Public Policy Network

Helping You and Your Organization Engage in Policy Debates

FHLBank Pittsburgh's Public Policy Network (PPN) is a coalition of housing, economic development and financial industry advocates. Membership is free and includes invitations to events with members of Congress, monthly policy updates and quarterly conference calls featuring industry experts.

Public Policy Updates

Stay up-to-date on issues facing housing, economic development and the FHLBanks with Peter Knight’s monthly policy updates.

June 2018

It seems like Washington is becoming a tougher place to live and work. Members of the current administration are being driven out of restaurants by protesters and even denied service. Barbs and personal attacks are flying frequently at all levels of power. In the broader range of history, however, it may be comforting to remember that things have been much worse.

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May 2018

As Congress turns the corner and heads for home... wait a minute! It is not even June and the Congress is nearing the finish line? Yes, indeed. Between now and the November 6 elections, the Congress will be in session only 47 days (leaving 113 days for campaigning). In the Senate, only "must do" bills will get floor time, along with confirmation votes, many of which are for Administration-backed judicial nominations.

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April 2018

Washington is at a major policy inflection point, driven by two significant developments: one expected and one that surprised many. The first is the increasing signs that the 2018 mid-term elections will be every bit as challenging as history would suggest for the party of a first-term president. The second is the deficit impact of the Republican tax cut legislation of late December (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) and the bipartisan omnibus spending bill of late March (the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018), which will sharply increase government debt. These two developments will make governing in the coming years even more challenging.

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March 2018

Everyone is watching the stock markets with some anxiety and wondering what investments will generate nice earnings this spring. Gold? Health care? Energy? One area that is seeing increased business is television, especially where the outcome of the 2018 mid-term election is in doubt. Just look at recent special elections, where television spending has been off the charts. Expect election costs to break new records this year, with television advertising being a big part of that.

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February 2018

The year 2018 is a remarkable time in Washington. No one, and that means not a single person, knows what the president will say in any given 24-hour period. Congressional leaders are learning how to operate in this new environment. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) demonstrated this skill when passing a government budget on Feb. 9. This bill flies in the face of the recently released administration FY 2019 budget, raises the debt ceiling through March, 2019, and provides hundreds of billions of dollars of additional defense and non-defense spending over two years. This ended up being a bipartisan effort with the White House in a supportive, not leading, role.

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January 2018

Change was promised in the 2016 elections, and change has been delivered. As Winston Churchill liked to say, "There is nothing wrong with change... if it is in the right direction." Unfortunately 2018 has begun in Washington with even more of the dysfunction and partisanship that characterized last year. While these political dynamics have been brewing for many years, it looks like the brew could now be boiling over.

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Peter E. Knight, Director, Government Relations
peter.knight@fhlb-pgh.com

Peter Knight, who joined FHLBank Pittsburgh in 2002, is responsible for directing the Government Relations Department.
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Allison Beresnyak Karakis, Government Relations Manager
Office: 412-288-7302
allison.karakis@fhlb-pgh.com

Allison Beresnyak Karakis, who joined FHLBank Pittsburgh in 2015, manages FHLBank Pittsburgh in-district government relations program, the Public Policy Network. 
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