A repeal of the medical device tax would not catalyze a deal to end the government shutdown, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday.
While some Democrats have said the elimination of the tax could help finalize a short-term spending agreement, Hoyer has another take.
“I don’t think it would work,” he told reporters in the Capitol.
Hoyer, the Democratic whip, gave three reasons for his pessimism.
First, Democrats are not willing to negotiate the 2010 healthcare law in the context of the separate fiscal fight over the shutdown, Hoyer said.
“It’s an extraneous issue, and if you start this extraneous issue, then the next extraneous issue, where do you stop on extraneous issues?” he asked.
Second, the Republican proposal to repeal the tax – which was tabled by Senate Democrats Monday night – would have added almost $30 billion to the deficit, and Democrats won’t support such a measure, Hoyer warned, without an offset for those costs.