Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will
October 8th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
1 year ago

Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will

Updated 10/9/2013 at 8:00 a.m.

Washington (CNN) – There appeared to be enough votes in the House on Wednesday to approve legislation to reopen the federal government, according to an ongoing CNN survey of House members.

CNN's vote count

All 200 Democrats and 19 Republicans support passing a continuing resolution with no additional legislative strings attached that would reopen the federal government, which has been partially closed for a week over a bitter policy dispute between Republicans and Democrats on health care. With three vacancies in 435 member House, 217 votes are currently the minimum needed for the measure to win approval in the House.

CNN's vote count appears to bear out what President Barack Obama said on Monday.

"The truth of the matter is, there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in the House of Representatives right now to end this shutdown immediately with no partisan strings attached," Obama said.

But this does not mean a vote will happen any time soon, given that these Republicans have not indicated a willingness to try to force Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to bring a continuing resolution with no strings attached to the floor for a vote. After a meeting with Republicans on Tuesday, Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma told CNN that the speaker told members there would not be a House vote on a "clean" government funding bill.

The clean CR is at the center of the dispute between Obama and Republicans, the latter trying to use the government shutdown as a legislative avenue to help defund the president's health care law. Many House Republicans are demanding that passage of a continuing resolution is contingent on the health care law being delayed – the first step in an effort they hope to use to dismantle it. The president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, have said that the GOP's efforts are a non-starter.

As is the case with all vote counts, the numbers continually evolve and change by the hour and day.

Still, Boehner has maintained that there are not enough votes in the House to pass a "clean" CR.

"There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," the speaker said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "The American people expect in Washington, when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation. I told my members the other day, there may be a back room somewhere, but there's nobody in it."

Republican Rep. Charles Dent of Pennsylvania disagreed with the speaker's assessment. He told CNN on Monday that if the vote were to come to the floor, he believes it would pass.

"I believe a clean CR would pass comfortably," said Dent. "I'm not here to predict the number, I think it would clear the 217 vote barrier."

In response, Obama dared Boehner on Monday to prove that he doesn't have the votes for a clean continuing resolution.

"If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there are not enough votes then they should prove it," Obama said. "Let the bill go to the floor, and let's see what happens. Just vote."

On Monday, as Democrats trumpeted other vote counts that appeared to show there are enough votes in the House to pass a clean government funding bill, a number of lawmakers began to walk back previous statements.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California was one of those lawmakers. After telling Huffington Post and others that he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached, his spokesman said Monday that "that was never the case."

"He does not support a clean CR, does not support it, does not advocate it," said Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes.

Republicans Leonard Lance of New Jersey and Randy Forbes of Virginia, who other news outlets report have supported a clean government funding bill, told CNN on Monday that they did not back the measure.

"Reports that Randy Forbes supports a 'clean' CR are not true," a Forbes said. "This was misrepresented in a story by the Virginian Pilot (newspaper), which subsequently was picked up by HuffPo and other national outlets – none of which bothered to contact our office to verify."

Instead, Forbes has introduced legislation that would fund all of the government except Obamcare, the aide said.

Not all Republicans moved away from voting for a government funding bill with no strings attached.

Late on Monday, Republican Rep. David Reichert of Washington said he would "continue to vote for any legislation that keeps the federal government open."

Likewise on Tuesday, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado announced he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached in a Denver Post opinion-editorial and Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina said he wished the House "would pass a clean CR" during an interview with MSNBC.

Other Republican members, like Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, would not confirm a report from the Miami Herald that said the lawmaker would support a clean resolution.

"The president needs to sit down and negotiate with the speaker," Cesar Gonzalez, a spokesman for Diaz-Balart, said. "In the meantime, the congressman does not think it is wise to negotiate through the press."

The 19 Republicans who support a government funding bill with no strings attached are:

Walter B. Jones, R-North Carolina: Said during an interview with MSNBC that he wished the House "would pass a clean CR."

Mike Coffman, R-Colorado: Announced he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached in a Denver Post opinion-editorial.

Tim Griffin, R-Arkansas: "Tweeted the he would support a clean government funding bill."

Bill Young, R-Florida: A spokesman tells CNN that Young would support a clean government funding bill.

Dennis Ross, R-Florida: A spokeswoman told CNN Ross would support a one-year government funding bill at sequestration levels with no strings attached.

Mike Simpson, R-Idaho: Statement: "Similar to Sen. Rand Paul, I could support a very short-term clean CR, perhaps one or two weeks, while we continue to negotiate on a longer-term bill."

Frank LoBiondo, R-New Jersey: LoBiondo penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Jon Runyan, R- New Jersey: Runyan penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Pete King, R-New York: Told CNN he supports passing a clean government funding bill.

Michael Grimm, R-New York: Grimm told CNN he would support a clean government funding bill.

Jim Gerlach, R-Penn.: A spokesman told CNN that Gerlach would support a clean government funding bill if it came to the floor.

Pat Meehan, R-Penn.: Statement on October 1: "I believe it’s time for the House to vote for a clean, short-term funding bill."

Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Penn.: Fitzpatrick penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Lou Barletta, R-Penn.: A spokesman told CNN that Barletta would vote yes if a clean government funding bill came to the floor. On Tuesday morning, the spokesman said while Barletta is now focused on passing a compromise that includes repealing of the medical device tax, it is fair to include him as a yes vote for a funding bill with no strings attached.

