CARH’s Election Analysis


November 16, 2016

November 8th was the culmination of an eventful federal election with an unexpected result. No matter if you identify as Democrat, Republican or Independent, and no matter who was your preferred presidential candidate, the vast majority of voters, pundits, commentators and talking heads seemed surprised by the results. As surprising as President-elect Trump’s victory is, the election resulted in the down ballot strength of Republicans in the House and Senate and the continued strength in State legislatures and State Governor’s offices.

It is true that some votes are still being counted, but as of this writing Secretary Clinton leads the popular vote. At the same time, while the Electoral College votes December 19th, it is clear from all of the analysis that in this very close Presidential election, that the Electoral College will be following the votes tallied by each state and will vote for President-elect Trump.

CARH congratulates President-elect Trump, Vice President-elect Pence and the new office holders throughout the country. The transition team, headed by Vice-President elect Mike Pence has begun the arduous task of reviewing agencies, programs and policies and the placement of several thousand political appointees who will be nominated and in some cases require Senate confirmation. The transition team actually started before the election under the recent Presidential Transactions Improvements Act of 2015 that provided that each major party candidate would be able to start working on transition months before the election. Of course, with the election results, the Trump transition team now gains renewed focus and attention.

The House appears to have changed 12 seats from one party to another, with Democrats net gain of 6 seats. On November 15th, the Republicans in the House selected Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) to continue as Speaker for the 115th Congress. Other Republican leadership posts remain as they currently are in the 114th Congress:  Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Majority Leader; Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA), Majority Whip; and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), GOP Conference Chair. The selections will be voted on January 3, 2017, the first day of the 115th Congress. Committee Chairs and assignments will, in many cases, change due to terms limits imposed by the House as well as possible appointments to the Trump Administration.

As of this writing, there is some speculation about challenges to Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continuing as Minority Leader for the Democrats. Votes for Democratic leaders had been scheduled for November 15th but were postponed until November 30th. As mentioned above, Committee Chairs and assignments will, in many cases, change due to terms limits imposed by the House as well as possible appointments to the Trump Administration.

In the Senate, Republican leadership also seems to be consistent with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and similar seniority and appointee changes. The Senate also shows a net gain to Democrats of two seats, leaving a smaller Republican majority of 52 seats, barring any last minute surprises. The Democratic leadership will show some changes, with a new Senate Minority Leader anticipated to be Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) succeeding the retiring leader, Harry Reid (D-NV).

In state houses, Republicans had a small additional increase in their already commanding overall control of state legislature and administrations.

CARH members are focused in large part on how the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the housing programs at Treasury will function in the new Administration. While there are many positions to fill, key to CARH members, all of USDA’s Rural Development (RD) state directors will need to be nominated, as will the Rural Housing and Community Facilities Administrator and Deputy.  The Secretary and Under Secretary for RD face Senate confirmation. Similarly, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily at HUD will also have to be nominated and the HUD Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Housing will face Senate confirmation.

Reports are circulating that soon after January 20, 2017, Inauguration Day, the new Administration and Congress will take up work on one or more key measures, including a possible infrastructure bill. CARH is here to make the case for including multifamily housing as a component of such legislation. There is also speculation about tax reform, reduction of the corporate tax rate, and a flattening of the federal income tax rates, any of which will affect tax credits without further restructuring for or about those tax credits. While the Trump tax proposals seek lower taxes they also seek pro-growth tax reform and CARH will continue to be a key part of the affordable housing effort to educate the next Administration that housing means jobs and housing production and preservation is pro-growth.

CARH will keep members advised of any transition developments and legislative action during the remaining days of the 114th Congress. All of these issues will also be addressed during CARH’s Midyear Meeting on January 23-25, 2017 at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota, Florida.

Comments are closed.