Current events, some that have no direct relationship to the home furnishings industry, can sometimes disrupt our advocacy processes. We are experiencing this with the STURDY Act. We have been looking to wrap up this long-time legislative struggle relating to tip-over issues. It passed a key committee vote and awaits Senate floor consideration; however, the recent flurry of Supreme Court decisions and semiconductor investments created sudden focus in the House and Senate on those issues. These larger legislative efforts have taken precedent over the STURDY Act, delaying further progress. It is undoubtedly one of the frustrating aspects of our advocacy world, yet it is so common and typical. The compromises worked out on STURDY has everyone involved waiting for next steps so it can be passed and signed into law.
Then we have a situation where a pressing issue has negatively impacted other significant legislative help for our members and the industry. The Senate passed United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), crucial to the home furnishings industry in the areas of supply chain innovation and guidance for the US Trade Representative relating to tariffs, is now gutted and stripped down to the singular issue of semiconductor manufacturing (The CHIPS Act). Negotiations on the related trade issues have stalled, and congressional leaders have prioritized moving parts of the package for expediency.
There’s no doubt that this is very frustrating yet very common. What can we do? We have to keep pushing. This is a prime example of why our voice is important and why we need more and more of you to weigh in. Our job is twofold. 1) Advocate for solutions to threats our industry faces, and 2) strategically position those solutions in a way that gives them the best chance of passage. Right now, the lion’s share of the work for our Government Relations Action Team is pushing for the passage of bills everyone has worked hard to craft.
This is all a reminder that in the advocacy world, ours is a marathon, not a sprint.
To learn more about what HFA is doing to influence legislation that impacts our industry, click here.