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Defunding Obamacare Pits Congressman Against Congressman

Rep. Chris Gibson
..:: WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas ::..
Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-20) speaks to reporters in Saratoga County [October 24, 2011]

With about a week to go before all employers must comply with certain elements of the Affordable Care Act and individual health exchanges open, tensions are rising as lawmakers in Washington find themselves embroiled in a  bitter battle over defunding "Obamacare."

On Friday, by a vote of 230-189, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate a measure that would make continued funding of the government contingent on defunding Obamacare. Congressman Rob Andrews, a Democrat of New Jersey, warns the damaging impact of sequestration is looming larger than ever.

On Friday, liberal advocacy group Americans United For Change held what was touted as "an emergency press call" that chided several leaders including including Hudson Valley Congressman Chris Gibson, branding them "tea-party Republicans bent on holding government services hostage until Obamacare is defunded."

Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is perplexed by the Republicans’ steadfast position.  Gibson, meanwhile, muses Andrews and Van Hollen are "playing politics."

The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to strike the Obamacare provision and send the funding bill back to the House.  Gibson is advocating for an agreement in which Obamacare would be delayed.

The continuing resolution currently funding the U.S. government expires on Monday, September 30.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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