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WASHINGTON — Congress has agreed to a year-end spending package worth $1.3 trillion and with many provisions attached to it.

Three of those provisions tackle issues Indiana Sen. Todd Young has been looking to take care of. One of those issues was smoking. An amendment in the spending plan raises the legal age to buy cigarettes and vaping products in the U.S. from 18 to 21.

“I was prepared to act even before vaping and e-cigarettes became an epidemic in the public consciousness,” Young said in a conference call Tuesday. “I saw this was a challenge and been briefs but numerous public health experts and heard from many parents that this was a problem.”

Young calls the change “perhaps the most important public health measure achievable in this political atmosphere.”

Another important achievement he is boasting it the repeal of the medical device tax, which he and many members of Indiana’s delegation in the House of Representatives have been pushing these last few weeks. The repeal was also successfully attached to the spending bill.

“Thus providing certainty to one of our most innovative industries,” said Young. “Ensuring some measure of certainty to families that rely on the medical device sector for their livelihoods and … advantaging patients that rely on next-generation medical devices.”

Young said Indiana is “leading the way” in the medical device industry.

Finally, Young was pleased that a provision giving a raise to the men and women in the Armed Forces as part of the spending plan. The 3.1-percent pay raise will go to soldiers in all branches of the U.S. Military.

The deal averts a pre-Christmas government shutdown and extends funding through September. Your other senator, Republican Mike Braun, said he is voting against the measure. 

(PHOTO: Indy Politics)