Washington, DC – Senate leaders this afternoon announced an agreement to raise the debt limit and end the partial federal government shutdown. The deal must be passed by members of the House. Congressman Chris Gibson released a statement in support of the agreement, which said:
“I will support the bipartisan agreement to fund government operations until January 15 and to extend the debt ceiling until February 7. This agreement also overturns a rule issued by the Obama Administration to ignore verification requirements in the Affordable Care Act. The provision included in today’s agreement enforces the requirement to verify the income of those receiving subsidies in the healthcare exchange. This is a fundamental and commonsense provision that will combat potential fraud, waste, and abuse.
“As I’ve said all along, this government shutdown was completely unnecessary. The bipartisan CR that passed the House on September 30 was simple, fair, and reasonable and should have been enacted, setting the stage for long-term budget negotiations. Instead, it was tabled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who, along with President Obama, said he ‘wasn’t going to negotiate.’ That was the action that shutdown the federal government.
“Since that point, I have continued to work every day with my bipartisan colleagues – particularly in ‘No Labels’ – on agreements that have had support from both sides of the aisle, reopened the federal government, lifted the debt ceiling, and contained policies that were good for Upstate New York. Finding an agreement is not that difficult when we come to the table.
“In the end, all parties, including President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid, negotiated to reach this short-term deal. Of course they did – our Constitutional design, especially in an era of divided government, requires we negotiate and work out differences. And, once negotiations started, an agreement was reached in a matter of several days - had these negotiations started earlier in September, instead of over 10 days after the start of the shutdown, we could have avoided this entire disappointing episode in our country’s history.
“Working out differences in an era of divided government requires reasonable expectations, fair negotiation, and compromise – something both parties clearly need to do better. As a leader in ‘No Labels’, I’m working to bring this leadership to the House of Representatives and I’m encouraged that, among our 80 members, we have made progress building trust and the framework for good faith negotiations moving forward.
“We have much to do, and I’ll be continuing to work for much needed tax reform, thoughtful spending plans that guide us back to a balanced budget, and effective health care reform that truly drives down costs while expanding access and retaining quality care. Finally, given that this agreement funds the government until January 15, we cannot wait until January 25 to begin the hard negotiations that await us.
“Some say that the divide in this country is too wide to bridge. I disagree. The divisions that I saw firsthand in Iraq, Kosovo and Haiti were wider and our servicemen and women helped those war-torn nations reach a better place. As Americans we have much more in common than we ever have apart. Let’s take inspiration from our veterans and bring this country together and move forward.”
“In addition, with this agreement reached, we can move on to work on other policies essential for Upstate New York. Notably, we are finally in formal conference with the Senate on completing the Farm Bill and we must finish and enact these necessary policies in the coming weeks for our communities and family farms.”