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The Real Estate Roundtable Suspends Political Support to Members of Congress Who Objected to Electoral College Certification

  • January 15, 2021

DC Capitol Building

The Real Estate Roundtable announced on Tuesday that it “will suspend all political contributions to Members of Congress whose votes attempted to subvert the validly expressed will of the American people in selecting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the nation’s next president and vice president.” (Roundtable statement, Jan. 12)

  • The Jan. 12 statement continued, “In the time since this armed insurrection, we have become even more appalled and our anger is amplified by the dismissive reaction of many of our national leaders, beginning with the votes cast by a band of Senators and Representatives who continue to fuel baseless claims of election fraud by refusing to certify the clear results of last November’s election.”

  • The Roundtable’s statement suspending political support follows its denunciation last week of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and its commitment to “support[ ] efforts to bring about more measured tone and civility in policy debates at all levels of government, and policy actions that are balanced and sustainable.”

  • In the Jan. 8 statement, Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer also noted, “We will continue to work with policymakers representing the full spectrum of political views. However, we do not intend to help advance initiatives proposed by policy makers uninterested in seeking bipartisan consensus." (Roundtable Weekly, Jan. 8
  • GlobeSt reported on The Roundtable’s suspension of certain political contributions, noting that “the industry—as well as the larger business community—has not only voiced disgust with what happened but backed those sentiments with hard actions.”
  • CoStar reported, “While Trump's business is now a focus of the fallout, the politically focused repercussions are still coming. The Washington., D.C.-based Real Estate Roundtable, commercial real estate’s most prominent national lobbying group, suspended all political contributions to members of Congress” who objected to certifying the vote of the Electoral College.

Industry and Private Sector Response

  • According to The Real Deal, (TRD) Nareit stated, “As a result of these recent events… Nareit’s political action committee, REITPAC, will immediately suspend political contributions to all members of Congress who voted to deny certification of electoral votes cast by the Electoral College.”
  • TRD also reported that the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) stated it has paused all PAC disbursements, not only those connected with legislators who objected to the electoral votes and that NMHC added, “We will undertake a thorough review of our strategy for the 117th Congress.”
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association told the publication, “MBA has decided to pause disbursements from its political action committee, MORPAC, and will undertake a careful review with our member leadership of our giving strategies for the 117th Congress.” (The Real Deal, Jan. 15)
  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) CEO Tom McGee announced on Jan. 11 that the organization will be “suspending all ICSC PAC donations for the next three months.” McGee stated that “during this historically challenging period…the focus of politicians should be on governing and uniting our nation, not campaigning and raising money.”
  • The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) on Jan. 6 stated, “We urge for calm and fully support the U.S. Capitol Police and the National Guard to restore safety to the city of Washington, D.C.”  On Jan, 12, The Hill reported that NAR “paused its federal political disbursements and will monitor events in Washington in the days and weeks ahead.”
  • Cushman & Wakefield told The Washington Post this week, “Cushman & Wakefield has made the decision to no longer do business with The Trump Organization.”
  • Axios (Jan. 14) summarized the corporations that have “cut off political donations after the Capitol siege – including Marriott International, which will “pause donations ‘to those who voted against certification of the election.’”

The repercussions of the political transition and the industry’s 2021 policy agenda will be a focus of discussion during The Roundtable’s Jan. 26-27 State of the Industry Meeting (virtual attendance).

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