September 30th, 2013
02:30 PM ET
11 months ago

GOP congressman: It's time to move on, pass bipartisan bill

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, said Monday his party's strategy to chisel away at Obamacare through the short-term spending bill has been unsuccessful, and he's urging his colleagues to work with Democrats and avert a government shutdown.

"At this point, the hourglass is nearly empty," he told CNN. "I think now it's imperative that we just fund the government, get on with the business of governing."

Members of Congress have just hours before a midnight deadline when they must reach an agreement on a bill to fund the government and avert a shutdown.

The House originally attached legislation to the spending bill, also known as a continuing resolution, that would defund the president's signatures health care law. When the Democratic-controlled Senate stripped those provisions, the House then passed a bill that would delay, not defund, Obamacare and would repeal the medical device tax.

The Senate kicked a "clean" continuing resolution back to the House Monday afternoon, meaning it has no language that makes changes to Obamacare.

Once the ball is back in the House's court, Dent said he will discourage GOP leadership "from launching another volley back over to the Senate."

"I suspect it would not be successful," he said. "I voted to repeal, delay, defund Obamacare. I have all sorts of problems with the health care law. But I also realize it's not going to be changed between now and the end of the day."

The big problem for House Speaker John Boehner, and the main reason he has kept this going despite knowing the Senate would reject it, is because he knows how angry it will make many conservatives who want to keep fighting. Allowing a bill to pass with the help of Democrats would be an act of betrayal for many in the grassroots, and some in his own caucus.

While Dent said an overwhelming majority of House Republicans have a strong "sense of governance," there are a "few dozen who don't have that same sense," referring to the roughly 30-40 House conservative Republicans who have been leading the anti-Obamacare fight.

"So we're just going to have to get on with the business, pass a bipartisan bill and keep the government running," he said.

"I suspect there are close to 200 members of the House Republican conference who want to see a clean CR passed. I'm not saying there'd be 200 voting for it, but certainly there are that many who want to see it happen," he said. "There are many who are hoping yes, and will vote no."

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Budget • Congress • Government Shutdown • House
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. luke,az

    When are the moderate Republicans going to take back their party from the tea party Taliban. The moderate Republicans let the tea party Taliban infect their party when they let Ron Paul bully his way in. Vote these fools out of office !!! ObamaCARE works !!!

    September 30, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. banasy©

    Looks like Rep. Dent will be primaried.

    September 30, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Alex

    "I suspect there are close to 200 members of the House Republican conference who want to see a clean CR passed. I'm not saying there'd be 200 voting for it, but certainly there are that many who want to see it happen," he said. "There are many who are hoping yes, and will vote no."

    So much for those "principles" Republicans are always talking about. If you can't even vote the way you know you should, then you are useless to this country.

    September 30, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. bill

    Stand strong GOP you have to fight the DEMS,CNN,NBC,CBS,ABC and many other puppets of DEMS... We can not even balance our budget before all of this ACA act starts. $$$$$$$ 17,000,000,000,000 of debt today how much should we give our kids 20 trillion 25 trillion wake up folks.... We just might not have much of a future I am speaking for our KIDS.... But as most DEMS say it just doesn't matter how much our kids owe it all will be ok... LIES!!!!

    September 30, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. rick7809

    This guy is toast with the Tea Party crowd. Too bad he will go down in flames with them.

    September 30, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Dallas

    This is all so ridiculous. Obamacare (The Affordable Health Care Act) is the law of the land – the Supreme Court of the United States said so! These obstructionist republicans would rather see the country default on its obligations, cause hardship to millions of Americans NOT because the hate Obamacare but because they hate President Obama. Hopefully they will be in the ash heap of history come November 2014!

    September 30, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Vitter amendment coming up. Dent being called a RINO by the extremist tea potty in 5,4,3,2,1.

    September 30, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. TJ in M-burg

    Congress is the only job that doesn't require holding the skill set of working together and finding a win/win resolution on work issues, be able to get paid while their fellow govenment workers don't, run up debt and refuse to sign the check to pay for it (because they don't like how the majority voted on a issue that has zero to do with the budget).....but best of all they keep their job for another year while others would be fired for creating a hostile work environment. REALLY! I think we need a re-write of their JOA (limit their term of serve to a couple years). It will give them time to write their books and start their second job working for their favorite special interest group (hopefully with good health insurance).

    September 30, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Julie Labrouste

    Every now and then, just when I think that all republican politicians are hopelessly insane, someone like Rep. Dent comes along. It's like watching what happens when one of the zombies actually manages to get some brains.

