Local News

October 4, 2013

Challenger calls Owens part of government shut-down problem

Challenger urges congressman to forego salary



Owens’s spokesman Tim Biba said the congressman has consistently called for both parties to work together to find a solution to the government shut-down.

“Congressman Owens has said all along that we need to reopen and responsibly fund the government. This requires both parties to negotiate and work together,” Biba said in a statement.

He noted that Owens has long supported making reasonable changes to the Affordable Care Act, such as repealing the medical-device tax.

He said Owens was one of 17 Democrats who voted with Republicans on an amended stop-gap spending bill that would repeal the medical device tax and, he hoped, prevent a government shutdown.


Biba also said that Owens (D-Plattsburgh) and his colleagues are not exempt from the Affordable Care Act.

Members of Congress and their staff, Biba said, are the only group of employed people who, by law, must purchase health insurance in publicly run exchanges.

He said section 1312 of the bill clearly explains that provision.

When asked if Owens’s would be foregoing his paycheck as Stefanik suggested, Biba said the congressman’s paycheck was the “least of his worries right now.”

“Congressman Owens is focused on how we can re-open the government for his constituents and will deal with this issue (pay question) when that is accomplished,” Biba said.


Stefanik was also pressured on her position on the shutdown, as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targeted her in a news release, saying she refused to say how she would have voted on the shutdown.

“Elise Stefanik kicked off her campaign with an irresponsible message: Do as I say, not as I do. Stefanik is staying silent on her policy position, but that hasn’t stopped her from lobbing bombs at her opponent for voting to keep the government open, without ideological strings attached,” Marc Brumer of the DCCC, said in a news release.

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