Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will
October 8th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
6 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. steve g

    CNN More lies from our govt. And you trumpet them out to the world. Shame on you all!

    October 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. mike electrician

    No will...., oh they have plenty of will to keep from voting, they just can't stomach showing up to do their job...Pathetic!

    October 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Mike

    The GOP is constantly misrepresenting the state of the nation's finances. The deficit is half what is was during the recession. And when the deficit was over a trillion dollars per year, much of that deficit was due to the 40% reduction in tax revenue. NOT SPENDING. Now, the deficit is only 3% of the GDP, which any economist will tell you is sustainable.

    October 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. bgorilla

    The people voted what they wanted...Obama and the Affordable Care Act. The Repubs just wont give up.

    October 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Bob

    Democrats have asked Republicans to form a committee to negotiate a budget 17 times in the last 6 months!

    Republicans have said NO 17 times, even as they were OPENLY planning this government shut down.

    Now that the GOP has a gun to the head of the American people, they want to "negotiate"?

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Dave

    Hey Teaparty,

    Hands off my Country!

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Bob

    Notice CNN is twisting the words here. Most of these people support a VERY-SHORT-TERM FUNDING BILL. That's it. they act like they support what Obama wants, a long-term funding bill with zero cuts or changes.

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Miguel

    It looks like 17 Republicans need to have a primary challenger. I hope Ted Cruz puts that money he has collected to good use.

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. George Mathew

    USA sent man on before invention of pc computers fax macine etc. Now we have to call some one from moon to resolve. Obama should call in a meeting of all concerned.

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Kevin Green

    So, CNN is running the government now. What a joke of a news agency. It's all just a horse race for them.

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Will

    The Tea Party is scared and doing everything they can to discredit this story, but we all know it. There is enough votes to pass a clean CR...Boehner and the Tea Party is holding their own members hostage...along with the American public.

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Jeff

    The fact that there are enough votes and the speaker won't hold the vote proves that it's extortion.

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Choir Loft

    Do what our masters in Washington tell us to do. After all, it's THEIR country, not OURS. Remember that and you'll feel much better.
    and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    October 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Ole Bull

    Negotiate? Negotiate What? Repubs are all over the place....first demand defunding of the ACA, then they backed off to just delay a year.....now Boehner on TV Sunday says it is about reducng spending on entitlements along with tax reform (no mention of delaying ACA implementation). Which one is it? ACA is the law of the land. If POTUS allows 40 congressman the ability to strike down existing law, we are all doomed because the ransom will just keep ramping up.

    October 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. TheBigT

    In response to BanksinBaltimore.

    Why are you struggling? With what government employees are getting paid, you should have 6 months worth of expenses saved easily.
    Do you BLOW EVERYTHING AWAY just like your Democrat friends in office?
    You cannot continue to spend more than you take in. This country is falling apart because of debt.

    October 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. It's clear

    Boehner and his backers can say all they want. This shut down belongs to them. They are sabotaging America.

    October 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. jaony

    This is exactly how Harry Reid plays it...refuses to vote on 26 of the last 26 House bills

    October 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Malory Archer

    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?

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

    this is about the 20th time I've seen this comment on this thread. Must be today's fat reichwing radio bloviator's talking point.

    October 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. TommyVIO

    SmokenJoe... No, it is criminal what John Boehner is doing... Democracy is all about voting and he is blocking that freedom to vote. Why not put this issue to vote and go with the result??? He is not allowing to vote on this which means that he himself is the only person that is holding the whole country as hostage.

    October 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. Name

    Dagnabit just vote on it. dadgumit, pardon my french but but I'm really, very, very disgruntled with this whole deal!!!

    October 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. msd250

    Watched CNN for a few hours in the airport yesterday: should be renamed the CARTOON news network. CNN should at least make an effort to report the news rather than manufacturing it along ideological lines

    October 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. drkent3

    Regardless of whether CNN has any inside knowledge about how many Republicans will vote in favor of a clean CR, the fact remains that Boehner will not allow the vote to be taken. What is the problem with at least allowing the vote to be taken? Either there are enough votes or there are not – the voting will decide. By not allowing the vote, Boehner is making the decision. So, those who are focusing only on the question of whether CNN is practicing journalism or not – perhaps you should instead be focusing on whether those in Congress are trying to resolve the issue honestly, or are simply trying to push their own agenda while blaming 'the other side'.

    October 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Boehner

    Boehner needs to be sued, arrested, whatever it takes. He's selfish. He's just trying to protect his position as speaker and he can't do it without the Tea Party. They are holding the economy hostage and they are ticking me off. And the public will not remember when next we vote. They will stupidly think their "member" had nothing to do with it and vote the idiots back in. Clearly this country is in dire need of leaders because we have none right now.

    October 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. John

    Most of us have learned that the decision to incur cost is made when we buy something on our credit cards, not when the statement arrives the next month. The ACA was voted into legislation by Congress and the Senate, the current constituents may not agree but holding up funding for it at the expense of the whole budget is not the way to get it modified.

    October 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. AnnaM

    it's amazing to me that a few House GOP's can partially shut down the government, they really have that much power?!? Then what is the President for? An executive order can't be mandated by President Obama? Boehner doesn't have to order a vote? As a gov't employee when I raised my right hand and took the oath of service I took seriously the part that said "...I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter..."
    Since Boehner & his cronies don't want to do their job the President Obama should start impeachment procedures, let someone who wants to do the job for the well being of the USA take their place. Boehner has shown disrespect to the president, government workers and the entire nation for what. Just ridiculous!

    October 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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