When Will Paulsen’s Committee Hold a Hearing on the Onerous Medical Device Tax ?
Paulsen Bill to Repeal Medical Device Tax Gains Critical 218th Cosponsor
“The message from the House is clear: it’s time to repeal the medical device tax,” said Rep. Paulsen. “Not only is repeal important to the 400,000 Americans whose jobs this vital industry supports, but for the countless patients and consumers who benefit from the life-saving and life-improving technologies developed by our nation’s medical device innovators. Last year, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation repealing the tax, and I’m confident we’ll do so again. Now it’s time for the U.S. Senate to follow the House’s lead, vote to repeal this onerous tax, and ensure the continued leadership of American medical device manufacturing.”
Yep, with Paul Ryan’s signature on April 9th, the tally is now enough for somebody to ask the assigned committee to explain its inaction. The assigned committee is the Ways and Means Committee … and as the rest of his press release reminds us :
Paulsen, a champion of small business and advocate of free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation, serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, the bicameral Joint Economic Committee, and is co-chair of the Congressional Medical Technology Caucus.
So why hasn’t the W&M moved the legislation … that what was John Boehner said would happen under the Pillars of a New Majority… legislation would be crafted in committee … amendments offered and debated … approved in committee and passed on to the full House and on to the Senate.
Well, Erik Paulsen (EP) was a guest on Hugh Hewitt’s (HH) radio program, and he heard an earful (full transcript here) but the highlights are:
HH : When will your bill get a hearing in the Ways And Means Committee and passed by the Committee to the House floor?
HH: Congressman Paulsen, with all due respect, I will never give another dime to a Republican if you guys sit on this bill and do not pass it out. I will actively support primarying people who do not move this bill.
HH: We were promised that a GOP majority would pass good laws and send them to the Senate. We were not promised back room negotiations with obstructionist Democratic senators. I am fuming that you guys will not pass this bill.
EP: Well listen, Hugh, we are going to pass it.
HH: But Congressman, with all due respect, with all due respect, we are the leadership. The people who elect you are the leadership. I don’t care what David Camp thinks. You have 218 co-sponsors. I don’t care if Eric Cantor and John Boehner say no. You ought to be screaming at your conference
EP: Well, I understand that, but I will, and I know, like 10,000 layoffs have happened.
HH: Then why doesn’t the conference remove Dave Camp as the chairman if he will not do the will of the conference?
EP: I understand the impact. It’s real. I’m speaking at a medical device group next Monday, and momentum. It’s all about momentum. I want to keep the momentum to make this actually happen.
HH: It is all about momentum. The Senate passed it two weeks ago. Are the staffers on Ways And Means dumb? Are they completely politically idiotic that they don’t realize people are paying attention to this, and that if you send it right back, Mitch McConnell asked for you guys to send it right back. What in the world are they telling you about obstructing a bill that everybody wants to pass, which would save jobs? What do they say to you?
EP: Well, they give you the line, just as I mentioned before, and you know, that’s again, that’s above my pay grade.
HH: No, actually, what’s happening is I’m shaming Republicans. Nothing is above your pay grade, Congressman. You’re represented by the people of your district, and you told me you have 200 companies in your district…
EP: That’s right.
HH: You ought to be doing a Bobby Knight. You ought to be throwing chairs in the conference. And people ought to be calling out Dave Camp for being an obstructionist, because that’s what he is. He’s killing jobs.
EP: Well, it’s not, understand, though, also, I mean, my chairman is not killing jobs.
EP: I can’t give you the exact timing. I’ve pushed. Believe me.
HH: I don’t mean to be rude, Congressman, because you’re one of the good guys. But I’ve had it with this stuff. All they do is talk. The House Republicans, if talk were money, we wouldn’t have a deficit, because you guys talk all the time. Here, you have a chance to do, and your chairman won’t move it
HH: So every week that he delays a vote, he kills jobs. That is like A is followed by B, and C follows B. And so if he is blocking a vote on this, and he is, then he is killing jobs. That means a Republican leadership that allows him to do so is killing jobs. And I can’t believe that your constituents, and everyone in the United States, and you shouldn’t catch the grief for this, because you’re trying to get it done. But at least be blunt. Tell the people who are listening you want this to come to a vote immediately.
EP: Oh, believe me, Hugh, I do want it to come to a vote, and I am being as diplomatic as I can with my colleagues. I want to see it happen. I would like to see a lot of things happening.
HH: Well, good luck to you, and I hope you get a conference that gets behind you next week, because the people whose jobs are on the line deserve Republicans who actually do what they say, not just say what they say. Congressman Erik Paulsen from Minnesota, thank you.
End of interview.
Very interesting … it’s a “job killing” but the House Chairman is not responsible … and will Representative Paulsen provide a listing of the 10,000 jobs that he claims have been lost specifically due to the 2.3% Excise Tax.
For more background on the infighting, Roll Call has a story.
Of course, if Representative Paulsen wanted to force the issue, he could draft a Discharge Petition … and while he is there to pick up the form, he could sign the Discharge Petition (which tallies 138 in just two days) for the Paycheck Fairness Act (which Chairman John Kline has failed to follow the Pillars of a New Majority and allow a hearing.)