DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced today that she's invited William Hawkins, the chairman and CEO for Fridley based Medtronic, to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.


    "Companies like Medtronic show how innovation can be a catalyzing force in the American economy," Klobuchar said in a statement. "It is important that Washington hear from business leaders like Bill who share my commitment to revitalizing America's innovative edge to help our businesses find new markets for their products and compete in the global economy."


The move also reemphasizes that Klobuchar is working to improve the working relationship between the federal government and the medical device industry. Industry officials have complained that the FDA approval process is too slow.


    "We commend the recent actions of the FDA and the Obama administration, which recognize and address the impact regulations can have on innovation and job creation," Hawkins said in a statement. "Creating a more predictable and consistent regulatory system makes it possible for patients to get quicker access to novel medical devices developed by companies like Medtronic. The medical device industry is a true American success story and we collectively will write the next chapter through principled collaboration throughout the innovation ecosystem."


The President will deliver the 2011 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday at 8PM