Real estate agent group spent $5.6M lobbying in 4Q

March 29, 2010

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WASHINGTON—The National Association of Realtors spent $5.6 million lobbying the federal government in the 2009 fourth quarter as it pressed for measures to aid the hobbled housing market, according to a recent disclosure form.

The Chicago-based group's spending was down 14 percent from the $6.5 million it spent in the same quarter a year earlier but up 33 percent from $4.2 million spent in the third quarter of 2009.

The Realtors group is one of the most powerful lobbying forces on Capitol Hill. Along with allies in the real estate industry, the group and its members successfully pressed last year for a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homeowners.

Lawmakers then decided, after intense lobbying, to extend and expand those tax incentives until April 30.

The group also lobbied on numerous other issues, including foreclosure relief predatory lending, protections for endangered species and health care for small business owners, according to a Jan. 19 filing with the House clerk's office.

Besides lawmakers, the trade group lobbied agencies including the White House, Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury and Veterans Affairs.