One of Medtech’s BFFs on Capitol Hill is now a BMOC too.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) yesterday was sworn in as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and named president pro tempore, making him 1 of the most powerful men in the U.S. government. The 80-year-old Utah lawmaker is now 3rd in line for the presidency, after the vice president and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a speech Tuesday, Hatch told lawmakers that "civility and statesmanship" must be the Senate’s "constant ideals" and vowed to act with prudence, saying that "prudent lawmakers make experience, not theory, their guide and recognize that success requires harmonizing competing values."
The Republicans have the opportunity to present a positive, conservative, reform-oriented agenda, he added. One of the items on the agenda is repealing the medical device tax, a spokeswoman for the senator told MassDevice.com in an email.
"The repeal of the medical device tax remains a top priority for Senator Hatch," Julia Lawless wrote us in an email.
Earlier this week, Rep, Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) filed the Protect Medical Innovation Act in the House, which quickly garnered 254 cosponsors – more than enough to pass the bill through the lower chamber.
Lawless declined to give any timetable for the Senate taking up a repeal vote, saying that it’s up Senate leadership to determine when a vote would take place. Another source on Capitol Hill, who asked to remain nameless because they weren’t authorized to go on the record, told MassDevice.com that a vote on the bill is unlikely to happen this month.
In 2013, Hatch filed a bill in the Upper Chamber aimed at rolling back the 2.3% medical device excise tax. The "Medical Device Access & Innovation Protection Act" had 41 co-sponsors and was referred to the Committee on Finance, but was never taken up for a vote on the Senate floor.