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.

March 2019

Cherry blossoms, opening day and the looming Stanley Cup playoffs are providing Washington with pleasant, much-needed diversions from the grim partisanship that usually dominates the town. While these diversions (in the case of baseball and hockey) can end as soul-crushing disappointments, at least there is some fleeting optimism. That optimism is harder to find in our government, but there are a number of significant policy developments quietly moving forward on several fronts.

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February 2019

The first month of 2019 was dominated in Washington by the longest federal shutdown in history. A temporary funding bill reopened government for three weeks, and then, on Feb. 15, government was funded until the end of FY 2019, which occurs on Sept. 30. The shutdown resulted from a dispute over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

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January 2019

On Dec.22, the government was shut down over a disagreement between congressional Democrats and the President over funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border. At that point, there were 49 Democrats in the Senate, enough to deny the 60 votes to pass a government funding bill that had cleared the Republican-controlled House. Less than two weeks later, in a new Congress, Democrats had 47 votes in the Senate, still enough to deny the requisite 60 votes. On the House side, more than 100 new members were sworn in, most of them Democrats, giving that party control of the House.

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December 2018

Centuries ago, some Native American tribes practiced a custom known as "burying the hatchet," which was an important step towards ending conflict, establishing peace and paving the way for cooperation between previously warring factions. Delaware adopted this tradition more than 150 years ago. On Return Day, the day following an election, politicians who had competed for state, federal and local offices gather in Georgetown, Delaware to parade together and actually bury a ceremonial hatchet. This helps remind everyone that bipartisan cooperation inures to the benefit of the entire state. Delaware's practice could serve as an example to those active in politics across the nation.

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November 2018

With the 2018 midterms rapidly shrinking in the rear-view mirror, key policy players are scrambling in a number of different directions at the same time. The 115th Congress, which ceases to exist on January 3, is working to finish business that could have been done before the elections but must be done before the end of the year. Members of the 116th Congress, particularly House Democrats, are running full speed (not necessarily in the same direction) in an effort to get organized by January 3. In the meantime, the President and approximately 20 Democrats are starting to prepare for the 2020 presidential elections, which are a mere 700 days away.

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October 2018

When teaching a teenager to drive, one of the first items covered by the terrified parent is the importance of using one foot for both the gas pedal and the brake. One foot on the gas and the other on the brake makes for an unhappy keeper of the car keys. This same rule might apply to the nation's fiscal and monetary policy as well, making for a well-adjusted economy. Or, maybe not.

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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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