A proposal stemming from the work of the American Home Furnishings and Building Products Coalition, an industry coalition looking to jumpstart the home furnishings market, was recently defeated by Congress. The proposal, which would have set up a system of tax credits, deductions and incentives to boost home improvement spending, was left on the cutting room floor as lawmakers haggled over the particulars of a proposed $789 billion stimulus package to boost the economy.

"We were in the hunt right up until the end," said D. Christopher Davis, president and CEO of coalition member the World Floor Covering Association. "Our legislative proposal did not make it into the final stimulus package."

In e-mails industry members were asked to send to their Congressional leadership earlier this month, the coalition outlined its goals: to "significantly help struggling low and middle income families, stimulate $128 billion in direct consumer spending, increase home valuations by $58-76 billion, and create 352,000 U.S. jobs in the retail, manufacturing and contract services sectors."

Davis added he is hopeful the coalition will be able to present another proposal to the Obama Administration in the future. "We don’t believe this, the Obama Stimulus Package, is the only stimulus legislation Congress will enact this year, but we’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out," he toldNFT.

The WFCA is one of twelve associations in the coalition, making up groups from around the construction and home furnishings industry. Other flooring groups in the coalition include the Carpet and Rug Institute, the Resilient Floor Covering Institute, and the National Wood Flooring Association. -Michael Chmielecki