The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives reportedly voted today to end the shutdown of the federal government, reaching a compromise on immigration and setting the stage for another two-year pause on the medical device tax.
The Senate voted 81-18 to advance a continuing resolution that would fund the government until Feb. 8, three days into the shutdown, according to National Public Radio.
The vote then went to the US House of Representatives, who voted 266-150 to reopen the federal government and extend funding through February 8, according to a report from The Hill.
The bill now awaits a signature from the President.
Minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell pledged to hold a vote before then on a measure to give legal status to some 700,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The Trump administration halted the so-called “Dreamers” program, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, last year.
The 2.3% excise tax on U.S. medical device revenues was in effect for two years before a two-year moratorium began in 2016. It went back into effect at the beginning of this year, although the IRS said this week that it will not enforce any penalties for late payments of the medtech levy.
The House last week voted 230-197 to pass the stopgap bill, which also grants a six-year extension to Medicaid’s Children’s Health Insurance Program and pause other levies enacted as part of Obamacare, including the “Cadillac tax” for two years retroactive to Jan. 1 and the health insurance tax for one year starting in 2019.
But Senate Democrats successfully stalled a vote on the measure Friday because it does not address restoring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects hundreds of thousands of kids from being deported.
Legislators spent the weekend trying to negotiate a compromise, to no avail, leading majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell last night to schedule a vote for mid-day today. Minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) held fast, saying more talk is needed, Politico reported.
Medical device industry groups have lauded the passage and extension on the suspension of the medical device tax.
“MDMA applauds Congress for passing legislation that funds the government and reauthorizes CHIP, while protecting medical technology innovation from the destructive impact of the medical device tax by suspending it for two additional years. We remain committed to working with the broad, bipartisan coalition that supports a full and permanent repeal of the device tax this year so that this dynamic American ecosystem can deliver the next generation of cures and life-saving therapies, and provide the high-tech manufacturing jobs that develop them,” MDMA prez & CEO Mark Leahey said in a press release.
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