A spokeswoman for Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) on Thursday offered a peculiar explanation for why the re-elected congressman is abandoning Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge: his district number changed.
Originally elected in 2010 in New York’s 20th Congressional District, Gibson won a second term this year in the state’s newly redrawn 19th Congressional District. That, Gibson’s spokeswoman Stephanie Valle said in a statement, is sufficient reason to walk back the pledge he signed two years ago. Like the old 20th District, Gibson’s current district also encompasses New York’s Hudson Valley although it does lean slightly more Democratic.
The Congressman signed the pledge as a candidate in 2010 for the 20th Congressional District. As a 24-year veteran of the United States Army, without a legislative record, the pledge was his commitment to the district he was running to represent that he would fight for Upstate families, small businesses, and farmers in Congress, recognizing that high taxes are an impediment to growth in New York and result in less discretionary income for NY families. Since being elected, he has fought for these pro-growth policies that include reforming the tax code to close loopholes that don’t grow the economy so that we can lower rates for families, small businesses, and farms in New York.
Regarding the pledge moving forward, Congressman Gibson doesn’t plan to resign it for the 19th Congressional District, which he now represents (the pledge is to your constituents of a numbered district). Those voters have just evaluated the Congressman on his record and his record is the same as his position now – again, that he’ll fight for tax policy that helps those he represents.
He is opposed to increasing the marginal rates for individuals and businesses and has voted against this as a standalone measure; however, he will consider all comprehensive packages brought forward as a result of bipartisan negotiations.