Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) on Thursday blasted Republicans for failing to act on the transportation funding bill while touting the repeal of the medical device tax as a "jobs bill."

"This is further evidence of what is really going on here in this establishment," he said on the House floor. "A deliberate effort, now increasingly undisguised, to close the door on action to engender job creation and economic growth before the election. November 6 is what is driving the Republican Congress. Politics, not people. This is not only cynical; it is indeed pernicious. We owe it to the American people to blow the whistle on this."

The Senate in March passed legislation reauthorizing transportation funding for two years with bipartisan support. The $109-billion bill is estimated to create 1.8 million jobs, but the Republican-led House has failed to act on the legislation.

"That bill would means jobs, millions of jobs," Levin said. "No action. The Republican House message is 'our way or the highway' and that means no highways. It is June. There is now the likelihood of no action or none before the construction season is over in numerous states."

"We will hear today Republican efforts to describe the bill before us to repeal the tax on medical devices as a jobs bill," he added. "What it really is is another Republican effort to repeal health care reform."

Republicans on Thursday pushed for legislation, H.R. 436, to repeal the medical device tax, which is part of the Democrat's health care reform bill. The 2.3 percent tax will be implemented on January 1, 2013, and is estimated to raise $29 billion over the next decade.

Republicans claim the tax will hurt the medical device industry and lead to job losses.

“In Ohio alone, this new tax threatens the jobs of more than 35,000 people," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Thursday. "With many medical device manufacturers headquartered in our area, it will surely affect families in our community and our region’s economy."

But Democrats argue the extra costs for medical device manufacturers will be more than offset by the benefit they receive from the new health care law. The White House claimed Thursday the new health care law would give the industry approximately 30 million new potential customers.

[Image courtesy of Connect 2 Canada, Creative Commons licensed]