In his first 100 days in office, U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson said he stuck to his campaign promises even as he has come under criticism for his stance on Planned Parenthood funding and Medicaid reform.
On Thursday, his 100th day, Gibson touted the record $38 billion in federal spending cuts Congress approved that day. Congress votes on the comprehensive budget today.
“This is the largest cut in our country’s history,” the Republican from Kinderhook said by phone from Washington on Thursday after the late afternoon vote. “Fortunately, we were able to get this resolved without shutting down the government.”
A government shutdown would have kept combat troops from getting paid and would have closed national parks like the Saratoga National Historical Park.
“That would have had a second-order effect across our economy,” he said.
In the measure passed Thursday, a proposal to deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood was defeated; Gibson said he continues to oppose federal funding for the organization except for a portion that goes toward funding for women’s health care.
“I said that I did not think we should use taxpayer money to fund abortions. When you fund Planned Parenthood, who performs abortions, then any dollar that is put into Planned Parenthood is subsidizing abortions.”
Federal funding for abortions is already prohibited by law except in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment.
He called the comprehensive budget coming up for a vote today “a pro-growth, fiscally responsible budget.
“I think we can make up a quarter of the deficit through job creation,” he added.
Gibson said Medicaid changes will turn the program completely over to the states while giving them a block grant to fund it.
On the eve of his 100 days, Gibson hosted a “town hall” meeting by phone on Wednesday that reached 10,000 callers from Saratoga and Rensselaer counties, who asked him questions about the budget and deficit reduction, health care, the Patriot Act, veterans’ benefits and the expansion of renewable energy.
Gibson said constituents asked him to put priority on creating jobs, cutting the deficit and protecting freedoms, which he promised to do when he ran for office.
“We’re staying true,” Gibson said. “To do that, we’re staying in touch. I do town hall meetings all the time.”
Also in Gibson’s time in office, both houses of Congress overturned an income tax reporting requirement that would have created more paperwork for small businesses and farms next year, and the former Army colonel visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in February with a congressional delegation. And he voiced support for creating a nuclear power plant in his district.
In his next 100 days, Gibson plans to introduce a bill that would restrict the president’s use of military force in another country without Congressional approval to only when there is an imminent threat or attack on the U.S.
Gibson has been critical of President Barack Obama taking military action against Libya without congressional approval.
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