Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) voted early Sunday morning to continue funding the government while also supporting a requirement that would end the controversial medical device tax and delay implementation of Obamacare by one year. He released the following statement:
I oppose shutting down the government. I am also deeply concerned about the impending implementation of the Health Care Law – Obamacare – with exchange enrollment beginning on Tuesday. The House recently attempted to defund Obamacare. While I oppose the Health Care Law, I had concerns about the defunding tactic, but wanted to get a government funding bill (Continuing Resolution) to the Senate for action. The Senate then acted, as was expected, and voted to strike the defunding provision.
While a more substantial delay of the Health Care Law is needed, and several major provisions have already been delayed administratively, I expect the Senate to reject the delay language in the House Bill. It is worth noting however, that Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia recently expressed some support for a delay.
It will be much harder for the Senate to reject the repeal of the Medical Device Tax. In March, as part of a non-binding budget resolution, 45 Republicans, 33 Democrats and Independent Senator Angus King (ME) voted to repeal this job-killing, innovation stifling boondoggle. The bipartisan measure passed the Senate overwhelmingly 79 to 20. Repealing the medical device tax also received broad bipartisan support in the House which previously passed a repeal bill by 270-146 with 37 Democratic Representatives supporting the measure.
On Thursday, Senator Harry Reid called the Medical Device Tax “stupid.” I agree. The Medical Device Tax is stupid – and destructive. The Senate should seize this opportunity for a win-win. They can vote to stop a government shutdown while also preventing the loss of tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for workers across the country.
By voting for this new Continuing Resolution, which does not contain the defunding provision, the House has offered a reasonable path to a timely resolution to the current impasse. The Senate must now act to avert a government shutdown.
Like most Americans, I wish to end the current stalemate so Congress can get on with other important work that the American People expect.