The Senate voted 56-42 to kill an amendment sponsored by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) that would have removed the medical device excise tax provision from the new healthcare reform law. Two members abstained from the vote.
The amendment was co-sponsored by Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK), Scott Brown (R-MA), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and John Thune (R-SD). Democrats Evan Bayh of Indiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska broke ranks and voted with the Republicans in favor of striking down the tax.
Brown's office lamented the death of the anti-tax amendment, according to MassDevice, saying in an emailed statement that "at a time when unemployment in Massachusetts is hovering near 10 percent, Sen. Brown believes Congress should be doing everything in its power to create jobs--not imposing a jobs-killing tax that will hurt businesses and consumers in the Commonwealth."
The levy, a 2.3 percent excise tax on sales of everything from bed pans to stents, was part of the healthcare reform act passed by the House earlier this week and subsequently signed by President Obama.