Updated Dec. 17
Washington — The U.S. Congress is poised to suspend the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices for two years as part of a larger tax package that includes $622 billion in tax breaks over 10 years for businesses and individuals.
The House voted 318-109 on Dec. 17 after breaking the 233-page tax extenders bill out of the massive, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. The package includes decades of tax credits that have been continually extended but never made permanent, some of which are popular with the plastics industry, such as a tax credit for investments in research and development and write-offs on investments in new equipment. It also include indefinite extensions for some the Obama Administration's more famous tax credits, including Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the post-secondary education oriented American Opportunity Tax Credit.
The tax package now awaits a Senate vote. The House is expected to vote on the omnibus spending package Friday, after which it will also go to the Senate for final passage.
Deliberations on the taxes and omnibus are not necessarily a done deal. Some moves — including the two-year moratorium on the medical device tax and a delay in implementing the delay in implementing the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost health care plans — will draw the ire of the Obama administration, as they would create an estimated $35 billion speed bump for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.