CANTON - Not to be left out, the two potential Republican challengers to U.S. Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, weighed in on the federal government shutdown Wednesday.
Elise M. Stefanik, the Harvard-educated former George W. Bush White House staffer, sent out a news release criticizing Congress in general and Mr. Owens in particular for continuing to kick the can down the road on budget issues.
In the release, Ms. Stefanik said that Mr. Owens had multiple opportunities to vote to fund the government while delaying or defunding the Affordable Care Act but let political allegiance outstrip his duty to represent the people of the 21st District.
Calling herself a big-tent Republican, Ms. Stefanik said she believed tea party Republicans have real concerns about the overreach of government evidenced by legislation like the Affordable Care Act and was frustrated by the lack of spending proposals by Democrats in Congress.
Ms. Stefanik also said in the news release that if she were a member of Congress she would forgo her pay during the shutdown.
Joseph M. Gilbert, who resigned Friday as the emergency services director of St. Lawrence County to campaign, rejected the narrative that the Republicans were to blame for the shutdown.
Mr. Gilbert faulted Democrats for being unwilling to negotiate a deal that would keep the government running and defund, delay or otherwise alter the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.
Theyre stuck on ideological grounds defending Obamacare despite the negative things it is doing to our country raising health care costs, creating a part-time America, Mr. Gilbert said.
Mr. Owens said Tuesday that while he has been critical of parts of the health care law, he viewed the Republican Partys approach to strike down the law as irresponsible.