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WASHINGTON, DC-If Congress wants to head off an even more severe downturn in the commercial real estate industry it must push through a stew of floating proposals that range from expanding current programs, such as TALF, to rejecting so-called anti real estate taxes, said the witnesses who testified before the Joint Economic Committee Thursday morning. Chaired by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, the aptly entitled, “Commercial Real Estate: Do Rising Defaults Pose Systemic Threat?” heard from James Helsel on behalf of the National Association of Realtors, Jeff DeBoer from the Real Estate Roundtable, Jon D. Greenlee, associate director, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation from the Federal Reserve, and Richard Parkus, a research analyst working for Deutsche Bank.

Despite the measures the government has put into place over the past ten months, the lending environment for commercial real estate is worsening, Helsel said. He pointed to two NAR member examples:

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