Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will
October 8th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
7 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 (982 Responses)
  1. Jake Hunter

    John Boehner continues to hold us all captive despite representing the minority opinion...

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. dave

    The idea of a "clean" resolution gives me the impression that anything else would be a "dirty" resolution. Playing politics with peoples' livelihoods, mortgages, etc. is the worst form of politics. There is no empathy in our elected officials, on either side. All that matters is power and money. The next election and the funds to win it are all important to members of Congress. We the people have no bearing on the process, until the election.

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Armyman2007

    Print the names of all 217 so the public can verify.

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Roy

    The debt ceiling will have to be raised more to cover this enormous waste of money for this manufactured government shut down.

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. James Rasmussen

    If this was true unbiased reporting, why have CNN, ABC and NBC all ignored the fact that Reid has not let any of the House bills be voted on in Senate. I guess the only place that counts in their little minds is the House, because the House does not bow down before Obama and worship him.

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. nolyville

    Can you impeach the House Speaker?

    October 8, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. HeroicSlug

    Here's hoping Obamacare is somehow defunded and the shutdown resolved with something to show for it.

    October 8, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Ron McCain

    Just watched Frick and Frack, aka Boehner and Cantor...it is almost amusing to watch their lips flap as if they were right. What losers! I hope the people of Ohio and Virginia dump these "career" politicians and get new blood in there. They think they know what is right for the country, and they know squat. Bonehead is afraid of the House vote because he knows he would lose and lose his job...that is what this is all about...Bonehead losing his job...well, if Ohioans have any sense of what is right, they will vote him out next time he runs. Ohio comes out of this looking bad....

    October 8, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. @joedog

    Umm look it up. There are 3 vacant seats in the House... meaning there's actually 432 eligible votes. 417 would in fact be a majority.

    October 8, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. FLIndependent

    @dnt – Please, people ... All of you who are blaming Boehner for this need to look back just a few years. Pelosi and Reid have both pulled the same stunt of not allowing a vote on things that would have passed. There's plenty of blame of both sides of this mess, and more than enough hypocrites in Washington, DC.
    _________________________________________
    Comprehension would help here my friend – the Dems did NOT shut down the government! If the Dems and/or the President give in to these hostage takers it will set a very bad precedent for the future of our democracy. Boehner needs to take the vote and get the government open again THEN try to negotiate what his lunatic party wants. They are going about this ALL WRONG and hurting innocent Americans. They may love this country as it provides everything for them but they sure don't love the people in it!

    October 8, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. TexasRepublican1951

    Im bout ready to switch parties. The Speaker told a group of people that he would like to see Social Security payments cut across the board 20 Percent. The man is a nutcase

    October 8, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Eric

    So, instead of holding a vote to prove his belief that the CR will not pass, Boehner is just going to decree that it is so, and no vote will be held? So much for the democratic process when one out of 435 representatives is all it takes to bring things to a standstill.

    October 8, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. Susyo

    Are there no statesmen/stateswomen in Washington who are willing to do the right thing – even if it costs them an election? It looks to me like they are all just clinging to their jobs without a thought to what happens to the country. Perhaps with the economy like it is, that is a wise course of action, but things won't get better as long as one-up-manship is all the rage in D. C.

    October 8, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. William

    Did anyone read the article. Three of the supposed yes votes are actually no's. What about the outrage of the number of bills that Reid hasn't brought up for vote. You can expect one party to bring everything to vote while the other blocks everything.

    October 8, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. same old same old

    boy it is just shocking to know that the votes are right there and still nothing is getting done....well...not really. these guys whine about fed employees and vets "getting paid to do nothing". pot meet kettle

    October 8, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Grady

    let them vote...let them vote...let them vote....

    October 8, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. sonny chapman

    Harry Reid hit the hammer on the nail when he called the Tea party folks in Congress ANARCHISTS. They did not come to D.Dc. to legislate, which is hard work. They came to DESTROY, which is easy. This is almost as bad as the Secession Movement that precipitated the "shooting" Civil War of 1861.

    October 8, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. Bob

    Republicans: "Can I burn down your house."

    Democrats: "No!"

    Republicans: "Ok, can I burn the second floor?"

    Democrats: "No!"

    Republicans: "We need to talk about how I can burn down your house."

    Democrats: "No! You're crazy!"

    Republicans: "Why aren't you negotiating?!"

    October 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Malory Archer

    Rick

    Why don't we see if there is a vote in the Senate first for the CR delaying Obamacare for one year? Bring that to a vote on the Senate floor and if it doesn't pass then I am okay to bring the CR with no restrictions to the House floor. But Senate first THEN the House.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A clean resolution NOT defunding the ACA has already passed the Senate. Considering the matter has already been rehashed 43 times – with a side trip to the USSC along the way – it would be nothing more than a waste of time to keep employing meaningless stall tactics.

    October 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Logan

    NO KIDDING!!!, there are a lot of "HITS" against the Obama care web site. People want to research what they are getting forced into... Twist in the statistics to use them to the President's advantage...

    October 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Just a thought

    Just stand your ground Boehner. Obama is not a dictator! He has lost sight of that. Last time I checked our government still had checks and balances for a reason and that was to make it the will of the people. HALF of voters don't want this healthcare plan and that is worth fighting for. Obama has gotten too used to telling Americans what they are getting. Stop dictating and start leading! Extend a hand across the isle for once and stop saying my way or no way!!

    October 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. 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 from 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 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. Brent

    I can't believe we are even having this conversation! Enough.....!

    October 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. Ron

    OOOOOH!!! How ominous!!! Framing the capitol against a dark background. What a crock!

    October 8, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. Kel

    Obama cannot negotiate without rendering the executive useless, not just for himself, but for ever President that follows. Republicans need to stop extracting controversial concessions for doing their most basic job. It's really that simple.

    October 8, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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