The medical device industry doled out more than $4.5 million to legislators on Capitol Hill last year, with most of the donations going to Republicans and incumbents, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org website.
Senators and representatives from the Grand Old Party received more than $2.7 million from medtech last year, compared with just more than $1.8 million for Democrats (and just $2,000 for "others"), according to the nonpartisan website.
Incumbents also took in more than 1st-time candidates, pulling in $4.0 million of the total donated.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, 158 Republicans received an average contribution of $10,625, compared with an average of $6,842 sent to some 140 Democratic representatives (and no independents).
Democrats did better in the Upper Chamber, with 41 receiving an average of $17,460, compared with 37 Republicans who got an average of $16,896 from medtech’s coffers, according to the website.
Not surprisingly, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) received the most from the medical device industry in 2014, at $93,049. Paulsen has long been a friend to the sizeable medtech cluster in the North Star State and has spearheaded efforts in the House to repeal the medical device tax. He’s the lead sponsor of H.R. 160, the "Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015."
Interestingly, another medical device stalwart, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), does not appear on the list of the top 20 recipients of medtech’s largesse. Hatch is the sponsor of the Senate’s companion bill for repealing the medical device tax, S. 149 or the "Medical Device Access & Innovation Protection Act."
Here’s a look at that top 20 list, from both the House and Senate and whether they’ve signed on to the medtech tax repeal bills in their respective chambers:
|Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.)||$93,049||sponsor of HR 160|
|Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)||$86,323||has not signed S 149|
|Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)||$76,100||has not signed HR 160|
|Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)||$73,761||did not win reelection|
|Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)||$64,950||has not signed S 149|
|Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)||$63,150||has not signed S 149|
|Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)||$59,900||has signed HR 160|
|Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)||$58,500||has signed S 149|
|Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio)||$56,100||has not signed HR 160|
|Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)||$53,949||has not signed S 149|
|Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)||$49,199||has not signed S 149|
|Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)||$48,909||has not signed HR 160|
|Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)||$48,750||has signed HR 160|
|Ryan, Paul (R-WI)||$43,197||has not signed HR 160|
|Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)||$41,900||has signed S 149|
|Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)||$40,100||has signed HR 160|
|Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio)||$37,700||has signed HR 160|
|Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)||$37,300||has not signed HR 160|
|Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)||$37,000||has not signed HR 160|
|Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)||$35,900||has signed S 149|