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Government reopens, Gibson votes with Dems

Oct 17, 2013 12:05 am
Congressman Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook), who represents Greene and Columbia counties and much of the Hudson Valley in Congress, voted with Democrats and 86 other Republicans Oct. 16 to reopen the government and avoid a default on the United States debt. “As I’ve said all along, this government shutdown was completely unnecessary," Gibson said in a statement released before the vote, which was 285 to 144 to reopen the government. Jimmy Vielkind in Capital New York explains that Gibson originally voted with the G.O.P. on Sept. 19 to defund the Affordable Care Act, as a condition of providing funding for the federal government, which led to the shutdown. Just before the Oct. 1 shutdown, Gibson was one of two Republicans to switch on a last-minute attempt to keep the government open. What happened in between to cause the switch? On Sept. 22 27-year-old investor Sean Eldridge (married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes in Ulster County) officially announced he was running against Gibson in 2014. That was not a surprise, though, as Eldridge had long signaled a forthcoming campaign. So why the change for Gibson? “He supported the [Obamacare resistance] policy, but at some point you have to consider reality. Less than 48 hours before a shutdown, that was an unreasonable act; a bridge too far.” said Stephanie Valle, Gibson's deputy chief-of-staff, in Vielkind's column, in explanation. So Gibson ended up siding with New York Democratic Senators Kirstin Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, who also voted to reopen the government Oct. 16.