Congress Punts Funding Deadlines … SEC to Vote March 6 on Climate Disclosures … Roundtable Urges EB-5 Guidance Correction
Senate Republicans Seek Changes to House-Passed Tax Package
Real Estate Roundtable Leaders Discuss Market Conditions, Policy Issues Facing CRE
Roundtable Weekly
March 1, 2024
Congress Punts Funding Deadlines … SEC to Vote March 6 on Climate Disclosures … Roundtable Urges EB-5 Guidance Correction

A bill passed by both chambers of Congress yesterday and signed by President Biden today punts a set of government funding deadlines to March 8 and 22, thereby preventing a partial government shutdown that was scheduled to start at midnight. (ABC News, March 1 | House bill text)

New Stopgap Goals

  • The new two-tiered stopgap bill gives policymakers some time to negotiate a full-year appropriations bill as a House-passed tax package is under consideration in the Senate. (See tax story below).
  • On Wednesday, congressional leaders announced the deal, which extends funding for the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Energy, Transportation, and others from March 1 through March 8. The bill also extends funding for the Pentagon, Health and Human Services, Labor, and other agencies from March 8 through March 22.

SEC to Vote March 6 on Climate Rule

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a vote next week on whether it will adopt final rules requiring companies to provide certain climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports.
  • The SEC’s “open meeting” to consider the climate rule will take place on Wednesday, March 6 at 9:45 am and will be webcast at

Roundtable Urges Congress to Correct EB-5 Guidance

  • The Real Estate Roundtable urged the leaders of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees this week to correct defective “guidance” enacted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that is undermining the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA). [Roundtable EB-5 letter, Feb. 28, 2024]
  • The USCIS’s arbitrary guidance states that EB-5 investments made after RIA’s enactment must “remain invested for at least two years.” This position contradicts regulations kept by USCIS on its rulebooks for decades.
  • RER’s letter also explains that USCIS’s defective guidance exacerbates CRE’s current liquidity issues. For example, the agency’s position effectively eliminates the availability of EB-5 investment capital to help finance projects to convert underutilized commercial buildings to multifamily housing.  

The Roundtable is calling on Congress to correct the error with a short statutory change that codifies the long-standing regulatory approach, which couples the periods for EB-5 capital sustainment and conditional residency.

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Senate Republicans Seek Changes to House-Passed Tax Package
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), left, and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), right.

The Senate Finance Committee’s top Republican made it clear this week that he wants changes to a House-passed $78 billion tax package, which includes Roundtable-supported measures on business interest deductibility, bonus depreciation, and the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). [Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 2 | PoliticoPro and Tax Notes, Feb. 29]

Senate Republicans Concerns

  • The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 (H.R. 7024) passed the House on Jan. 31 by an overwhelming 357-70 vote. House Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) are pressing Senators to support its passage. (Axios, Feb. 16)
  • Senate Republicans considering the House tax package have called for an amendment process that could be time consuming. (The Hill, Feb. 2)
  • Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) laid out the changes he would like to see in the bill in a Feb. 28 news release. A major issue for Sen. Crapo is a reform to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) that allows taxpayers to rely on income from prior years when determining their eligibility for the refundable credit. (Fiscal Times, Feb. 29)
  • Sen. Crapo added in comments to Tax Notes this week that “There's just a lot of separate issues that need to get sorted out. Everything from traditional extenders to LIHTC to SECURE 2.0.”

Congressional Timing

  • Sen. Crapo also stated in his news release that “… with each week that has passed, (Republican) members have strongly voiced additional calls for numerous modifications, and there are also increasing concerns about making 2023 changes this far into the IRS tax filing season.” The Senator said he is “committed to seeking a bipartisan resolution that a majority of Senate Republicans can support.” (Tax Notes, Feb. 29)
  • Sen. Wyden and senior congressional staff discussed the tax package with Roundtable members during The Roundtable’s all-member 2024 State of the Industry Meeting in Washington. (Roundtable Weekly, Jan. 26)
  • Additionally, The Roundtable and 21 other industry organizations that comprise the Housing Affordability Coalition urged the Senate on Feb. 15 to pass the tax package. The coalition’s letter emphasized the importance of advancing provisions in (H.R. 7024) that strengthen the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC)—along with various real estate investment measures that would benefit communities and the broader economy. (Coalition letter, Feb. 15)

The best chances for enacting the tax package may be in combination with a government funding bill later in March. (See story above).

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Real Estate Roundtable Leaders Discuss Market Conditions, Policy Issues Facing CRE
Real Estate Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman & CEO, Suffolk)
Real Estate Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman & CEO, Suffolk) on Bloomberg’s Wall Street Week.

This week, Real Estate Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman & CEO, Suffolk) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer discussed market conditions and policy issues impacting commercial real estate with Bloomberg’s Wall Street Week and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL).

Markets and Federal Actions

  • Roundtable Chair John Fish addressed how current economic challenges facing commercial real estate, cities, communities, businesses and individuals have led to a somewhat “somber” mood in his Feb. 26 Wall Street Week interview.
  • Fish emphasized the importance of CRE to the overall economy and the need for policymakers to work with the industry to ensure a soft landing. He also discussed the wave of maturing CRE debt coming due at higher interest rates as remote-work continues to press the industry—and the ramifications of a large number of environmental regulations moving forward in a compressed time period.
  • The Roundtable’s chair noted, “Back in June of 2023, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC in the OCC issued forward guidance on working with borrowers, and that was credit worthy borrowers. I would encourage them to continue with their policy and reinforce that policy. It's extremely important to the industry as a whole because creditworthy borrowers should not get hurt through this process.” (Roundtable Weekly, June 30, 2023)
  • He added, “We need the Federal government to work with us on interest rates. We also need the federal government to ask workers to come back to work. That's one of the reasons why some of our buildings in downtown urban areas are 25, 30 percent vacant today. As an industry, we need to work together, collaborating with the government to try to solve these problems.” (Bloomberg’s Wall Street Week)

The Roundtable’s Policy Role

Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, right, with Jay Epstein, former president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, left.
  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer spoke with Jay Epstein, former president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers on the Feb. 26 edition of the ACREL Files podcast about The Roundtable’s policy advocacy role in Washington and compelling issues now facing the industry. 
  • DeBoer explained that The Roundtable is a unifier between industry and lawmakers on policies that benefit the economy and communities by using a non-partisan, data-centric, asset-based approach.
  • DeBoer also said the industry is at an inflection point as issues—including post-pandemic remote work and CRE needs, office-to-residential property conversions, affordable housing, building energy usage, insurance costs, and xenophobic attitudes to foreign real estate ownership—are “all rushing forward on top of the market challenges.” (ACREL Files podcast)

“By and large, the industry has stepped up to challenges, met them, and helped the economy and the country move forward.” He added, “Today there are other problems with financing and remote work, but I have no doubt the industry will overcome those challenges and emerge stronger.”

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