U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today voted in favor of taking up amendments to House-passed spending legislation (known as a "continuing resolution" or "CR") that would keep the government running, as well as delay ObamaCare for one year and repeal the costly nearly $30 billion medical device tax, which stands to harm New Hampshire medical device manufacturers.
She expressed disappointment that Senate Democrats blocked the amendments from receiving an up or down vote, deepening a legislative stalemate between the House and Senate that could result in a government shutdown. Senator Ayotte voted against tabling (or killing) the amendments and released the following statement regarding today's vote:
"I voted in support of considering these amendments because I want to keep the government open, and because I fully support delaying ObamaCare and repealing the medical device tax. New Hampshire citizens are seeing less choice and higher costs as a result of the health care law, and our state's medical device manufacturers say that the nearly $30 billion medical device tax will make it harder for them to invest and grow - and stands to threaten New Hampshire jobs.
"I'm disappointed that Senate Democrats blocked consideration of these amendments, which will only worsen the current legislative stalemate and increase the likelihood of a shutdown. As this legislation moves back to the House of Representatives, I'm hopeful that we can reach a compromise that averts a government shutdown and also addresses the serious problems Americans are experiencing as a result of the health care law."
For over two years, Senator Ayotte has helped lead Senate efforts to repeal the nearly $30 billion medical device tax, an onerous excise tax on medical devices that took effect January 1 as part of the health care law. In visits to medical device companies across New Hampshire, Ayotte has heard firsthand how the tax will stifle innovation, cost jobs, and increase costs for consumers. Earlier this year, she helped reintroduce the Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act (S. 232) to repeal the tax and she cosponsored similar legislation during the last Congress.
Medicare's chief actuary has estimated that the medical device tax will increase national health care costs by $18.2 billion in 2018. A 2011 study estimates that the tax threatens 43,000 jobs nationwide, and could result in $3.5 billion in lost wages. New Hampshire is home to about 50 medical device companies employing nearly 3,500 people.