Charles Dent, R-Penn.: Told CNN he supports a clean government funding bill. "I think now it's imperative that we just fund the government," he said.

Robert Wittman, R-Virgina: A spokeswoman tell CNN Wittman would vote yes on a clean government funding bill.

Scott Rigell, R-Virginia: Told CNN on October 1 that he supported passing a clean government funding bill.

Frank Wolf, R-Virginia: A spokesman tells CNN that Wolf will support a clean government funding bill.

David Reichert, R-Washington: October 7 statement: "I will continue to vote for any legislation that keeps the federal government open."

– CNN's Laura Koran and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: Government Shutdown
soundoff (981 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Not enough votes, eh, Boehner? So you say. Why not put it to a vote and find out.

    John Boehner is a liar and rebel against the United States.

    October 8, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Hector Slagg

    I understand a lot of businesses are learning how to get along with a lot less workers. If something ain't broke, don't fix it.

    October 8, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. Tony Z

    Of course there are enough votes. Just bring in to the floor.

    October 8, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. MaryM

    Boehner, but the CR on the House floor and let them VOTE!!

    October 8, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. Peg

    Force him!

    October 8, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Cooler

    Ohio, RECALL BOEHNER!!
    His Tea Party is killing the economy!
    Texas can keep Cruz, we need a clown to make fun of!

    October 8, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Matt

    Wow...what's this, CNN finally calling the Republicans out for their BS? Think I just saw a pig flying outside of my window, but actually it was Mitch McConnell on a segway.

    October 8, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Cooler

    remember who raided the SS trust fund to pay for his voodoo economics and put all the IOU's instead ..oh yeah that great conservative who put us into slow decline – Reagan

    October 8, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Jason

    We should fire each and everyone one of these idiots when election rolls around... putting the hard working backbone of this country out of work.

    October 8, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. lary

    bohner need s to quit or he will cause the GOP to loose everything in the next election watch and see novembers election to prove this fact gop gone from all this is just enough garbage to disolve it when you play with social security your asking for riots

    October 8, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  11. ErnieS

    What do we need to do to Impeach Bohner? Whatever it is, I'm for it!

    October 8, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. Pratt

    "votes are there but won't happen soon". That's the problem...it's not that there is this mystical standoff. The GOP doesn't want anything to happen. This is their grand plan to win the next election. The GOP represents the rich in our society, but they are the most stupid.

    October 8, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. BO

    Keep it shut down.

    October 8, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. jnpa

    It would appear that Boehner is the liar and the GOP is the holdup. I wonder how the GOP is going to spin this!

    October 8, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. Tychi

    The GOP can not talk their way out of this one. The Speaker of the House is preventing the end of the shutdown. He alone is responsible.

    October 8, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Edgard Fueller

    My neighbor is a Republican, he works for the feds and was affected by sequester furloughs and now this. Yesterday after understanding that Boehner is planning to keep this up for another couple of weeks he was livid. He is going to have to cut his expending majorly and he is sick of the games. If they lead us to default and he sees his 401K tank he is going to understand what the tea party he liked so much a few months ago really is for the nation. If you elect talibans you get suicide governing

    October 8, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Joan

    CNN – thanks for keeping up with Rachel Maddow, who last night showed names and photos of the 23 Republicans who have publicly said they would vote for a clean CR to re-open the government.

    October 8, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Everest

    Why don't the Republicans just demand the President resign in exchange for reopening government and raising the debt limit?

    I mean if you are going to start holding the country hostage because you don't like something and can't win at the ballot box, then why not go all out? If you are going to take the country to the brink of fiscal disaster (and over the cliff in the event of default), then why not demand everything you can.

    October 8, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. JKB75

    Why not allow the vote? How can one person dictate why or why not to vote? If there is even a slight possibility to pass, let's go. This is crazy ridiculous. Maybe it should be a blind vote? They can just take a CNN poll to decide. Then no one will know who voted which way. I think that's a great idea!

    October 8, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. ghostwriter

    I'll tell ya.....these republicans haven't figured out the media. Maybe that's why they hate it so much.

    These republicans got out there and said they would vote for a clean CR. I'd imagine it wasn't too long afterwards that they got an earful from the tea folk. Walking their statements back won't help. We got the tape.

    October 8, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  21. TexasDeano

    Hold your ground, Boehner. No deal unless there are significant spending cuts!

    October 8, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. AZTEA

    LOL I just love this argument. At no point are the Democrats interested in lowering the spending levels and now it appears 17 Republicans are getting weak knees. Go ahead social justice demands we keep spending more right? Good grief people. You hated the spending under Bush but now because it's your guy, its OK???

    October 8, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  23. Me

    If it's true whether there are or not enough votes, then at least vote to see which is accurate.

    October 8, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. jack

    Boehner can vote 43 times to repeal Obamacare knowing he doesn't have the votes but won't vote 1 time to end the shutdown or raise the debt limit. Boehner is a hypocrite, and a liar.

    October 8, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. ECP7

    I am truly disgusted by the arrogance of Congress as well as the President. All of which receive timely pay checks. It seems they have no real sense of the damage this shutdown is doing to government employees and our families. How dare they demand that exempted service employees continue to indefinitely report for work while financing commuting and travel costs out of our own pockets without any certain sense of where or when our next pay check is coming from. Family resources are finite and bills such as mortgages, prescriptions, child care, groceries and utilities are all coming dangerously close to being due. What happens when the money runs out and there is still no pay check in site?

    October 8, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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