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. Malory Archer

    Gabbo

    Obama owns this shutdown – all of it.

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

    You really should try to get out more. The only people who believe that statement are those who follow unfair/unbalance news and the spin CNN tries to put on everything to create false equivilancies. The entire rest of the world blames crybaby and the teabag toddlers.

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. immafubared

    Funny that two people agree with me, George Will and Krauthammer: the repubs should pass the CR without any changes to Ocare and let the people see just what a total train wreck it is and they will gladly vote for the party that tried to stop this sucker. They both however have a feeling people like Boehner are fearing Ocare works, then they are screwed.

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. Paul Hopfgarten

    People are fools to think Obama will work with the GOP on ANYTHING. Why give away the one bullet in your gun? Government is entirely too big AND Obama is a horrific president. Frankly, if the government stays shut down until Jan 20 2017, I'd be just fine with that

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. DavidInNC

    I was a republican for over 30 years. Worked for the party. Worked the polls. I am here to say that never again will I vote for any republican. I can only feel pure hatred. The GOP has tried to turn America into Russia. They do not believe in the democratic process. It's their way or no way. Same goes for that group called the tea party. Christ is ashamed of you, Boehner.

    October 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Yeah Right

    Little Billy Thompson

    I don't see the problem here. Has anyone really noticed the shutdown and does anyone really care?
    ---

    And here we have yet another example of life inside the bubble. "it doesn't affect me, so no big deal". Well, maybe if it was your kid not getting into a clinical cancer trial or your grandparent not eating because meals on wheels is not deliveriing , you not able to get a mortgage or pay your rent because you are not getting a paycheck , that you could step out of your selfish self centered universe long enough to see that many others ARE suffering.

    October 8, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Cathy

    I think we should try Boehner for sabotage / treason if he wont bring this to the floor

    October 8, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Omega

    We really didn't need any more proof that this was all the GOP's fault! All the misinformation and lies that apparently the news media can't see! Now, do you need any more reason to vote the Republicans out of power?

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Diane

    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare..." Has anyone in Washington read the consitution lately? Whatever happened to "we the people"? There is a reason that it does not say we the politians.

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Bubba Ray

    Republican/Tea Party definition of compromise: Give us everything we want now so we can demand even more next time.

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Honey Badger

    The tea baggers ought to be brought up on treason for attempting to destroy the government. This was planned from the day that President Obama was elected back in 2008, and they have admitted that their agenda was to defeat anything that he attempted to achieve. The fact that he was re-elected only fueled them further to destroy his presidency and if that means taking the country down with it, then so be it. This action is historical. Never before in the history of American has there been so much hatred strewn at a sitting president. Their actions are so transparent that if it wasn't causing so much unnecessary pain to hundreds of thousands of people, it would be laughable. God, please bless this country with a quick and lasting solution and stop the madness. Amen!

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. zaphed

    The purse is the congress job.. The obamacare law passed by congress.. move on with it and try to make america functional again.

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. stan

    Harry Reid won't allow a vote on anything in the Senate either. Why don't you report that story?

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Steve

    Fire Boehner, end this stupid shutdown get this country back on track. Also, if they need to raise the dept ceiling somethings wrong. we're spending more that we're taking in. How long can that go on?

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. deek5

    "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."

    They are doing their job. They are voting, or in this case, not voting, according to what the voters who voted them in want. Why do so many liberals expect the GOP to just go along with what Obama wants? There's a 2-party system for a reason.

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Jarico

    I agree with the president's stance here. DO NOT negotiate with terrorists, even if they are holding the economy and country hostage. There is no way the GOP or USA come out of this in better shape. Do not let the tail wag the dog.

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. Jason

    The US Government does not negotiate with terrorists or hostage takers. That includes negotiating with the Republican Party holding this country hostage. If the Obama administration caves this sets a bad precedent for any future president, regardless of party. These types of tactics and ineffective government leadership (both parties) are detrimental to the wellbeing of the nation.

    October 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Bob

    Yeah, a CNN survey is reliable. Even so, the Republicans are right to finally demand this arrogant punk of a president finally consider REAL COMPROMISE on something. He only does so when his back is up against a wall and forced to do so.

    October 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. shelbydawkins

    even though we are in a state of disarray in government. I'm still glad that sorry excuse for a man – romney – lost and is sitting at home watching captain kangaroo.

    October 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. conrad

    There will certainly be enough votes in both houses come November 2014. Boehner is making sure of that.

    October 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. words

    "Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." –Mark Twain

    October 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. trp48

    So te President has the power to overide Congress to declare war yet he doesn't have the power to end the shutdown? Odd. In the end it is the President who is resposible for the shutdown. This isn't something that just happened, things have been getting worse for a while and this is the last straw for the GOP who won't budge because Obama wants to give the okay to raise the debt ceiling, i.e. put us in debt even more before ACA kicks in which will increase our debt. The Democrats and Republicans have let this overspending go on for too long without making significant spending cuts. So it isn't a party issue, it's a government issue. We've had shutdowns before people, some lasting several weeks, and we made it out okay so stop all of the petty whining about not being able to go to a park or getting your passport processed. 800,000 employees working for the government is a sign of a pretty bloated government.

    October 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. eric

    IS it just me or 217 can be trumped by a no vote of 218 : 217+218=435? Unless there are two vacant seats.

    October 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Randy Worley

    So the people want the shutdown to end. The representatives want the shutdown to end. But Boehner won't let any of that happen. The will of the people is no longer being represented.

    This man is a traitor. Any person who votes for him ever again is also a traitor.

    October 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. rs

    A perp walk with handcuffs on Boehner, McConnell and Cruz will help the wavering on the Right focus on fixing their little illegal coup.

    October 8, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. John Rosen

    CNN is once again over the top with their commentary. They have published voting results in advance of the actual vote. This should qualify CNN to obtain a Government grant to continue its research into mystic powers. Harry Reid will sponsor the bill.

    October 8, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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