Roundtable’s William C. Rudin Discusses Public Policies to Strengthen CRE and the Economy
Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Set Limit on Federal Employees Telework
Roundtable and More Than 100 Business Organizations Support Legislation to Repeal the Corporate Transparency Act
Roundtable Weekly
May 10, 2024
Roundtable’s William C. Rudin Discusses Public Policies to Strengthen CRE and the Economy
Real Estate Roundtable Chairman Emeritus (2015-2018) William C. Rudin (Co-Executive Chairman, Rudin)

Real Estate Roundtable Chairman Emeritus (2015-2018) William C. Rudin (Co-Executive Chairman, Rudin) discussed commercial real estate conditions on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, emphasizing how public policies could help the industry meet significant challenges as it faces a wave of looming maturities in a high-interest rate environment.

Federal Action Needed

  • Rudin noted that unless a property owner has a top-tier asset with a stable long-term lease, liquidity is a major issue. “The federal government and the Federal Reserve have to keep giving the banks flexibility to be able to restructure some of the loans.” (Watch Rudin’s comments)
  • Rudin added, “The federal government should support legislation to help incentivize owners to convert obsolete office buildings to residential—and the federal government should be getting their employees back into the office space.” (Entire Rudin interview)
  • Rudin referenced recent testimony by Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer that addressed these issues during a House subcommitteeon the “Health of the Commercial Real Estate Markets and Removing Regulatory Hurdles to Ensure Continued Strength.” (Roundtable Weekly, May 3 and video of DeBoer’s testimony)

Roundtable Recommendations

Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer
  • The Roundtable’s testimony last week addressed a wide swath of concerns for owners, lenders, and local communities. DeBoer discussed specific issues with House policymakers, including market liquidity, the state of the office sector, remote work, affordable housing, and property conversions. (DeBoer’s oral statement and written testimony)
  • DeBoer also emphasized the need for lawmakers to stimulate the production of affordable housing by converting obsolete buildings into housing, increasing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit volume caps, incentivizing local zoning and permitting reforms, increasing efficiency in the Section 8 housing voucher program, and more. (Roundtable Weekly, May 3)
  • Separately, The Roundtable and a broad real estate coalition submitted a set of specific policy recommendations last week to Congress detailing a host of pending legislative and regulatory actions that would help provide housing to more Americans. (Roundtable Weekly, May 3)

The Roundtable’s all-member Annual Meeting on June 20-21 in Washington, DC will include speakers and policy advisor committee meetings focused on many of these topics.

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Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Set Limit on Federal Employees Telework

This week, Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Back to Work Act of 2024 (S. 4266), which would require federal employees to spend 60% of their work hours in the office, a slight increase from the 50% in-office policies at many agencies. The Roundtable supports various efforts by policymakers to enact workplace return policies for federal workers. (Romney-Manchin news release and The Register-Herald)

Senate Bills

  • The bipartisan Senate bill, in addition to the40% cap on remote work within a federal employee’s pay period, would also require agencies to report on the productivity and potential negative effects of their employees’ telework arrangements. (Government Executive, April 30)
  • A separate bipartisan Senate bill introduced on April 3 would increase oversight of federal telework policies after a recent report showed government agency headquarters in Washington, DC are using an average of 12% of their office space. (Senate Committee news release and Public Buildings Reform Board report).
  • The Telework Transparency Act (S. 4043) from Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Gary Peters (D-MI), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, would require agencies to gather information on how telework impacts agency performance and federal property decisions. (Government Executive, April 8 and Federal News Network, April 3)

House Efforts

House Oversight and Accountablity Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY)
  • A Biden administration official testified last week before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee that federal agency workers should spend at least half of their working hours at their office sites. (Committee hearing, April 30)
  • “[For] office workers, the place where there is consistency across agencies, we’ve been clear that our expectation is for agencies to be achieving at least 50% [in-person work], while giving them flexibility for how best to deliver based on their diverse mission space. That’s consistent with where the private sector is, and we’ll continue to adjust as needed,” said Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Jason Miller. ( Government Executive, April 30 and Miller’s written testimony)
  • Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) responded, “At the onset of the COVID pandemic, massive federal employee telework was a justifiable necessity, but that necessity ended a long time ago.” (Committee hearing, April 30)

The Roundtable View

Jeffrey DeBoer testifying on April 30, 2024 before House Oversight Subcommittee
  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, above, commended the efforts of Chairman Comer before a House subcommittee hearing last week, noting that the SHOW UP Act passed over a year ago and should be enacted into law. (Roundtable WeeklyOct. 20 and Feb. 3, 2023)
  • DeBoer emphasized during the April 30 hearing that a return to in-person work is critical for the health of our cities, local economies, tax bases, and small businesses. “While private sector office occupancy is slowly picking up, the federal office workforce is behaving as if the pandemic still exists. This is despite President Biden’s call for agencies to return to pre-pandemic workplace practices,” DeBoer testified. (Roundtable Weekly, May 3)
  • The Real Estate Roundtable has also urged members of the Senate and President Biden to end the “active encouragement of remote working for federal employees” and for federal agencies to return to their pre-pandemic workplace practices. (RER letter to the Senate, April 12, 2023 and RER letter to President Biden, Dec. 12, 2022)

The Roundtable will discuss the evolving remote work issue during its all-member June 20-21 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

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Roundtable and More Than 100 Business Organizations Support Legislation to Repeal the Corporate Transparency Act
U.S. Capitol - viewing upward from left

The Real Estate Roundtable and more than 100 business organizations recently expressed strong support for bicameral legislation that would repeal the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) and its onerous beneficial ownership burdens, which took effect on Jan. 1. The Roundtable has consistently opposed the CTA’s beneficial ownership rules. (Coalition letter, April 29)

CTA Overreach

  • The Repealing Big Brother Overreach Act, introduced on April 30 by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), would provide relief for small business owners from the CTA’s burdensome reporting requirements and excessive penalties. (Rep. Davidson news release, April 30)
  • The coalition’s letter noted how the CTA was designed to help law enforcement prevent money laundering by requiring shell companies to report “beneficial owners information” (BOI) to the Department of the Treasury.
  • The law defines a shell company as any legal entity with 20 or fewer employees or $5 million or less in revenues—nearly every small business in the United States.
  • The broad concept of beneficial owner includes owners, senior management, members of the board, and any employee or outside consultant exerting significant control over the businesses’ operations.


  • Under the CTA, covered entities must report and regularly update BOI to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) or face significant fines and jail time.
  • Last month, the District Court for the Northern District of Alabama ruled the CTA as unconstitutional. However, the resulting injunction applies only to the plaintiffs in the case—members of the National Small Business Association. (Roundtable Weekly, March 8)
  • A subsequent notice from FinCEN made clear that all other covered entities are still required to file their BOI reports by the end of the year. (FinCEN’s current requirements)
  • Initial filings under the CTA began more than two months ago in accordance with the new law, yet fewer than two percent of covered entities have submitted their required information to FinCEN. One reason for this low compliance rate is that most business owners are ignorant of the new law
  • The Roundtable also joined more than 120 other national business organizations in a March 22 letter that urged Senate Banking Committee leaders to support a one-year filing delay for the new CTA beneficial ownership regulation requirements. (Coalition letter, March 19)

The Roundtable’s Real Estate Capital Advisory Committee (RECPAC) will continue to monitor developments related to beneficial ownership requirements and legal outcomes.

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