Republicans in Congress are refusing to budge on an Obama-era law that would have required carpeting in most U.S. buildings, including those occupied by people with disabilities.
The House voted 52-46 Tuesday to advance the bill, which passed the Senate but has yet to be heard by the president.
A few Democrats, including Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who voted against the measure, said the House should have been more responsive to the millions of Americans who rely on the carpeting industry.
The floor mats have become an increasingly important tool in the care of people with physical disabilities.
They help reduce the risk of falling, making it easier for people with cerebral palsy to walk, talk and take medication.
A report from the National Association of Home Builders found that carpeting is the leading source of revenue for the home-building industry, and that $2.5 billion in carpeting revenue was paid out in 2015.
The American Red Cross estimates that a person with a disability would spend $4,000 a year on carpeting alone.
Republicans have said that the rug industry has a vested interest in the rug issue, arguing that carpet manufacturers are responsible for making the product.
But the rug makers also say the rug is a symbol of a better future for people who rely upon it.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R -Wis., have said the bill will improve accessibility.
They say it will give Americans with physical impairments a chance to enjoy their homes and their workplaces.
The bill passed with bipartisan support.
Republicans in the House of Representatives have opposed it on several occasions.
They have said it would hurt the rug manufacturers.
They said they will not consider a bill that would make it harder for millions of people to enjoy the rug.
But they have not said they would vote against it.
The rug industry says the bill is a threat to their bottom line.
But carpet makers argue that people with mobility disabilities are not the ones hurting.
They argue that most of the carpet-making companies have been providing a service to Americans for years.
They also argue that carpetmakers can’t legally be required to make mats unless they are the only company in the market, and they say they are not going to stop making mats until people like them have equal access to carpeting.
The National Association for Home Builds, a trade group, says that in order to have carpet mats, manufacturers must be able to demonstrate they are a cost-effective solution to their customers.
The industry says that while carpet makers say that their mats are not required, many people with special needs, including autism, are able to access them by paying for carpeting at home.
But in a recent survey, the carpet industry said that 90 percent of its members would choose carpeting over another alternative.
A spokesperson for the American Red Council says the American Association of Government Employees has been in regular contact with the rug companies and has asked them to work together to find a way to make carpeting accessible to all.
A spokeswoman for the Home Build and Retreat Association said in a statement that “we’re grateful to have the rug producers in our community, because they do a lot to help our families and individuals with disabilities live and work safely and comfortably in our homes.
And we appreciate their commitment to making sure people with a range of needs are able live in our communities.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., said Tuesday that the House is considering a bill to make it easier to make carpets available to people with specific disabilities.
She said the idea behind making carpeting available to those who can’t walk, or cannot work on their own, is “so very important to us.”