Reps. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, and Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, were among the 228 congressmen who voted Monday night for a resolution to provide short-term funding to the federal government while blocking the health care mandate scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
While Gibson and Hanna were back in the GOP tent for the new legislation, the two were conspicuous dissenters from a very different resolution that led to a Washington stalemate and threatened a shutdown of certain government operations. They were the only two Republican House members to break ranks with their party leadership on that Sunday morning vote.
Late Monday, Gibson said in a statement that the latest resolution to come out of the House was “a simple, fair, and reasonable compromise that should be adopted.”
Gibson said the resolution adds two provisions to the Senate’s companion legislation: Reversing the Obama administration’s move to hand subsidies to members of Congress, and derailing the tax that would be imposed on Americans who refuse to get health care coverage after the Afffordable Care Act kicks in Jan. 1.
“Congress gets a fix before the American people, and that’s simply wrong,” Gibson said.
The congressman said it was also unfair that American consumers would have to face a penalty if they resisted the so-called Obamacare mandate after the administration earlier postponed the mandate until 2015 for large employers.
The new GOP plan would keep government funding flowing through mid-December. It differed from a resolution passed early Sunday in that the earlier version would have delayed Obamacare for a year.
“That is policy that I support, but at this late hour is an overreach,” said Gibson, whose 19th Congressional District includes Otsego, Schoharie and Delaware counties.
The Monday night vote was slightly less partisan than the Sunday vote, when Gibson and Hanna were the only Republicans to vote with the Democrats. Nine Democrats strayed from their party leadership by voting with the Republicans out to stop the Affordable Care Act mandate from taking effect. A dozen Republicans voted against the measure, although most of them did so because they thought the legislation didn’t do enough to upend Obamacare.