U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) Tuesday applauded House passage of a year-end funding agreement that includes her bipartisan bill to permanently repeal the job-killing medical device tax. The legislative package also ends two other costly Obamacare taxes, boosts funding for our military, and gives servicemembers their biggest pay raise in a decade.
“After years of fighting Speaker Pelosi and the special interests, today we’ve secured a major victory for Hoosier workers and patients across the country: permanent repeal of Obamacare’s job-killing medical device tax,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Ending this destructive tax once and for all will protect manufacturing jobs in northern Indiana, boost research and innovation of medical technologies, and ensure patients continue to have access to the cutting-edge products they need.
“We’re also repealing two other costly Obamacare taxes that threatened to raise the cost of health care – the health insurance tax and the Cadillac tax. We’re ensuring states have the resources they need to transform their foster care systems and put families first. And we’re providing certainty and tax relief to American farmers and small businesses by extending the biodiesel tax credit and the short line railroad tax credit.
“Finally, this bill puts America’s national security first by providing the resources needed to continue the rebuilding of our military. It supports our servicemembers, veterans, and their families by providing a 3.1 percent pay raise for our troops – the largest in a decade – and fully funding the VA MISSION Act and Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. And it will help secure the border by providing $1.375 billion in new funding for the border wall and maintaining the president’s authority to transfer funds if necessary.
“While this legislation is not perfect – it is clearer than ever that both parties need to come together to implement long-term spending reforms in order to get our national debt under control – it will protect Hoosier jobs, keep our nation’s economic momentum going, and prioritize the safety and security of the American people. This is a win for Hoosier manufacturers, farmers, workers, and families.”
Congresswoman Walorski has long fought to repeal the medical device tax, which cost tens of thousands of jobs when it was in effect from 2013 to 2017, particularly in northern Indiana. Walorski’s legislation to fully and permanently repeal the tax – the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 2207) – had more than 250 bipartisan co-sponsors, but Speaker Pelosi and House Democratic leadership repeatedly blocked a vote on the House floor this year. The 2.3 percent excise tax on lifesaving medical devices was set to return January 1, 2020, if Congress did not act. Repeal of the medical device tax will protect good-paying manufacturing jobs, encourage medical research and innovation, and ensure patients continue to have access to the lifesaving products they need.
The year-end legislative package also repeals two other damaging Obamacare taxes: the health insurance tax and the “Cadillac tax,” both of which threatened to raise health care costs for millions of Americans by health insurance plans more expensive.
In addition to providing critical tax relief, the legislation provides federal funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2020, including several key priorities for Hoosiers:
- Prioritizes national security and continues rebuilding of our military with a $22 billion increase in defense funding;
- Supports servicemembers and military families, including by providing a 3.1 percent pay raise for our troops – the largest in a decade;
- Supports the U.S.-Israel alliance by providing $500 million for Israeli Cooperative programs, including Iron Dome;
- Provides full funding for the VA MISSION Act and Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act;
- Provides $1.375 billion in new funding for the border wall and does not restrict the president’s authority to transfer additional funds;
- Includes Walorski’s bipartisan Family First Transition Act to provide states with the tools and resources to transform their child welfare systems and keep more children safely at home instead of placing them in foster care;
- Advances efforts to combat opioid abuse through prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement by investing $518 million in grant programs;
- Includes the SECURE Act to make it easier for small businesses to set up retirement plans for employees and help workers save more and earlier for retirement;
- Includes the CREATES Act to promote competition to lower the cost of prescription drugs by ensuring affordable generic and biosimilar versions of medications can enter the market;
- Includes $1.2 billion in disaster relief for farmers and ranchers affected by severe weather and other natural disasters in 2018 and 2019;
- Supports Hoosier soybean farmers and boosts clean energy innovation by extending the biodiesel tax credit;
- Helps short line railroads keep rural Indiana connected to the national economy by extending the short line tax credit;
- Maintains all pro-life protections; and
- Retains long-standing Second Amendment protections.
The House passed H.R. 1865, which included repeal of Obamacare taxes, by a vote of 297 to 120. The House passed H.R. 1158, which included defense and national security funding, by a vote of 280 to 138. Both bills now head to the Senate.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.