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GOP: House tax repeal would help West Mich. companies
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - To find out more about how the latest budget vote could impact West Michigan, Newschannel 3 reached out to lawmakers Sunday.
House Republicans say the bill they passed will keep thousands of jobs from being eliminated, an impact already felt by a large Kalamazoo corporation.
While it wasn't their first choice, Saturday's push by House Republicans to repeal the medical device tax passed, but is expected to be shot down in the Senate. The tax was put in place under healthcare reform at the start of this year.
Kalamazoo-based Stryker has said they were forced to lay off more than 1,100 employees because of the tax and owes the government upwards of $100 million this year alone.
A Stryker spokesperson told Newschannel 3 earlier this month that Obamacare will cost the company 20 percent of its total research and development investments.
A West Michigan congressman says while his first choice is getting rid of Obamacare altogether, under this House compromise, repealing the tax will eliminate problems for companies like Stryker and this continuing resolution is good for the economy and good for us here in West Michigan.
"If you are going to pull money out of a company's revenue stream, it means fewer dollars for research and development and marketing," Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) says. "We ought to be fighting for this, and I'm frustrated that my colleagues in the Senate in Michigan aren't fighting for this, that makes no sense to me."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says, "Obamacare is the law. It is the law, has been for four years, declared constitutional. They've got to move on to something else."
When the Senate meets Monday, Reid says he won't compromise on the medical device tax or the delay of health care law, even if it means government shut down.
Newschannel 3 did reach out to Stryker Sunday for their opinion on the vote and is waiting to hear back.