Last week, the National Association of Home Builders announced that it was suspending PAC contributions to members of Congress because of the failure to obtain a tax-break provision they desperately wanted. (I'm sure that they aren't too happy about the bashing they're taking over the mortgage meltdown.) This action isn't being treated with open arms by other lobbyists and industry shops. Why, you ask? Well, because the NAHB is explicitly stating that their PAC contributions are tied to votes by members of Congress. Straight from the horse's mouth: contributions buy votes. Listen to these lobbyists try to distance themselves from NAHB (via The Hill):
“It’s not going to make a damn bit of difference,” said one senior business lobbyist, who said that the $10,000 limits on contributions to candidates’ campaigns were too low for such a threat to have any bite.
A spokesman for the National Association of Realtors, Mary Trupo, said her group had no opinion about the NAHB’s move except that “it’s not a tactic that we would take.” She added, “We continue to support members who have been supportive of the housing sector.”“I’m embarrassed by what the homebuilders did,” said one lobbyist, who characterized the NAHB’s move as “inappropriate behavior.”
Of course, acknowledging fact in Washington is often "inappropriate behavior".Continue reading
The National Association of Home Builders, acting like a spurned lover, has announced that it's suspending its PAC contributions to all members of Congress. The Home Builders are a big contributor to members and congressional candidates, and spends heavy on lobbying. This could get interesting.
What caused the trouble? The Hill reports that the association's lobbying efforts failed to get a particular tax break provision (a provision that would help companies with losses to trim prior year tax bills) included in the economic stimulus package. Calling the step "extraordinary," the Home Builders' president said they were disappointed in both Congress and the Bush Administration for "not adequately addressed the underlying economic issues that would help to stabilize the housing sector and keep the economy moving forward."
In other words, as far as the Home Builders are concerned, Congress will be sleeping on the couch "until further notice."Continue reading