Lankford: ‘Time for a delay’

Congressman James Lankford

Congress continues to work through the weekend to fund the government and find a way to protect every citizen from the harmful effects of Obamacare.  Later this evening, the House will vote on two amendments to the continuing resolution the Senate passed yesterday.

One of the amendments will delay implementation of the President’s health care law for one year, protecting Americans from any new requirements, penalties and taxes contained within the law.  The second amendment will permanently repeal the medical device tax, which imposes a 2.3% tax on commonly used medical devices including pacemakers, stents, cardiac defibrillators, and ultrasound equipment.  America has always led the way in medical innovation, making many of these critical components here in the United States.  With the onset of this tax, however, many of these producers will move production overseas.  Quality healthcare should not ship manufacturing jobs overseas.  The Senate previously voted in their budget to repeal of the Medical Device Tax by a wide bipartisan vote of  79-20, so I would hope the Senators would be consistent and again approve the repeal as a part of a final agreement.

The votes in the House today will keep the government open and running through December 15, 2013.

In the event the Senate does not respond, the House will also vote today on a separate amendment to continue to pay our nation’s Armed Forces, including Guard and Reserve members on active duty, during a potential government shut down.  It is essential that those who protect our nation, sometimes thousands of miles away from their family, are focused on the mission at hand and not on their next paycheck.  The men and women in uniform who serve our country and their families at home deserve our full support, no matter the political circumstances.

Just this week, the Administration announced it would delay the implementation of another piece of its healthcare law, the online exchange enrollment for small businesses.  This is in addition to nine other delays and four waivers the White House has granted since enactment, including a major delay in the employer mandate.  It is time to grant all Americans a delay from complying with the burdensome requirements of the law.  I hope the Senate will act swiftly and judiciously when this bill returns to their desks tonight.

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