Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will
October 8th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
10 months 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. kopana1

    The Tea party needs to find another country to call their own...go to islands, your corporations interest groups can afford to support you in style but leave us decent Americans alone to work, play, and have a normal family life. Also, do us a favor and take Boehner with you.

    October 8, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. MorphyTransposed

    Agreed with earlier poster. Seems really close and not a definite, but definitely warrants a vote on the issue. Let the majority speak with a vote.

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. rob

    Boehner is the worst speaker in modern day history. He has no spine. He cannot stand up to the terrorists with in his party.

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Little Billy Thompson

    I don't see the problem here. Has anyone really noticed the shutdown and does anyone really care? I haven't noticed a change here so....maybe we should leave it shutdown and reallocate the money else where

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. gary

    When Obama won re-election the financial backers of Romney and the Republican party pledged to obstruct the administration from functioning. And they have been successful. I hope they are proud of their actions. The scary part is the control the corporations, Koch brothers, the Adelson's and the other millionaires have over the elected representatives of the Party. To allow unliminted campaign funds to candidates that they choose is not democracy. Money has polluted the American political system and until it is removed these problems will recur.

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Kool

    When I see the "BREAKING NEWS", I really want to see something meaningful. In this one, I did not get it.

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. Christine

    Boehner and Mr. President please sit down and rethink your difference!
    Remember your hurting the American People!

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hey GOPTeaPers. I've read your comments. Well, OK, not all ... some aren't worth reading past the first few words.

    You people do understand don't you that you are but a very small minority in the United States of America and as such represent a very small fraction of Americans?

    You know, GOPTeaPerfolks. What I'm trying to say here is that while I understand that you folks are new to politics and such ... the bottom line is it is not always ALL. ABOUT. YOU. It never will be. Nor should it ever be.

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Chahta

    How can we vote Boehner out? The actions he's taking makes him a saboteur. There should be a floor vote to prove there are or are not enough votes in the House.

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. blake

    Cut the pro-Obama propaganda. Try news reporting for a change.

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. gary minor

    I'm a conservative. But, in truth....let's get the government open. Too many individuals are being hurt over politics. My conservative politicians need to learn to pick their battles in a way that americans don't suffer. This is not the time to prolong unneeded agony.

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Johnny

    CNN may say it. Moderate republicans may say it. But when it comes to actually voting, the moderates have been sticking with the conservatives. Just because CNN says so, doesn't make it so.
    CNN, you continue to show your bias (and insult the readers with less ability to think independently, of which there are many judging by most of the responses here).

    October 8, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. kirk

    S no, you forgot to mention the gop budget cuts that same agency they conned you into thinking they care about, more lies and misinformation, nom nom nom, don't forget to wash it down with a big glass of koolaid, oh what fun!

    October 8, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. sammy750

    Boehner, there never was a speaker or a Republican party that held the nation HOSTAGE either. You are the real terrorist of this nation. Obama has nothing to negotiate with Boehner. Boehner only mission is to destroy Obama, that has been the Republican position since 2008 and Obama become President.

    October 8, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Donna

    when is the medias going to stop doing a disservice to the public by saying both parties are to blame.
    It is not about showing you are neither left or right media. It is about facts
    And the facts are the tea party republicans planned this and are responsible
    This effort to not appear biased takes away frou the truth of the story.
    There is not plenty of blame to go around. This is all on the tea party republicans
    come on cnn, you can do better

    October 8, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Danita

    Why does Boehner need to do anything... Obama is running the country alone... What he says is the rule of the land.

    October 8, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. carl marks

    Our voters want the shut down.. But,it`s not our fault...We promised to do this..But,it`s not our fault...We refuse to stop,..But,it`s not our fault.

    October 8, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. enoughalready2309

    Rick: Obamacare has nothing to do with a CR. Learn the difference between mandatory spending and discretionary spending. What is Boehner afraid of by putting a clean CR to a vote?

    October 8, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Bob

    Boehner, McConnell and Cantor each have egos which exceed all logical reason. Who do they really think they are kidding with their constant attempts at deception? The votes are there. Tell these three "gentlemen" to swallow their respective juvenile pride and allow the US to get back to business.

    October 8, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. EdR

    Lets negotiate. You give me what I want, and in return I will not burn down your house. Then 10 weeks from now we can negotiate again. Sound good?

    October 8, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. roro

    So basically this makes Boehner a LIAR. He said on the Sunday morning shows that they did not have the votes, and now we know they do. LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE! I guess that's part of free speech to him and his cohorts.

    October 8, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. Ace

    Bonehead is at it again.

    Bring to a vote (no strings attached) or watch a lot of Republican's lose elections in 2014.

    October 8, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Bob

    CNN is lying again. A partial govt shutdown with 83% still open is a joke.

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. enoughalready2309

    Johnny: Prove it with an actual vote. You can't call out a media outlet for reporting something when the speaker himself seems to doubt whether it will pass or not. If it won't pass, put it to the vote and gain leverage if it doesn't pass.

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. ThinkAgain

    @Little Billy Thompson: "I don't see the problem here. Has anyone really noticed the shutdown and does anyone really care? I haven't noticed a change here so....maybe we should leave it shutdown and reallocate the money else where."

    Well, maybe if you turned off Fox and came out of your bunker every once in a while, you would notice.

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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