U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook) voted with the ayes Friday, Sept. 20 as the House of Representatives approved a measure – the “continuing resolution” – that would keep the government running, but defund the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The measure is not expected to pass the Senate, and sets up a showdown between House Republicans and the Obama administration on keeping the government running. A deal of some sort must be concluded by Sept. 30 to avert a government shutdown. Here’s the text of Gibson’s statement explaining his vote, released Thursday evening:
“I will be voting ‘yes’ on the Continuing Resolution before the House tomorrow. This legislation provides funding for the government from October 1 – December 15, 2013, and it defunds the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
“I’ve been consistent since first retiring from the Army that the Affordable Care Act is not the direction our country should take in terms of health care reform. Although the goals are the right ones: to drive down health care costs and expand access to quality care – this law has not – and will never – live up to those goals. Furthermore, as even the President has acknowledged, this law is not ready and needs to be delayed. I’ve laid out comprehensive alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, and I will continue to advocate for those solutions.
“While this continuing resolution will not be the final package, a ‘yes’ vote on this bill moves the process forward and will allow for negotiations with the Senate. This is necessary to keep the government running.
“For the debt ceiling, I have shared with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and House leadership what I think a fair and productive compromise should look like: we should delay the Affordable Care Act until 2015 and lift the sequester for the same amount of time, linking these two together going forward.
“This requires compromise from both parties and, in the end, we delay a health care law that clearly is not ready for implementation. This is evidenced through the President delaying the employer mandate and other provisions, the fact that many States are not ready to implement their exchanges and many questions left to be resolved. We can delay the law while lifting the harmful sequester for the same amount of time, allowing for the investments necessary for economic growth, medical research, support to education and national defense.”
“In addition, this proposal will allow both parties to work on long-term solutions to health care reform and a permanent pro-growth, fiscally responsible replacement for the sequester.”