The Real Estate Roundtable will hold a virtual “town hall” on Friday, March 25 with Lieutenant Colonel (USA, Ret.) Alexander Vindman, former National Security Council Director for Eastern Europe during the Trump Administration, to discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine.
- The Roundtable’s town hall with Vindman will address Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech to Congress on Wednesday and the U.S. response thus far to the brutal Russian invasion. Zelensky’s appeal galvanized the Biden administration to release additional aid to Ukraine. (President Biden video, transcript and Axios, March 16)
- Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer stated, “The Roundtable fully supports the billions in federal aid to Ukraine as its citizens continue to bravely stand up against Russian aggression. As we bear witness to the tragic violence of the invasion, The Roundtable encourages its members and all industry stakeholders to contribute to charities involved in Ukrainian humanitarian relief,” DeBoer added. (VetVoice Foundation)
- The Ukrainian war has compelled hundreds of American companies with business in Russia to either withdraw completely, suspend or scale back operations, or delay investments, according to the Yale’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute.
- Hilton President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Nassetta (Roundtable Chairman 2006-2009) announced on March 9 the company’s actions in response to the crisis in Ukraine, including:
- Closure of Hilton’s corporate office in Moscow;
- Suspension all new development activity in Russia;
- Donation of any Hilton profits from business operations in Russia to the humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine, and;
- Donation of up to 1 million room nights to support Ukrainian refugees and humanitarian relief efforts across Europe, in partnership with American Express, #HospitalityHelps.
- Marriott International also recently announced the closure of their corporate office in Moscow, along with a suspension in opening upcoming hotels and all future hotel development and investment in Russia. (Marriott statement, March 10)
Reviving Climate Negotiations
- Separately, House Democrats this week urged the White House to revive negotiations on climate measures that were part of the moribund Build Back Better (BBB) Act. (Business Insider, March 8)
- A group of 89 House Democrats on March 14 wrote to President Biden stating, “The more than $555 billion in climate investments in the House-passed Build Back Better Act can serve as the building block to restart negotiations." (House Democrats’ letter)
- The Roundtable sent a letter to Congressional tax writers last fall detailing recommendations to improve the BBB Act’s green energy tax provisions. (Roundtable letter, Nov. 16)
The BBB bill passed the House in November, but stalled in the Senate amid disagreements with key Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ). (Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 19, 2021 and Jan. 21, 2022). It remains uncertain if any revised deal will garner their support. (CNBC, March15)
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