Everyone knows the influence U.S. Rep. Bill Archer (R-TX) has on Capitol Hill, especially when it comes to issues related to the real estate industry. So who could be the better candidate than Archer to receive the inaugural Small Investor Empowerment Award from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts? Well, you guessed the answer.

NAREIT has named Archer the inaugural recipient of the award, which was established on behalf of those people who invest in, are employed by, or derive benefit from REITs to recognize those public servants "who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the ideals of free enterprise, economic growth, personal freedom and unlimited opportunity for all Americans." The award will be formally presented during NAREIT's Policy Forum in March.

According to NAREIT: "His words and deeds underscore what our nation can achieve when individuals are freed from the burden of excessive taxation and government regulation. As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, he has never wavered from acting on those beliefs for the benefit of Americans from all walks of life."

In acknowledging the honor, Archer said he was pleased with the committee's continued efforts on behalf of REITs. "REITs serve small investors by providing them opportunities previously limited largely to the affluent or well-connected," he said in a written statement. "And REITs serve our country by introducing new standards of liquidity, security and performance to capital markets and real estate finance. That encourages the needed investment to create the economic growth and jobs so vital to our future. The Ways and Means Committee has worked diligentlyto ensure that REITs continue to serve that crucial role in our economy."