July 16, 2018

Washington Wire: House Passes One Voice-Endorsed Medical Device Tax Repeal

House Passes One Voice-Endorsed Medical Device Tax Repeal
On Thursday, June 18, the House passed legislation to the repeal the costly medical device tax. In a 280-140 vote, 46 Democrats joined 234 Republicans to approve the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 160), introduced by Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN).  
The legislation would repeal the $29.1 billion excise tax on medical devices provided for in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill would also allow device companies to seek refunds for taxes already paid under the law, since it was implemented in January 2013.  
To help pay for the healthcare law, a 2.3 percent excise tax is currently levied on the total revenues of a company, regardless of whether the company generates a profit. Without the repeal of this tax, many manufacturers will be forced to cut their research and development budget as well as eliminate jobs. The United States is a leader in medical device technology and this tax must be repealed for American manufacturers to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  
One Voice has long supported the repeal of this burdensome and costly tax on America’s medical device manufacturers and it was thanks to the efforts of members who contacted their representatives that this important measure passed.



One Voice Files Comments On Workforce Innovation Law
On June 15, 2015, NTMA and PMA jointly filed comments to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). One Voice strongly endorsed WIOA, an update to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, and its passage last year was a major victory for One Voice and all manufacturers.  
Congress overwhelmingly passed and the President signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) in July 2014, which reforms WIA by eliminating 15 outdated programs, encourages the use of industry recognized skills certifications, and provides a greater role for businesses in implementing workforce programs locally. In a January 2015 survey of 157 small and medium-sized manufacturing companies around the country, 90 percent reported having skilled job openings.  
One of the main points raised by One Voice in the comments was the need for flexibility, whether in the structure and composition of the workforce investment boards (WIB) or the design of training and apprenticeship programs. The Department is interpreting the law in ways which could dilute the role of small businesses and exclude businesses who use non-registered apprenticeship programs. The 2,700 pages of proposed rules explain how the Administration will implement the law and seeks input from stakeholders on its pending actions.  
One Voice will continue to work the Department of Labor (Department) as WIOA is implemented to ensure manufacturers have a qualified workforce.



Congress to Take Action on Environment & Energy Measures
The House of Representatives is set to consider this week two measures supported by One Voice. On June 23, under suspension of the rules, the House will vote on the TSCA Modernization Act to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) modernizes the law to improve protections for public health and the environment, to provide the public greater confidence in the safety of U.S. chemicals, and to promote further innovation and economic growth. NTMA and PMA, along with coalition partners, recently sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee supporting the bill. The Coalition letter can be viewed here.  
On Wednesday, June 24, the House will also consider the Ratepayer Protection Act, a bill that would essentially put EPA's final carbon rule for existing power plants on hold until the courts have finished legal reviews of the rule. It would also exempt any state from the rule whose governor, in consultation with state regulators and officials, determines the rule would hurt ratepayers or threaten reliability. The Existing Power Plant Carbon Emissions rule, which is set to be finalized by mid-summer 2015, will increase electricity prices by 6-20% annually. One Voice, along with coalition partners, filed official comments in December opposing the EPA’s draft regulation and sent a letter last week to members of the House in support of the H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act of 2015. To view the letter click here.  
Several House and Senate Committees are also expected to hold hearings on the EPA and energy issues this week. The House Science, Space and Technology Environment and Energy Subcommittees will hold a joint hearing on June 24 to examine the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s recent report Analysis of the Impacts of the Clean Power Plan. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety has scheduled a hearing for June 23 to consider the impacts of “EPA’s proposed Carbon Regulations on Energy Costs for American Businesses, Rural Communities and Families,” as well as to hear testimony on the Affordable Reliable Electricity Now Act of 2015, H.R. 1324. The bill will be the principal legislative vehicle in the Senate to rollback President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan.” The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic Energy, and Environmental Policy will hold a hearing on June 23 to examine American energy exports.