Realtors, licking their wounds, get ready for their next battle

Potential Buyers Attend An Open House Ahead Of Existing Home Sales FiguresTy Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Laura Kusisto | realtor.com

The National Association of Realtors, one of the largest and wealthiest lobby groups in the U.S., emerged from the recent tax overhaul hobbled and humbled. Now, the coming debate over the government’s role in backing mortgages for most Americans will test whether it can regain some of its clout in Washington politics.

The NAR has about 1.3 million members and spent more than $32 million on lobbying in 2017 through Dec. 8, second only to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group.

The NAR’s sway was perceived in Washington to be even greater than its financial resources because it claimed to represent the American dream of homeownership. The group’s top issue, the mortgage-interest deduction, has been considered a third rail in American politics.

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