Taxation: Changes to the longstanding tax treatment of real estate could do further harm to the real estate market and severely impact the budgets of current homeowners: The Mortgage Interest Deduction, which currently covers interest paid on both first and second homes for taxpayers of all incomes, should be preserved in its current state. It is a remarkably effective tool that facilitates home ownership among middle and lower income families. NAR opposes any changes to the current capital gains exclusions of $250,000/$500,000 on the sale of a principal residence or reductions to the current property tax exclusion. Congress should extend the current tax forgiveness for mortgage debt discharged under foreclosure, short sale or loan modification It expires this year. Residential Real Estate Finance: Realtors® want qualified borrowers to have access to safe, affordable mortgage financing: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be restructured or reformed, but not completely eliminated to preserve the availability of mortgage financing to qualified buyers. The Short Sales approval process should be made more efficient and lenders should shorten response times to purchasers, which will help avoid foreclosures. The mortgage lending market should offer a wide variety of mortgage and refinancing options to qualified homebuyers, rather than a one-size-fits-all model. The FHA program should not be harmed by proposals that unfairly burden homebuyers, such as strict condominium investor rules, large downpayments or increased mortgage premiums. National Flood Insurance Program: The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) must be extended to ensure access to affordable flood insurance. The Senate must take up and approve a 5-year reauthorization measure and end the uncertainty of extensions and shutdowns. Another shutdown risks 1,300 more sales each day and would lead to more uninsured properties needing government assistance when disaster strikes. Commercial Lending: Immediate action is needed to bolster liquidity in the commercial and multifamily real estate market to avoid stalling our nation’s economic recovery. Credit Union lending opportunities should be expanded beyond current lending caps. The creation of a covered bond market in the U.S. will be essential to address ongoing commercial real estate refinance challenges.