December 5, 2018


In This Issue:

  • U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth Will Become Top Republican on House Appropriations Committee
  • Analysis: A Tight-Fisted Texas Legislature With Expensive Ambitions
  • CFPB: Senate Narrowly Votes to Advance Kraninger's Nomination
  • The Housing Slowdown Is Here—and Dallas Among Cities Getting Hit Hardest

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth Will Become Top Republican on House Appropriations Committee

James Hyland, Esq., TLTA Federal Legislative Counsel | Dec. 3, 2018
Many changes are in store for the 116th Congress when it convenes in January, 2019. Texas will have eight new members of the thirty-six it sends to the U.S. House.  Texas’ place on committee assignments remains strong in the new Congress.  

In a major announcement last week, Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth will become the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.  This Committee is in charge of spending for all branches of government and each year shepherds through 12 annual spending bills.  It has traditionally acted in a bi-partisan fashion. Until now, Granger was Chair of the Defense Subcommittee. 

As for other key assignments, Rep. Kevin Brady will continue to be the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, governing all tax issues.  Rep. Mike Conaway will hold the same position for Agriculture.  Rep. Mac Thornberry will lead Republicans on the Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Mike McCaul will newly lead the Foreign Affairs Committee for Republicans.  On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas is likely to become the new Democratic Chair of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology with key jurisdiction over NASA.
 
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Dig Deeper Into Granger's Appointment in this Article from Texas Tribune »
 

Analysis: A Tight-Fisted Texas Legislature With Expensive Ambitions

Texas Tribune | Nov. 29, 2018
The Texas Legislature’s strong allergy to tax increases might be abating — just as long as you don’t call them tax increases.

They’re not saying so out loud — no point in riling up a price-sensitive electorate before the holidays, before the upcoming legislative session — or before lawmakers are ready to make their sales pitch.

But the talk of school finance as a top legislative priority guarantees a conversation about taxes. While there are many great policy reasons to mess with that persistent and gnarly issue, the political motivation here is simple: Texas property owners have made it clear to their representatives that they want lower property taxes.
 
When you do hear them talking about tax increases next year — whatever euphemisms they choose — they’ll be talking in terms of how that money will pay for property tax cuts. Cutting everyone’s current most-hated tax is the only way to explain so many conservative legislators making serious noises about increasing state revenue.

Given the way the state pays for public education — with a combination of local property taxes, and state and federal funding — the only ways to lower property taxes are to cut public education spending or to find money elsewhere to offset property tax cuts.
 
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CFPB: Senate Narrowly Votes to Advance Kraninger's Nomination

Mortgage Professional America | Nov. 26, 2018
Despite heated Democratic opposition, the Senate has moved a step closer to confirming Kathy Kraninger as the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A motion to limit debate on Kraninger’s nomination passed on strict party lines Thursday, 50-49, according to American Banker. The motion advances Kraninger to a final vote, expected sometime this week.
 
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The Housing Slowdown Is Here—and Dallas Among Cities Getting Hit Hardest

Realton.Com | Dec. 3, 2018
Is the party really over?

Over the last decade, the seemingly unstoppable growth of the American housing market has created a bonanza for sellers, a cutthroat environment for buyers, and an endless source of fascination for just about everyone else.

It seemed to be an economic perpetual-motion machine. Could home prices in top markets really just keep going up and up ... and up?

Well, no, actually. In the last few months, the real estate market has actually begun slowing down—including in some of the big cities that have been leading the go-go post-recession housing boom.

What does it all mean?

We decided to explore beyond the alarmist headlines to find the 10 metropolitan areas* that are seeing the biggest shifts—and why.
 
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