We saw something that we haven’t seen in quite some time, a compromise on Capitol Hill. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, supported by the Biden Administration, was debated in the Senate, passed with a strong bipartisan vote, and sent to the House. For years, there’s been talk about the need for bipartisanship on significant legislation, but we have seldom seen it. Is this infrastructure bill the panacea? Is it perfect? No and no. There are still many important questions about paying for parts of it. However, it was passed in the Senate recognizing that infrastructure is a massive area of concern and need across our country. For the home furnishings industry, the two direct impacts are 1) anything to do with infrastructure in and around ports to help move the supply chain 2) attention to infrastructure in and around the stores of our HFA members. Both areas are long overdue for significant improvement to sustain our economic competitiveness.
Now, the infrastructure bill sits in the House, waiting for action. However, the current position from House leadership is to delay action on the infrastructure bill until a broader budget reconciliation package is passed in the Senate. Several moderate House Democrats recently urged their leadership to hold a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill immediately.
In our view, we need one in the win column. We need to see Washington work and bipartisanship to rule the day, even if it’s just one day. We encourage the House to debate and approve the infrastructure bill. Answer bipartisanship with bipartisanship. This sends a positive signal to everyone in America that there is a willingness to work together and that agreements can be made. Holding this bill hostage while we wait for the budget debate would mean a delay of one to two months and the potential gutting of this infrastructure bill as it becomes intertwined with the budget conversation. Let’s get it done.