WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Realtors are lobbying their legislative agenda en masse this week during an annual meeting at the nation's capital, and they want Congress to pass healthcare legislation that would allow trade organizations and some other groups to bundle members together to seek better rates on insurance. Their congressional wish list also includes a familiar rallying cry -- keep national banks out of the real estate brokerage business -- as well as a request for Congress to challenge the federal banking regulator's authority to approve banks' real estate development plans. Preserving the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners and expanding the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program to a larger group of borrowers are also priority issues for the Realtor trade group, which has about 1.3 million members. Marcia Salkin, a senior policy representative for the association, said the group's healthcare legislation, which is intended to lower the cost of healthcare for the m...
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