On May 17th, 15,000 Realtors gathered around theWashington monument in a demonstration of political unity of the National Association of Realtors.  NAR is the fourth on the center for responsive politics “Heavy Hitters List” with nearly 42 million in political donations since 1989. As lawmakers gear up to tackle the budget deficit — a task that could entail some combination of spending cuts and tax increases — NAR is opposed to changes that would limit or undermine the ability of homeowners to claim interest paid on their mortgages as tax deductions, or reduce the $500,000 capital gains exemption for couples selling their home.

Homeownership is the cornerstone of the freedom of our country,” longtime NAR ally Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., told a cheering crowd of Realtors attired in water-blue NAR midyear T-shirts. This sentiment was echoed again and again by the speakers from the podium.”It’s a time like no other,” said Michael Kelly, director of government affairs for the New York State Association of Realtors. Kelly said he was concerned about possible modifications to the mortgage interest deduction.