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. Bonnie

    The Affordable Act care is not so affordable. Just ask the young Moms that are just barely making it now. They do not have the funds to pay for the health care plan, they do not have the funds to pay for a fine for not signing up. They do feel they should just stop trying to NOT be the lazy American taking free money from the Government. Delaying this program by 1 year and making sense of it would be the right thing to do. Or all the Elected Officials should be foreced to use this program like they are forcing all Americans. I support Boehner for trying to help the little people that will grow up to run this country one day.

    October 8, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Fred

    The United States needs a heavy duty enema to relieve the republican blockage.

    John Boehner and the teabaggers need to be shat out and flushed.

    October 8, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. immafubared

    Boehner has a brilliant plan for victory. Oh, well, in his dreams maybe, otherwise he has zero clue how to solve this. Even a moron would realize by now, Boehner is hoping the Pres calls and comes up with a solution so he can look the winner. The solution will make all of the republs angry, we capitulate again.

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. C Saylor

    I am furlughed as a GOV contractor, you will notice when all these contractors that run the goc are laid off.

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Data Driven

    @Tim Klaiber,

    "Why can't you just report news!"

    They did, Tim. The news is this: Boehner has the votes to end the shutdown, but he's not allowing the votes to go forward.

    I'm sorry that the news makes you upset.

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. jo2

    The President is right to not allow the Republicans to hold the government hostage in an attempt to defund obamacare. This is not the forum to negotiate. I hope the Repubs have dug themselves into a hole on this one.

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Jared Harris

    Canada is starting to sound nice.
    --------------------
    Not to me. A quick jump to hyperspace in the "Millenium Falcon" sounds like the only safe place to be for me. The U.S. dollar is the currency that backs the global economy. When the USD fails, then everything else begins failing along with it.

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. ZYX

    As I said earlier, it is Boehner who is holding the nation as hostage. He should be arrested for harming the US national interest! Thanks for CNN's vote counting to prove this.

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. sara

    It is Boehners fault, noone else!

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. William

    "The American people expect in Washington, when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation." The problem with that statement Mr Boehner is that the leaders of the house republications id Sen Ted Cruz not you. You can eliver anything.

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Chaz

    If Boehner keeps being just a puppet, those Republicans that just parrot the Tea Party's speaking points will eventually figure out how they're being played and he won't like what happens once that finally happens.

    October 8, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. clymer

    It all comes down to arrogance of one man; Obama who will not negotiate and comes across like a Dictator banging and shoe on podium like President Nakita Kruschev did in the 60's. People in this country do not want the debt ceiling raised without there being significant spending cuts and secondly, the delay or repeal of Obamacare is causing jobs to be lost, health care coverage dropped for thousands of retirees at IBM and Time Warner and dozens others, doctors opting out and delaying one key provision after another, including online enrollment for those small business exchanges. Obama did all this. He is the culprit and with all the other scandals in his 5 years, he is the man that should be impeached

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. sara

    Why cant we all get along?!

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Sue

    I am confused on the negotiation part. The Republiclowns want to eliminate the ACA completely, not fix it. The President has said he would listen to possible improvements, but those have not been offered. All the Republiclowns have done is alter their message a bit to sound more reasonable, while their goal is the same. You can't negotiate with soemone that wants to take everything from you. Crazy talk.

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Jeff

    John Boehner: putting a million people out of work to save his own job.

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. actorforchrist

    And we wonder if the news media are attempting to affect outcomes? When was the last time CNN polled every member of the House or Senate to determine how many votes were "there" for a particular issue? And who put them up to it?

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Hillcrester

    Watch the GOP implode. Individual Repub members can't figure which end is up. How good is that!

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Mark

    When this is all over, will someone introduce a bill to keep all public open spaces forever Open for public access? These are our national treasures, not Washington's!

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Suzzanne

    If a Republican politicians' mouth is moving they are lying . They have the audacity to use their favorite sound bite "they are speaking for the AMERICAN PEOPLE . They are worse than my two teenage sons ..don't get their way so they act like kids. I have never been more disgusted with grown men. Is this their last ditch effort at the small amount of power they still have ? GROW UP !

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. HealthCare

    What if the entire citizens and legal residents of the country promise the GOP, that if Obamacare turns out well, we will make sure GOP gets the credit, will they stop then?

    October 8, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Diana

    This story is a complete lie. There is NOT enough votes to end the stupid "Obama will not negotiate" and hates america pact. Another ploy by CNN to blame the GOP for a President who WILL NOT NEGOTIATE.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Negotiate what? ACA is law so why should he negotiate away a law he supports? If the GOP really has the best interest of the furloughed workers and the American public in mind, Boehner will at least allow a vote on a clean CR. Interesting that said CR retains the cuts imposed by the sequester and keeps other spending at the original budget proposed by the GOP – but they never mention that.

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. GOP= Greed Over People (Party)

    2014 going be a good year.

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Fred Jones

    Our system of government is absurd. Why should the speaker of the house have all that power? There should be a way to override his stubbornness.

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. What planet is this?

    @ BO: Keep it shut down.
    ------------------
    be careful what you wish for...

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Furball

    We need a new law. If 50% or more of the house want to put an item to a vote, then they should be able to bring it to a vote irrespective of the Speakers desires. The current method is a dictatorship, not a democracy

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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