By Kyle Wind
Citing efforts to make the tax code fairer, limit malpractice lawsuits and bureaucratic regulations he said inhibit economic growth, and help the region recover from last year's tropical storms, U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson said Monday he plans to run on his record.
Gibson, R-Kinderhook, is a first-term congressman in the 20th Congressional District who will face Democrat Julian Schreibman of Stone Ridge in this fall's campaign to represent the new 19th Congressional District.
Speaking at a campaign kickoff event that drew more than 100 people to his town of Ulster headquarters on Ulster Avenue, Gibson spoke of the importance of controlling costs he said impede growth in the forms of taxes, government regulation, health care, and energy.
The tax code is too complex and unfair to business owners, said Gibson, and the nation needs "pro-growth, comprehensive tax reform," which he said he supported by voting in favor of the bipartisan budget.
Gibson said to address government regulation, he supported the Reins Act, which was passed in the House but is awaiting action in the U.S. Senate. The bill requires new bureaucratic regulations that would cause more than a $100 million impact to be approved by Congress.
On health care, Gibson said President Barack Obama's efforts were well-intentioned, but the health care law will drive up costs and not meet the president's goals for increasing accessibility. Gibson said the law should be repealed and replaced with one that embraces "market-oriented ways to drive down costs" like allowing competition across state lines.
On energy, "We have to at once address the fact that we've got hardworking families right now that put their disposable income in the gas tank," said Gibson, who said the country needs to become more energy independent.
"But as we do that, let's also recognize the fact that there's more that we could be doing to get our energy independence down the line in terms of clean and renewable, investments in research and development and prototyping to drive the total cost, for example, of photovoltaics down to 9 kilowatts per hour," added Gibson. "This is a country that can do hard things. We can do this too. We'll get it done, and we'll get it done right here in the Hudson River Valley."
Congress should also seek "fair trading agreements" that put the United States on a level playing field with foreign competitors, said Gibson, citing recent agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia as examples.