Joe Donnelly is a member of the House of Representatives in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District (South Bend) and is running for Senate in Indiana against Republican Dick Mourdock.
In the interests of full disclosure, Joe is my Congressman and I have talked with him a few times.
Joe Donnelly is one of “those” swing district politicians. What do I mean by that? Donnelly plays a very dishonest balancing act of keeping his right foot in Indiana and his far left foot in DC. Joe Donnelly is a reliable vote for the far left on any close vote, but on some big votes where the party leadership knows it has enough to pass what they like, Donnelly will vote ‘No’ so he can come home and tell the South Bend Tribune what an independent conservative Democrat he is; all while ensuring that Pelosi and the Democrat leadership get what they want. The most famous player of this game in Indiana politics is former Congressman Tim Roemer, who of course is also from South Bend.
One of the most famous examples of Roemer’s play of this style of politics was on the 1993 Clinton tax increase and budget. Roemer voted to preserve Clinton’s new taxes and spending increases in the new budget 44 times in votes as the Bill was being amended and debated, but on the final vote, knowing it had enough voted to pass the House, he voted ‘No’ so he could come home and tell the people that the Clinton Budget spent and taxed too much.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell once said that we need ‘Blue Dogs’ like Donnelly because they help cover what the real socialists are doing.
Indiana has a great deal of medical device manufacturing, Bayer, Miles Labs, and countless others have a long history here. While the 2.3% tax that Donnelly voted for on medical devices might not seem like a lot if you are talking about a device such as a personal blood sugar meter from Bayer, which is made in Donnelly’s home district, on a top of the line MRI Machine that tax translates into a $11,500 tax on every machine. In order to stay competitive with overseas competition cuts will have to be made and often that means outsourcing. While not every medical device costs as much as an MRI, X-Ray machines and defibrillator’s etc still cost tens of thousands of dollars so the 2.3% tax makes the difference between being competitive and non-competitive. While Democrats are still struggling to explain how ObamaCare will make health care cheaper by slapping over 20 new taxes on it, the medical device tax is already costing Indiana much needed jobs:
An Indiana company’s decision to scrap expansion plans due to a looming tax on medical devices has renewed pressure on the Senate to consider a House-passed bill repealing the tax.
House Speaker John Boehner, in a written statement, urged the Senate to take up the bill “as soon as possible.”
Companies in the medical device industry for months have been calling on Congress to strip the provision. Amid the complaints, though, several firms have already taken steps to cut back U.S. investment out of concern for the tax’s impact.
Cook Medical, an Indiana-based medical equipment manufacturer, last week said it’s nixing plans to open five new plants in the next five years — claiming the tax will cost between $15 million and $30 million a year, cutting into money that would otherwise go toward expanding into new facilities in the Midwest.
“Unfortunately, we have had to shelve these expansion plans and look overseas for that,” Allison Giles, vice president for federal affairs with the company, told FoxNews.com. “It’s a huge amount for us.”