    September 30, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. nintex

    Too bad Speaker Boehner has in effect passed the gavel to Cruz – now we have Speaker Cruz to deal with. Sheeesh!

    September 30, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. bill

    CNN tell us how much each person today owes for the USA debt ? I have heard $50,000 each women child and boy girl and man owe this today am I right??? Also CNN can you tell us how much we pay each year on the debt???? I would guess it's BILLIONS on a $17,000,000,000,000 debt tell us some real facts PLEASE... How long will it take to pay off the debt my guess is never.

    September 30, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. freedom

    Work with democrats?? That's what we've been trying to do! They won't budge – and are acting dictatorial and not caring about the American people. Not one republican voted for Obamacare, and they crammed it down all of our throats. Is that your idea of being bipartisan???

    September 30, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. teaparty days are numbered

    And the countdown is on until 2014, buh-bye GOP/TP.

    September 30, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Jim Hahn

    Congressman Dent said: "I suspect there are close to 200 members of the House Republican conference who want to see a clean CR passed. I'm not saying there'd be 200 voting for it, but certainly there are that many who want to see it happen. "There are many who are hoping yes, and will vote no."

    In other words, some hope, but very few who will stand by their conviction. You idiots have played political hardball for too long. The GOP has said, by action in the strongest terms, that is is not ready to govern and has no ability to do so.

    September 30, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Renee Marie Jones

    If they bring up the Senate bill for a vote in the House, it will pass. The only reason we do not have a continuing resolution is because Boehner is allowing the Tea Party minority to dictate policy.

    September 30, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "Allowing a bill to pass with the help of Democrats would be an act of betrayal for many in the grassroots, and some in his own caucus."

    There is something completely wrong in the House of Representatives if John Boehner refuses to allow Democrats to help pass a clean funding bill. It is one thing to try and blame Democrats for the pending shutdown but to not allow them to even participate in the process - unless Democrats willingly vote to follow teapers into political oblivion - and then continue to try and blame Democrats is absurd, dishonest, and pathetic. This entire conversation can be shut down if Boehner would work with the side that does not want a government shutdown by including Democrats who are willing to vote for on the Senate bill and give them the opportunity to stop a government shutdown by CALLING FOR A VOTE on the bipartisan bill sent down from the Senate. Otherwise the shutdown is indeed on John Boehner and his House watch and he/they will own it.

    September 30, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. tom l

    @ PD Sniffit the Corporatist

    "The Senate has voted on it and passed it. It is now the House's turn. If the House GOP/Teatrolls refuse to allow even a vote on a the clean funding bill, then the shutdown is on them. Their desperate need to assert control over everything in the House and follow the obscene and ridiculous Hastert Rule, preventing a majority of the House to pass something just because it would likely get every (or almost every) Dems' votes, is GOP/Teatroll brain damage and nobody else's."

    The House has voted on it and passed it. It is now the Senate's turn. If the Senate dems refuse to allow even a vote on a the clean funding bill, then the shutdown is on them. Their desperate need to assert control over everything in the Senate and follow the obscene and ridiculous non-negotiating left, preventing a majority of the Senate to pass something just because it would likely get every (or almost every) Repubs' votes, is the dems' brain damage and nobody else's.

    FIFY

    September 30, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Duke

    Way to go and grow a public backbone!! You will be villified by the TP but doing the right thing takes courage sometimes and I ain't seen much of that on the Hill recently.....if ever.

    September 30, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Gregory. M. Newbold

    Journalists and media types need to stop the use of euphemisms . . . in this case the Hastert RULE . . . really! It's not a rule; it's not a law; its not a corollary, it's not a covenant with the American people . It's and EXCUSE to shield the Republican Congressmen from doing their job and representing the true will of the majority of Americans.

    How can a Congress profess to be the "Voice of the American People" when they systematically avoid putting things to a majority vote among the 435 members of the full House of Representatives?

    I am AMAZED that journalists Wolf Blitzer, Candy Crowley, John King, Dana Bash, Ed Henry [yeah I know he is at Fox now], Bob Scheffer, David Gregory, etc. continue to turn an ignorant eye towards the clear and obvious obfuscation that partisan GOP'ers peddle to the less informed public. It is these people we allow to make a living by way of the 1st amendment [only because they are SUPPOSE to serve the interests of the citizenry]. If they let lies and obvious manipulations of the democracy rules of order go unchallenged, they don't deserve the benefits of "Freedom of the Press".

    With great power comes great responsibility.

    September 30, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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