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. OrganicManLives_N_anOraganicUNiverSE

    so CNN caught Boehner with his pants down, nothing much to see ...so move along.

    October 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Data Driven

    @Eric,

    There are three vacant seats.

    The CR would pass, if John Boehner would bring the vote to the floor.

    October 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Sniffit

    "The Obama news network or CNN miraculously locates the needed votes to end the shutdown. Whereas other outlets report the votes aren't there."

    Name them so I can check. I'll give you Faux, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Breitbart and Red State as freebies...now, name the ones that are actually credible.

    *crickets*

    October 8, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Susan

    This is what the Dems ought to do–

    Find a moderate Republican house member to support for Speaker. With the votes of the Democrats and non-radical Repubs, elect this person Speaker, removing Boehner and unclogging the House.

    October 8, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Dale K

    If one man – just one – can hold the Govt, hostage, then changes need to be made. There is no compelling reason for the Speaker of the House to decide what goes to the floor and what doesn't. The people's representatives are being ignored by the will of one man.

    October 8, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. SmokenJoe

    It's criminal what President Obama is doing...He is the worst negotiator in the history of these United States!!!

    October 8, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Bob

    Why should anyone have to pay Republicans a ransom to do their job?

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Bob

    I don't really believe this article. Obama should negotiate. He is being obstinate. Once a clean CR is passed why would Obama make any good faith effort to cut spending ? Both parties are at fault but what is disturbing is the biased and often untruthful articles presented by news corps like CNN. I work for DC lobbyists as a freelance writer. I know how the media can work for or against a political agenda.

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. dhicks0559

    I would venture the same notion about the individual funding bills the House has already passed and how they would fare in Senate floor votes. Reid is not allowing the bills on the Senate floor because red state democrats might not survive if they voted against them. This cuts both ways.

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Malory Archer

    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.

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

    Are you suggesting they should just do without and stick responsible people with the bill when their kids get sick. Or are you suggesting their kids should just die if they're sick or injured? If "young moms" make less than 96k for a family of four, they qualify for subsidies, so please put your strawman away.

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Data Driven

    @dennis smith,

    Obamacare IS law, and has been for three years.

    Conservatives are wrong on so many issues because they don't know anything.

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Macruder

    And CNN is not pro Obama?-Give me a break they are neutral. Just look at the the array of comments here and the article. "As is the case with all vote counts, the numbers continually evolve and change by the hour and day.", but they(CNN) must have been there just at the right moment they wanted.

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. clarence leblanc

    Force a vote. Find a loop hole...delare the war measures act...anything. Send these idiots packing. They want small goverment because they have no idea how the rest of it works. They want the economy to crash because they can then finally blame something real on the President regardless that they made it happen. These CINO's (Christians in name only) will need to be marginalized and strangely enough...it's for their own good. They have been duped in voting agaist their own best interest. They have been told facts are left wing propoganda...so they are lead by Hannity Beck...and by anyone with a keyboard and a imagination.

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Sniffit

    "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."

    Raising the debt ceiling is not about future or impending spending. It's about spending that Congress already authorized, mandated and appropriated and ALREADY TOOK PLACE. Get it through your skulls.

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. martz

    Since when did CNN start tallaying the legislative votes, before voting even happens. Talk about covering up for the administration. Start covering the news and not covering up or making up news. CNN is getting terrible at misreporting anymore.

    October 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. rtrauben

    this seems treasinous. can the executive branch legally imprison boenher until he allows a vote?

    October 8, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Scott

    I've heard of the Senate not taking up the trickle of bills that house is presenting on CNN, Fox, and NPR (yes, I have to monitor multiple news sources and then decipher the truch by checking sources and diseminating opinion and emotion from true journalism). I believe the senate should not take these bills up as it lead credence to the notion that a Senator Cruz has become a de facto leader. The Senate should not be put in a postion where they take up these little bills when the shutdown over "our way or no way" exists.

    October 8, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Winston5

    C'mon Boehner, if the votes are not there, PROVE IT.

    October 8, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Dallas

    What is wrong with Boehner? As was stated above, this presents a golden opportunity to purge this nation of the tea party and get back to a real 2 party system. Show some courage Speaker Boehner, let the House vote on the clean CR and get this over with. If you don't your name in the history books will have a great big asterisk next to it.

    October 8, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

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

    Indeed he is. And using my conservative husband (who no longer calls himself a Republican but will nonetheless vote Republican) as my home grown barometer (again) I will say that John Boehner's House of Representatives is in real danger of losing his House.

    My barometer has twice voted against the GOP ... and that my friends IS a big deal. He is now livid at the shenanigans of the House of Representatives. To be blunt: were I a moderate Republican, I would be very very concerned.

    Just saying.

    October 8, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. TommyVIO

    So... The shutdown costs about $1 billion a week? How about paying for it then???

    I say, all the active house members and senators (I mean ALL, including the President) should be penalized for the total amount of $$$ that the country loses due to the shutdown.

    So, we have 435 people in Congress, 100 senators, 1 president. Split that $1 Billion by 536 and each member mentioned above should pay $1,865,671.64 per week for their games. Maybe this way they will try to resolve this quicker.

    October 8, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Toad

    Boehner lies to the american people! You can't trust someone who lies. Boehner only cares about holding his speakership not the american people!

    October 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. VAMike

    It's a shame that CNN refuses to present issues in a fair and balances manner.

    This article is clearly written by someone that is not interested in the Republicans point of view.

    October 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. Choir Loft

    Obama is massa now. It's none of our business what happens in Washington. Our lot is to do what we are told.
    All hail Massa Obama.

    October 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. Randy Worley

    I wonder if Boehner even knows that it's not the President's job to pass a budget. It's almost like none of them have any idea what their roles and responsibilities are.

    October 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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