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HFA Reports

Furniture World Magazine
Volume 151 No. 6 November/December


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HFA Reports

 

 

A review of national and local legislative and regulatory activity initiated on behalf of home furnishings retailers.

Congress

The end of the 2021 calendar year acted as a deadline for congressional members to advance priority issues and ‘clear the deck’ for the new year. That led Congress to temporarily extend funding for the federal government (through February 18, 2022) and lift the debt ceiling through the 2022 midterm elections. At the end of last year, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has a 60-year history of annual passage.

Budget Reconciliation

Democratic congressional leaders continue to work closely with the Biden Administration on the Build Back Better Act (budget reconciliation) in hopes of passage. Following House passage in mid-November, Senate leaders are working with the Senate Parliamentarian and moderate Democratic Senators to work through various issues related to immigration, paid family leave, corporate taxes, and climate change. The Senate passage of the Build Back Better Act is likely to occur in early 2022 – but there are practical issues related to tax policy changes given high priority issues like the Child Tax Credit. Democrats hope to avoid tax filing season confusion by passing a new tax policy around the time Americans begin filing their taxes.

Supply Chain

HFA has been working with various industry stakeholders to support the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), which would provide more tools to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to ensure compliance with detention and demurrage charges.

HFA has been working with various industry stakeholders to support the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), which would provide more tools to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to ensure compliance with detention and demurrage charges. It also includes transparent minimum service standards between ocean carriers and importers. The myriad of supply chain issues facing furniture retailers are complex, and OSRA is one of the leading, bipartisan legislative solutions to strengthen the position of American companies.

This legislation will help with the current supply chain issues and ensure these same disruptions don’t occur in the future. In addition to the growing list of congressional co-sponsors, the Biden Administration has supported this legislation.

STURDY Act

Furniture industry stakeholders have worked with consumer and parent advocacy groups on furniture stability. The ‘Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act’ has recently been reintroduced with changes supported by Ikea, Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and Room & Board. The legislation would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to develop a mandatory furniture tip-over standard through an accelerated rule-making process. The CPSC has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) that sets out a complicated list of test methods that only ONE clothing storage unit currently on the market could meet (according to the CPSC analysis in their NPR).

HFA and its members have supported a mandatory furniture tip-over standard based on the existing voluntary standard. We are actively working with stakeholders to find a legislative compromise that advances safety for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

The HFA Government Relations Action Team (GRAT) worked with the Administration and members of Congress throughout 2021. This effort will continue in 2022, and we look forward to advocating for our industry’s priorities.


For more information on what HFA is doing to empower furniture retailers for continued success, join the community at myhfa.org .

A  feature about Home Furnishings Association's retail members, legislation affecting the furniture industry and other retail news from HFA.


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