Last week, the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC), in a surprise move, convened a full committee hearing on 15 pending bills including HR 3211 and “voice-voted” HR 3211 onto the House floor for further consideration.
The Chairman of the HFSC, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), ordered the voice vote on HR 3211 instead of a roll call vote, or the typical voting pattern for committee legislation because he suspected that several Republican members on the committee would vote “no” and thereby jeopardize the chances HR 3211 can move successfully in the House and the Senate. The voice-vote was called with barely twenty members present. It was a procedural passage of the bill.
Despite our pronouncements to the contrary, we are now firmly back at work on HR 3211. We need you and your staff to help us engage members of Congress to understand why HR 3211 and the Senate version, known as S 949, are bad for consumers and worse for small business owners in the title insurance industry.
Who Stood Up for Independent Title Insurance Agents?
Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) was the lone voice of dissent in the poorly attended hearing and entered two amendments to HR 3211 that would have extended the time frame for a consumer to make a RESPA-related claim from 1 year to 3 years under the statute and would limit the amount of return a referral source would derive from their ownership in an affiliated business arrangement.
Both amendments were referred to the House Judiciary Committee and additional movement on them in the Republican-controlled House is unlikely.
With HR 3211 moving to the House floor, we need to ratchet up the resources of NAILTA and its volunteers to begin a mass campaign of emails, letters and phone calls to every member of the House asking them to vote “no” on HR 3211 and S 949. The goal is to obtain a minimum of 40 “no” votes on the bill. If we can obtain that number from the House, the Senate may not be as inclined to move the bill forward.
Knowing that the Chairman of the HFSC was concerned enough to shield the vote, we must get to work to show the Senate and the remaining House members that support for this bill is not universal. Please take your time to contact your congressional representative on both the House and Senate side. You can call, email or send a letter to your representative.
Be a Part of the Effort!
To find your representative in the House, please click here.
To find your representative in the Senate, please click here.
Most members of Congress do not provide their staff email. Thus, it is preferred that you place a call. You can always obtain email information once you place the telephone call.
If you place a telephone call to your representative, please use the following script to support your efforts.
If you wish to send a letter to your representative, we have provided the following letters to assist your efforts.
For letters to the House of Representatives, please click here.
For letters to the U.S. Senate, please click here.
To obtain Word versions of the letters, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide those to you for editing.
Help Us, Help You.
If you want to show your support, we challenge each of you to consider donating $100.00 or more to NAILTA’s PAC. Your donations will go directly to members of Congress who support independent land title agents and send the message to all that we matter and we vote!