September 30th, 2013
02:30 PM ET
10 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. Data Driven

    Don't tell Ms. Bash; tell your colleagues in the House.

    Dent must be in an unsafe district. LOL!

    September 30, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. Thomas

    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.

    30-40 House conservatives need to find new jobs !

    September 30, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    "I suspect there are close to 200 members of the House Republican conference who want to see a clean CR passed.
    ---

    they are too scared of the tri-fold tin foil hat society that threatens them with primary fights if they don't bow to their will.

    September 30, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. O'drama ya Mama

    Good morning Charlie Dent. I see you have woken up from your slumber. Can you do us a favor and wake up your classmates, they all seem to be in dreamland still.

    September 30, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I suspect that you're going to get primaried Mr. Dent for having common sense. Shut it down at your own expense.

    R.I.P.G.O.P. 11/14

    September 30, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    -Thomas

    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.

    30-40 House conservatives need to find new jobs !
    *************
    Come election time, we'll be sure to give them a hand in their job search by summarily dismissing them from public service,

    September 30, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. 333maxwell

    To show how bad Obama-care is for the nation, the GOP is willing to torch the country to ash at a time of economic recovery to illustrate their point about how much Obama-care would hurt us.

    Have you seen what their insecurities are doing to the WORLD markets? If we give them another year like they want, we will all be dead and buried.

    Strategically genius, just genius (all sarcasm intend)

    September 30, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    A Rational Repub. !! That is news.

    September 30, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Larry NY

    Finally at least one grown up republican talking sense, I give him full credit for comeing forward and sharing what is on his mind..Good job Charlie.

    September 30, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Ragatang

    If only John Boehner can be the speaker of the House instead of being the speaker of Republican Party. He's too weak to lead.

    September 30, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Rep Dent better look over his shoulder. Tea Party bullies like Sen Ted Cruz do not like colleagues who do not pass ideological purity tests.

    September 30, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Jake from Canada

    I don't see how they have much of a choice now. They've made their statements. It's still an overwhelmingly Republican bill. They can brag about the reduced spending levels and wisely vote to keep the Government going. It's time for the Republicans to be reasonable and recover their remaining political capital. If they refuse, they will pay in the upcoming election. The only way this can backfire for the Dems is if they unilaterally concede defeat. But when's the last time that happened........oh..........dang.

    September 30, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    It's all very simple:

    Question: What funding legislation can pass both chambers of Congress?

    Answer: A clean funding bill.

    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.

    September 30, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    It's going to be fun watching the radicalized Teatroll RWNJs cannibalize Boehner next week and demand his ouster as Speaker.

    September 30, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. patrick643

    They should have Obamacare take affect over a one year period, so that people will have a chance too sign up for it before it goes in to effect. They should not defund it in anyway ,because it is the fist plan they have passed in years that actually helps people that need healthcare coverage .

    September 30, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. What's in that tea anyway?

    The only reason more Republicans don't do this type of bi-partisan governing is because the Tea Baggers are truly irrational. They play only to the hatred and divisiveness...they are those children we went to school with that were bullies and sore losers. If those spoiled brats couldn't win, they just stomped their feet and pouted. And not one of these Tea Baggers have won a national election...so we have what we have today, a few angry ignoramouses doing all they can to destroy this country.

    September 30, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

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

    FIFY. It's only the Republicans who are making demands for changes to anything. Isn't anything sacred with them? Or is it all about the right wing's sense of faux values..

    September 30, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. bstateredrep

    It has been a while since I've been impressed by a GOP congressman's viewpoint on a contentious issue. Maybe the lack of reasonable discussion for the past several years has caused me to lower my standards but...kudos to you Rep. Charlie Dent.

    September 30, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    A Republican who makes sense? OFF WITH HIS HEAD!

    September 30, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Just like with the Quitta from Wasilla, the GOP regrets the monster it created with the tea folks.

    Actually, now that I think about it, the tea yahoos have really put repubs between a rock (the Koch brothers, who created the tea's) and a hard place (all the cash repubs get from the Koch brothers and others of their ilk that they need to pay for misleading ads, efforts to restrict voting rights, and all the other shenanigans they pull during election season because if they tried to run on their track record, it would be an EPIC FAIL).

    September 30, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    Keep digging that hole GOP. Can you see China yet?

    September 30, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. Donna

    The only people worried about the government shutting down are government dependents. Many of those are Medicare recipients that have had $700 BILLION taken from their Medicare funding to pay for Obamacare. They need to remember this fight would restore their Medicare funding and get rid of Obamacare, which is the greatest danger to their Medicare money. $700 BILLION was just the beginning of the theft as the price of Obamacare skyrockets. Now up to $1.8 TRILLION, double the original cost. Soon to be $3 TRILLION.

    September 30, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    "referring to the roughly 30-40 House conservative Republicans who have been leading the anti-Obamacare fight."

    Actually, it's about 80 lead by NC repub Rep. Meadows and whom Wall Street Journal conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer dubbed the “suicide caucus.”

    I wouldn't care if all those yahoos offed themselves; what boils my blood is how they are harming MY COUNTRY.

    September 30, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Tea Bagger

    Good Bye Represenative Trent!. There is no room in OUR party for any moderates or people with any common sense. You are RHINO and we will have none of it. This is OUR country to ruin and we will ruin it how we want, and not any other way. Bipartisan Schmipartisan. If the people of America wanted Obabmacare they would have told us that at the polls, but since they elected just enough of us whacko birds to disrupt the country, that is what we are going to do.
    We do not like it on a a page,
    We do not like it in a rage,
    We do not appreciate it right in front of me,
    Possibly due to my at home lobotomy....

    September 30, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Wilson

    "I don't often talk to Obama supporters, but when I do, I order a large fries."
    ––
    Funniest and most accurate thing I've read today!
    $

    September 30, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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