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Government
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Norton Cites a Victory as D.C.’s ‘Death with Dignity Act’ Takes Effect Tomorrow, But...

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said that the District of Columbia’s medical aid-in-dying bill, the Death with Dignity Act, will take effect tomorrow, Saturday, February 18, 2017. Under the Home Rule Act, D.C. bills take effect upon the expiration of a congressional review period, unless a joint resolution disapproving a bill is enacted into law during the review period. The Death with Dignity Act was transmitted by the D.C. Council to the House and Senate on January 6, 2017, for a 30-legislative-day review period.
FTC

FTC Preserves Competition in Merger of Enbridge Inc. and Spectra Energy Corp

Energy infrastructure companies Enbridge Inc. and Spectra Energy Corp have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the proposed merger of Enbridge and Spectra likely would harm competition in the market for pipeline transportation of natural gas in three production areas off the coast of Louisiana.
Financial Services Committee

Subcommittee Assesses U.S.-EU Covered Agreement

Members of the Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee met on Thursday to discuss and hear expert testimony on the recently announced “covered agreement” reached between the United States and the European Union on insurance and reinsurance.
HUD

HUD AND CENSUS BUREAU ANNOUNCE NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY IN JANUARY

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for January 2017
Speaker Paul Ryan

Statement on Stream Protection Rule CRA Signed into Law

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after President Trump signed H.J. Res. 38 into law. This legislation repeals the Department of Interior’s stream protection rule under the Congressional Review Act.

DHCD Tops $50 Million in HPTF Loans for Affordable Housing In First Five Months...

In just five months in to Fiscal Year 2017, one half of the District’s $100 million Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) has been allocated to projects that will produce and preserve affordable housing across four Wards. The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced today that the HPTF’s $50.3 million mark was met by the closing of two projects that will provide 250 affordable units in Wards 1 and 8

Norton Presses Aircraft Engine Manufacturer on When Quieter Engines Will Be Implemented to Help...

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus, today at a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing asked an executive of Pratt & Whitney, the nation’s largest producer of aircraft engines, when the company’s PurePower Geared Turbofan engine, which is expected to result in a three-quarters reduction in noise footprint, will be widespread throughout the industry. Dr. Alan Epstein, Pratt and Whitney’s Vice President of Technology and Environment, said that 35 airplanes currently have the new, quieter engine, and that he expects within two years that all new aircraft will have the engine

Spike in FHA Delinquencies Shows President Trump Right to Suspend Last-Minute Obama Move

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said today’s announcement that Federal Housing Administration mortgage delinquencies jumped at the end of 2016 shows President Trump made the right decision to suspend and review the outgoing Obama Administration’s lowering of FHA mortgage insurance premiums

FTC Undercover Inspections of Funeral Homes in Nine States Prompt Compliance with Funeral Rule...

Federal Trade Commission investigators working undercover in nine states found failures to disclose pricing information to consumers, as required by the FTC’s Funeral Rule, in 31 of the 133 funeral homes they visited during 2015 and 2016.

Bill Protecting Property Rights in Texas and Oklahoma Passes House

The House passed H.R. 428 (Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-TX), the Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act, to end decades of confusion over the true boundary between Texas and Oklahoma and bring certainty to landowners along the Red River. The bill passed by a vote of 250-171.

Purported Real Estate Investment Manager Settles Fraud Charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a purported real estate investment manager has agreed to pay more than a half-million dollars to settle charges that he pocketed investor money in an investment scheme

United States Resolves Civil Fraud Suit Against Melville-Based Mortgage Lender

Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Christina D. Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge, North East Region, Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Jay N. Lerner, Inspector General for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced the settlement of claims against Franklin First Financial, Ltd., its Chief Executive Officer, Frederick Assini, its Chief Operating Officer, Christopher Bertman, and Andrew Dauro, a manager of the company.

HUD OFFERS GRANTS TO CLEAN UP LEAD-BASED PAINT HAZARDS

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that it is making grants available to help eliminate dangerous lead-based paint hazards from lower income homes in order to protect young children. Additionally, this funding will provide an opportunity for local communities to establish and support programs to control other housing-related health and safety hazards

Let Locals Control Their Land

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today in favor of H.J. Res. 44 to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s Planning 2.0 rule.

NREL Research Pinpoints Promise of Polycrystalline Perovskites

A team of scientists from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) determined that surface recombination limits the performance of polycrystalline perovskite solar cells.

House Rejects Dodd-Frank Regulation That Puts American Energy Companies at a Disadvantage with Foreign...

The House of Representatives today voted 235-187 to repeal a controversial Dodd-Frank Act regulation that puts American public companies at a disadvantage against many foreign competitors like state-owned companies in China and Russia.

Marketer of Water Filtration Systems Settles with FTC, Agrees to Drop Misleading ‘Made in...

A Georgia-based distributor of water filtration systems will stop making misleading unqualified claims that its products are made in the United States, under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

Cantwell Votes Against Zinke and Perry, Citing Concerns About the Trump Administration’s Intentions on...

Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) voted against two Trump administration nominees—former Governor Rick Perry to be Secretary of Energy and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior. Key excerpts explaining her reasons are below.

Chairmen Bishop and Barrasso Take Aim at Methane Rule under Congressional Review Act

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced H. J. Res. 36 and S. J. Res 11. These are joint resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act related to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule on methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian land. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states already regulate methane emissions from oil and gas sources.

Norton Releases Opening Statement on Her Amendment to Strike Anti-Home-Rule Language in OGR Committee...

The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released her prepared opening statement for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) markup on the Committee’s Authorization and Oversight Plan for the 115th Congress tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building. Norton has filed an amendment to strike an anti-home-rule provision in the plan that calls for increased oversight of the District of Columbia’s local affairs.

Norton Says Republican Markup of Disapproval of D.C.’s Death with Dignity Act on Thursday,...

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today blasted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for announcing a markup of a disapproval resolution to nullify the District of Columbia’s medical aid-in-dying bill, the Death with Dignity Act, for Thursday, February 2, 2017, at 1:00 p.m., in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building, without giving D.C. officials the opportunity to defend it.

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE APPRAISAL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE NEW EDITION OF THE UNIFORM...

The Appraisal Foundation, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice, this week announced the publication of the sixth edition of the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions, commonly known as the “Yellow Book.” The Yellow Book is promulgated by the Interagency Land Acquisition Conference for use by all agencies for federal land acquisitions.

New Home Sales Post Highest Yearly Total Since 2007

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 12.2 percent in 2016 to 563,000 units, the highest annual rate since 2007, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. New home sales fell 10.4 percent in December 2016 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 536,000 units.

Mayor Bowser to Participate in ‘Point in Time’ Count, Discuss Administration Efforts to End...

On Wednesday, January 25 at 9 pm, Mayor Muriel Bowser will join District Officials as they conduct the city’s “Point in Time” count, an annual census of persons experiencing homelessness. Since taking office, Mayor Bowser has implemented a broad range of initiatives to combat homelessness in the District, including providing District families with year-round access to shelter, increasing the capacity of the homeless system to quickly connect families with housing opportunities, and expanding services for youth experiencing homelessness

Banking Committee Approves HUD Nominee

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, released the following statement on the Committee’s approval of Dr. Benjamin Carson, of Michigan, to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Bishop Reaction to Trump Actions on Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipelines

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s actions related to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines

Easton Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Distressed Homeowners, Evading Taxes

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that TIMOTHY W. BURKE, also known as “Bill Burke,” “William Burke,” “Kerry Saunders,” “Pat Riley,” “Jim Caldwell,” “Jim Saunders,” “Tom Morrisey,” “Jimmy,” “Phil Burke,” “Phil,” “Burt,” “James Burke,” and “M. Soler,” 65, formerly of Easton, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to fraud and tax evasion offenses stemming from a long-running fraud scheme that targeted distressed homeowners

ICYMI: Trump’s Heartless Fee Hike? Not Quite.

One of the Obama administration’s final actions was to slash the fee that mortgage borrowers must pay for Federal Housing Administration insurance on eligible loans. One of President Trump’s first actions Jan. 20 was to suspend that move pending further study. Democrats accused him of heartlessly hiking costs for the FHA’s low- and moderate-income clientele by $500 per year on a typical $200,000 loan. “One hour after talking about helping working people and ending the cabal in Washington that hurts people, he signs a regulation that makes it more expensive for new homeowners to buy mortgages,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said

Murkowski Comments on the Trump Administration’s Efforts to Advance Energy Infrastructure Projects

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement after President Trump issued a series of executive documents that will prioritize energy infrastructure and streamline regulatory reviews in the United States.

Cantwell Announces Blueprint to Rebuild Infrastructure That Creates 15 Million American Jobs

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell joined Senate Democrats in unveiling A Blueprint to Rebuild America's Infrastructure and Create 15 Million Jobs, which includes a historic $1 trillion investment that would create more than 15 million jobs over the next 10 years.

Popular

Norton Presses Aircraft Engine Manufacturer on When Quieter Engines Will Be...

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus, today at a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing asked an executive of Pratt & Whitney, the nation’s largest producer of aircraft engines, when the company’s PurePower Geared Turbofan engine, which is expected to result in a three-quarters reduction in noise footprint, will be widespread throughout the industry. Dr. Alan Epstein, Pratt and Whitney’s Vice President of Technology and Environment, said that 35 airplanes currently have the new, quieter engine, and that he expects within two years that all new aircraft will have the engine

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Eric Wohl

Phillips Edison Sells Five Shopping Centers Totaling 583,000 SF

Hanley Investment Group, a nationally-recognized real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in retail property sales, announced today that in separate transactions Hanley Investment Group's Executive Vice President Eric Wohl served as advisor in bringing the buyer and seller together in the sale of five shopping centers owned by Cincinnati, Ohio-based firm Phillips Edison & Company, one of the nation’s largest owners and managers of grocery-anchored shopping centers. The buyer was Albanese Cormier Holdings, a commercial real estate investment company based in Beaumont, Texas