The National Association of Realtors has launched a massive grassroots political push to persuade the U.S. Congress to permanently bar big banks from entering real estate brokerage, leasing and property management. NAR has sent out its largest “Call for Action” e-mail alert to 900,000 of its members asking them to get in touch with their Congressional representatives.

The Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has included language in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Transportation/Treasury bill that would permanently bar banks from entering the real estate brokerage, leasing and property management businesses.

The bill was reported by the full Senate Appropriations Committee last week and is awaiting Senate floor consideration.

The House also took action on the banks in real estate issue last week and passed its Appropriations bill that includes a one-year prohibition on banks getting into real estate, which is what the industry successfully pushed through the last two years.

Once the Senate passes its bill, the House and Senate versions will have to go to conference committee to work out differences.

NAR is asking Realtors to go to the NAR Action Center for instructions and talking points for letters to Congress.

The NAR also is running ads in inside-the-beltway publications to rally Congress.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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