda; and the war in Ukraine. The Roundtable’s 2022 Spring Meeting also featured a discussion on climate-related financial and regulatory proposals. (Roundtable April 2022 Policy Issue Profiles and Executive Summary

Senator Sinema & Market Conditions 

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) at RER's 2022 Spring Meeting

  • A discussion with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), above, on policymaking in the Senate launched The Roundtable meeting on April 25. 
  • Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman & CEOSuffolk) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer led a dialogue among industry executives and House and Senate members on CRE market conditions. Roundtable members offered their views on inflationary pressures, supply chain disruptions, and back-to-office challenges. 

Ukraine, Climate and the Fed 

  • On April 26, Roundtable members convened for policy discussions with the following guests:
  • Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Alexander Vindman
    L to R: Jeffrey DeBoer, Alexander Vindman, John FishA 20-year military veteran, former Director with the White House’s National Security Council, and now a senior advisor with VetVoice Foundation, Mr. Vindman addressed the war in Ukraine. “It is a geopolitical earthquake that will shape how power is used in the 21st century,” Vindman said, adding that an eventual reconstruction effort will require a massive international effort involving public-private partnerships and private equity. (Photo: left to right, Jeffrey DeBoer, Mr. Vindman, and John Fish)
  • Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) 
    Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
    As a member of the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Finance, and Joint Economic Committee, Sen. Cassidy provided his insight on the congressional agenda, including economic and energy policy issues. “The real estate sector acts as both a leading indicator and a reflection of what is happening in our communities across the country,” said Cassidy, above left. At right is Roundtable Chair John Fish.
  • Climate Panel
    Tony Malkin and Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO)A Roundtable panel addressed climate-related issues and their impact on investor demand, property values and interest rates. (Video of the discussion). The panel also discussed regulatory issues such as the SEC’s proposed climate risk disclosure rule. (Roundtable Weekly, March 25). Speakers included:

Roy Hilton March, Kathleen McCarthy and Bill Stein

  • Former Fed Board Member Kevin Warsh 
    Kevin Warsh and Scott RechlerWarsh, above left, a former member of the Fed Board of Governors (2006-2011), discussed the Fed’s potential actions to temper inflation and guide the economy to a “soft landing” with Roundtable Member Scott Rechler, right, (Chairman & CEO, RXR Realty), who serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Board of Directors. 

Next on The Roundtable’s meeting calendar is the all-member June 16-17 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. 

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Roundtable Leaders and National Policymakers Highlight Key Industry Issues

A wide range of policy issues were addressed by Roundtable leaders, Members of Congress and Administration officials during this week’s Roundtable Spring Meeting, including: infrastructure; housing availability and financing; tax proposals; building energy and climate related matters; and pandemic risk insurance. (For issue detail please see The Roundtable’s 2021 National Policy Agenda)

Roundtable Leadership

  • Roundtable Chair Debra Cafaro (Chairman and CEO, Ventas, Inc.) launched the meeting on April 20 with Roundtable Chair-Elect John F. Fish (Chairman & CEOSUFFOLK) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer. 
  • Chair Cafaro noted, “We convene at a time imbued with optimism and renewal, as we are fortunate to have an accelerated vaccine rollout, an improving economy and stabilizing markets.” 

  • She also acknowledged the vital, positive role that The Roundtable membership has played in addressing many of today’s national challenges, including rebuilding and expanding infrastructure; expanding housing opportunities; creating jobs and training workers for a changing economy. “Roundtable members have been at the forefront of advocating for these important policies since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cafaro said.
  • Roundtable Chair-Elect Fish stated, “Unintended consequences can occur when big national policy changes are proposed, so it is more important than ever that the real estate industry offer its expertise to help policymakers as they look to enact reform and propose new, important initiatives. The Roundtable is indeed engaged, and will remain so, in major policy issues impacting the industry.”
  • Roundtable President and CEO DeBoer emphasized the need for ongoing interaction with policymakers in Washington as the policy agenda and congressional rosters change.  He stated, “Our Roundtable policy advisory committees continue to remain active in keeping policymakers and regulators up to date on the evolving marketplace and our policy agenda. We always take a fact-based approach from the point of view of the asset, showing how it is sustainable, supports jobs for the community and contributes to overall economic growth,” DeBoer stated.

Featured Policymakers

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

  • The Roundtable’s Fall Business Meeting included virtual visits from the following guests:
    • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
    • Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, above
    • Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo
    • White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese
    • Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
  • Following the business meeting, members from the House and Senate attended several smaller breakout sessions with Roundtable attendees to discuss national policy issues in a more informal exchange of views.

Next on The Roundtable’s meeting calendar is the all-member June 15-16 State of the Industry Meeting, which will be held virtually via Zoom.

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