GOP Rep: I Can Break Anti-Tax Pledge Since My District Number Changed

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) signed the anti-tax “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” when he was running for Congress in 2010 to represent New York’s 20th Congressional District, but he now claims he is not bound by the pledge because, after redistricting, he now represents New York’s 19th Congressional District. 

Gibson’s office said: “Congressman Gibson doesn’t plan to re-sign it for the 19th Congressional District, which he now represents (the pledge is to your constituents of a numbered district).”

According to John Fund, this loophole does not even hold up because the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is addressed “to the taxpayers of the ___ district,” which the candidate fills in. In addition, Fund notes half of Gibson’s new constituents were also in his old district. Further, the pledge is also made to “the American people” and not just solely to constituents in a particular district. 

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, which administers the pledge, told Fund that “one would hope Representative Gibson would treat his constituents with more respect than he is showing.”

Gibson, though, continues to insist that he can "consider all comprehensive packages brought forward as a result of bipartisan negotiations" without technically violating the pledge that helped get him the Republican nomination and win two elections. 


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