December 19, 2019

Young Statement on Passage of Tobacco 21, Medical Device Tax Repeal, and Military Pay Raise

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) released the following statement on the passage of the year-end government funding bill, over half of which funds our military, homeland security, and veterans. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 81-11 and included several of Senator Young’s priorities, including:


  • Tobacco to 21 Act, legislation Senator Young introduced earlier this year to protect middle and high school students from the dangers of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping.
  • Permanent repeal of the medical device tax, an effort Senator Young has long championed to strengthen innovation, safeguard patient care, and protect Hoosier jobs.
  • A 3.1 percent pay increase for our men and women in uniform – the largest pay raise in a decade.


“I’ve consistently said that Congress has a duty to work for the American people even in the midst of partisan fighting. President Trump delivered on a smart, responsible government funding deal to protect American families during a time of divided government. Today’s votes demonstrated that we can still accomplish big things in a bipartisan fashion,” said Senator Young. “With these votes, we have protected our youth from the dangers of tobacco addiction, increased defense spending to keep our country secure, supported our military men and women with the pay raise they deserve, advanced the southern border wall system, prioritized more resources to combat the opioid crisis, and repealed more of Obamacare’s misguided policies, including the medical device tax.”


Highlights in the year-end funding agreement include:


Tobacco to 21 Act

In April, Senator Young led a bipartisan group of Senators, including Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), in introducing the Tobacco to 21 Act. This bipartisan legislation addresses the nationwide epidemic of e-cigarette and tobacco use among high school and middle school students by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. The legislation passed out of the Senate HELP committee in June. Roughly 95 percent of adult smokers began smoking before the age of 21. Raising the tobacco age will help protect kids and prevent future smokers.


Medical Device Tax Repeal

The medical device tax is an issue that impacts American patients, families, and innovators. Established as part of Obamacare, this misguided provision placed a 2.3 percent excise tax on numerous devices – from lifesaving pacemakers to surgical gloves and hospital beds. It threatened medical innovation, patient care, and cost the industry thousands of American jobs. Since 2015, Congress has placed this harmful tax under temporary moratoriums, but it was set to go back into effect January 1, 2020. For years, Senator Young has led the effort to secure a permanent repeal of this onerous tax, which is now included in the year-end legislative package. 


Military Pay Raise

As a Marine, Senator Young is focused on ensuring our men and women in uniform receive the support they deserve. This funding agreement includes an increase of $22 billion in defense spending to continue rebuilding our nation’s military, and provide our men in women in uniform with a 3.1 percent pay increase – the largest in a decade.