ODD BEDFELLOWS: U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Clark teamed up with White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese over the weekend to pen an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal laying out policy solutions for what the pair says is a nationwide shortage of housing to the tune of at least 1.5 million homes.
— “While the two of us don’t agree on every issue,” Clark and Deese wrote (quite the understatement!), “we agree that the shortfall is longstanding and must be addressed. The good news is that there are proven ways that the administration, Congress, state and local governments, and the private sector can work together to build and preserve enough homes to end the housing shortfall in America.” The Sunday op-ed came a day before the White House rolled out a road map for alleviating the shortage, which includes changes to zoning laws, addressing supply chain issues and rising costs, and expanding tax breaks to finance affordable housing.
— But the collaboration drew a rebuke from a group newly formed to compete with the Chamber as advocates for the business community, the American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce. “Any time the federal government inserts itself in an effort to lord over local communities, the result is to the detriment of the American people,” former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the group’s chair, said in a statement.
— “As a former governor, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of rising house prices and lack of supply, but President Biden’s Housing Supply Action Plan is not the answer,” Branstad said, arguing that “by providing federal financing to developers, the Biden Administration is removing local authority — something our American communities thrive on — and the unfortunate result will be fewer single family homes, less safe communities, and overcrowded schools.”