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. islandivan

    The Obama news network or CNN miraculously locates the needed votes to end the shutdown. Whereas other outlets report the votes aren't there. Whether they are there or not is irrelevant CNN. A standing president that does not negotiate deserves the impass that has occurred. I suppose those at the Obama news network or CNN also support a blank check approach to the debt limit which what the failure in the WH wants. Don't you think he's spent enough money or is further unchecked spending something that your network and the voters who work for your network support?

    October 8, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. Libdumb

    He learned these skills from Reid and Pelosi the ultimate ignoramuses.

    October 8, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. MidGround

    First, I am not a Democrat or Republican. I listen to the person that wants my vote and I will vote for the person that I believe in. For now the Republicans need to just give in for now and vote to reopen the gov. They have one year to get it together so in the next election they can get mor Republicans in the senate and house and maybe president. Then they will have a better idea if the american people want or do not want obamacare. If the people do not, then they can take it out. Its time to save face on this one and bite the bullet. Just let the people decide over the next 12 months. If this continues, I think the Republican party will have a hard time next year on election day. I was suprised when Obama was re-elected, so lets remember how the people voted then.

    October 8, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Insight

    Boehner must use this oppertunity to get the govenment open and get rid of Tea party and he will be saving GOP and this beloved nation.

    October 8, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Mike

    Bring the vote on a clean CR forward and end the tea baggers made up crisis.

    October 8, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Bob

    Diana, a CR is a temporary measure. The GOP knows based on Obama's history he is nothing but a liar and would temporarily say okay to the cuts before ramming through a true budget later. Continuing the status quo is not a compromise on a long-term solution. Stop acting like the Dems have given in on everything. They are just posturing.

    October 8, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. RAN BARAM

    Just a creative idea
    The Most Easy And Fast Solution

    Obama should use the federal police together with Dc police put the house of representative all congress under house arrest Include speaker John Boehner
    in the house of representatives chamber

    No Barhroom
    No Food
    No Shower

    Untill Both legislations passed

    Problem will be solved within days

    October 8, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. job

    Nice to see CNN trying to will this issue to the finish line. What's wrong with passing the smaller bills sent to the Senate? Obamacare by the admission of Obo himself has issues. Postpone it for a year and fix them. Eliminate ALL carve outs and waivers. Give us a "clean" Obamacare program.

    October 8, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. holy cow

    wow. so what we have here is 1 man standing in the way of the will of the people and the majority vote of an elected republic. A clear loophole in our democracy which must be closed asap. and speaker boehner must face consequences for his actions.

    October 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. SuperFox

    Hey, those who don't believe in CNN, the president, or the democrate that the votes are there–Why don't you ask Boehner to put the CR on the floor to prove them all wrong . Boehner has nothing to lose, you've got nothing to lose, the nation got nothing to lose. There might be a slim chance that the CR will pass and the government will be open and we all have something to gain.

    October 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. John

    "CNN counts ...."

    There's the first problem with the story. CNN can't count.

    October 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Absarokee

    Amazing that we have a Dictator for President, politics is about negotiation, it is business...the business of running the country.

    October 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. deek5

    Fred Jones. I don't usually use this type of language on these boards but you are truly an idiot. You do realize that we have a 2-party system for a reason? And that nealry half the country votes GOP? What you are asking for is a dicatorship. Obama won an election......not a kingdom

    October 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Lou

    Your time is up, Boehner. Please, let's get this guy out of Congress. He cares only about keeping his job and to hell w/the country.

    October 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. dennis smith

    I tell you what might happen if Obama care becomes law.Those who don't have much money well pull it out of the banks and put it under their pillows,which is what the left wants.That leaves all the people who have millions in the markets Paying for over priced services through Obama care.They don't mind. Doesn't affect them and the millionaire congress is among them.This smacks of class warfare exactly what the eroupeans do all the time.This also leaves open the window to confiscate gold so there is no currency to compete against the 15%ers.This would likely come about after chaos hits the streets when most people living on 2000 or less a month are billed through social security to pay Obama's tax.Next if not before they will want to confiscate your personal weapons.Then you become Russia or China .Its first class warfare on street people looking for justice stolen through the federal reserve banks in bed with the politicians who have been bought and paid for. That is England almost to a T.

    October 8, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Bob

    Republicans remind me of Miley Cyrus.

    Because they are not afraid to incur the wrath of even some of his fans for the greater good of drawing attention to themselves.

    October 8, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. John Boy

    For all those who think the pres should negotiate: You can't put toothpaste back in the tube. The President did darn near everything to negotiate with the GOP in an effort to avoid the shutdown. GOP didn't budge and had no problem shutting down the government. With that complete, NOW they want to negotiate?? What is there to negotiate?? Pottery Barn baby. I would like to see a grass-roots movement to eliminate all re-elections of all public officials. You get one term and an opportunity to do the best you think you can for the country, and then you go with our thank you. It's the whole concept of re-election that drives this maddness. One term – no matter if it's for POTUS or the House, Senate, state govt, even the local school board. No more re-elections for anyone I say... Minimize the damage these knuckleheads cause to this great democracy.

    October 8, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. lmc3

    Of course a lot of Congress representatives would vote to re-open the government. What they know is that they will get kicked out of office for is raising the debt ceiling. And, based on conversations I've had with friends and relatives who live in a variety of states in this country, an awful lot of people are ready to kick out their senators who want to raise the debt ceiling. Washington politicians better grab some reality about money and debt control.

    October 8, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. james sullivan

    Boehner and Tea Party the new Nazi party trying to take over the USA !

    October 8, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. ed

    Isn't that strange CNN? Why is it you have NEVER mentioned ALL the Bills the House sent to the Senate that Harry Reid has refused to allow votes on?

    October 8, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Ralph

    Boehner is going down in history, as the worst house leader ever. From day one he hasn't known what he job really is. It's to whip his house together for a vote, not to keep them from voting.

    October 8, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Rob

    CNN is reporting opinion here...I miss journalism

    October 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Bob

    Wait till the Tea People crash the market with debt ceiling bs and cost Wall St Republicans $ – then, ITS ON!

    October 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Concerned

    People, get with it! The American people should rise up and say "Enough", get the hell to work solve the issues and let the country continue to be the shining star the world expects us to be. We are a little dull at the moment and the world is laughing at us. I bet with all this foolishness going on in Washington, the terrorists are planning an attack due to all the egomaniacs trying to put the country down a path to weakness.

    October 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. BanksinBaltimore

    I'm one of the exceptional workers that is sitting here at my desk and wondering how I'm going to feed my family next week with no pay check. I'm not into politics, but this is cruel and unusual punishment for all government workers affected by this crap that these people are providing. Come to some type of agreement and let us get back to helping the american public that rely on the checks they receive monthly. Now us as goverment workers would get up and walk out and leave this government in limbo as they did us, What would be done then? Just frustrated with all this mess. Grow up and get this country back open and do what is right for the american people.

    October 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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