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. CB

    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.

    ---–

    No, they are not. 70% do not want the government shutdown.
    Since you brought up will of the people, how would you be reacting if the situation was reveresed in congress and the Dems were using extortion to pass universal background checks? 80 to 90% of the people favored those. As a previous poster stated, this type of governing through extortion sets a dangerous precedence and needs to be stopped now

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Stu Voight

    The president ran on his health care plan and won the election.
    It's what the people want.
    Get out of the way republicans. You are in danger of never getting elected again.

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. mike

    In case any doubt remained that this is all on Boehner...there it is. The entire purpose of Congress is to VOTE. Boehner is blocking the democratic process upon which our system is based because he knows he will lose.

    TELL BOEHNER TO GROW A SPINE.

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. dsmidiman

    I just have one thing to say about this. What would the Republicans be saying and doing right now if the Democrats were doing what they are doing? I can only imagine!!! What's the point of even having a Democracy when one party can literally shut down the govt. because they don't like a law that has already been voted on and approved, re-voted on and approved, sent to the highest court in the land and deemed lawful and approved? It's totally insane if you ask me!! The bottom line is that again, this Health Care Bill has been voted on, passed already, made into law, sent to the Supreme Court and deemed Constitutional. Regardless of what anyone's personal opinions about the law are it IS the law!! It has been passed my the majority, a number of times!! Isn't "majority rules" the essence of what Democracy is suppose to be? If someone thinks this Health Care Bill is bad then do what we as a society are suppose to do. Petition, get signatures, write/talk to your elected officials, etc. etc. etc. But DON"T shut down the govt. and hold the entire nation hostage just to get your way!!! Once AGAIN!! the hypocrisy in some people's minds when "judging" the actions of others is absolutely astonishing!!! If the Democrats were doing what the Republican House is doing right now the Republicans would be screaming in the streets calling for obstruction of justice charges be brought against the Democrats!! The current Republican Party (the Tea Party) just LOVE to say that they are all about the Constitution and upholding it's values etc. Well why in the heck are they not following or abiding by one of the most essential parts of the Constitution? Which is Democracy... majority rules...

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. wi voter

    I think Boehner would save the Republican party if he allowed a vote. There are more moderate Republicans in this country than there are Tea Partiers. Some representatives may be worried about their own seat in the next election cycle, but they should not be worrying about their own job security. Let's have a vote.

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    SmokenJoe

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

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

    FIFY.

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Greg

    Malory – That's because none of you morons actually know anything about the constitution and the process involved. It is the duty of the House to initiate all taxes and expenditures of tax dollars, and that is what they have done. it is crybaby Reid and Obama that are behaving like spoiled children and their "my way or the highway" mentality. Obama has already shot himself in the foot over Syria and he is finished politically if he loses Obamacare, as it his only "accomplishment". It's a bad bill, and current polls show most Americans do not want the ACA. The House is listening to Americans by blocking funding for this horrible bill, while Obama sits in his "Spite House", dictating new ways for the government to infuriate the public with pointless and unnecessary closures of public property.

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. wildman38

    The so called commander and chief is a snake in the grass.

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Isaac Holden

    The United States does not negotiate with terrorists, even the legislative kind. The Tea Party is essentially holding a gun to America's head and demanding that a properly established standing law be unfunded before they will allow the country to be re-opened. These misfits, and anyone who voted for them, should be deeply ashamed.

    October 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Randy

    Boehner i s the main problem he took that job to block everything the Democrats want to pass and block everything President Obama do, he is a evil man his heart is very dark and it shows in his face, he don't wanna settle things he rather keep the Government shut down how sad, what a evil man.

    October 8, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Anonymous

    The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld in the Supreme Court – a process that has existed for 200+ years and is clearly defined in the Constitution. What is NOT in the Constitution is threatening to disrupt the economy of the country in order to subvert that process.

    In my opinion the Boehner and his followers are scare a clean bill to pay on our current debt will pass the House.

    Republicans/GOP/TP biggest scare is the following:

    When January 1st, 2014 comes and ACA is in full effect, all of America will see the true, then the fight will have to switch to redistributing congressional district so the Republicans/GOP/TP can keep their seats in the House.

    October 8, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. mustache1

    Cory Gardner from Colorado 4th district is a one of the terrorist tea baggers supporting the shut down. He must be defeated in the next election and I will do everything I can to make it happen.

    October 8, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. mike

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

    So...Boehner has nothing to be afraid of by allowing the vote. Then, when it gets voted down, talks of negotiation will be based on actual substance. The fact is Boehner won't allow the vote because he knows he can't win.

    October 8, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. DK

    Glad the American people are not falling for the right-wing's "Obama will not negotiate" dishonesty. The Affordable Care Act lacks a public option/single payer because Obama compromised for Republicans. The budget levels Republicans are refusing to fund are based on sequestration spending levels that Republicans wanted. Extremist, radical Republican extortionists just want more and more. Boehner will not hold a vote because he is either one of the radical right-wing tea partiers or because he is scared of them. The shutdown is their fault, and they should be ashamed.

    October 8, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Ant

    CNN says they have enough votes. Donald Duck also concurs

    October 8, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Kevin

    CNN is basically lobbying for a vote - a newspaper should act more objective. They should just report the news.

    October 8, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. disqus_m4RzRjSnrs

    I would like to see a short term approval. I would also like to see where there will be cut backs in spending. We are giving away so much in foreign aid (not county dumb military actions) that it sickens me that the government is so willing to aid others, but not aid the American citizens.

    October 8, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Bill

    @Sniffit, they did name them. They're in the article above. Seventeen Republican names.

    October 8, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. mustache1

    If the votes are there and Boehner does not allow the vote to happen this is criminal. Flush Boehner immediately.

    October 8, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Fred

    Pleas, America, remember this, yet another republican, self-induced debacle, when it comes time to go to the polls again.

    We HAVE to clean these idiots out of government.

    Remember who blocked key provisions of the ACA in order to hobble it? Republicans. Who claims to be all about jobs while they lay off and furlough millions? Republicans. Who claims to be all about the Constitution while they publicly demand that the president break a law that was duly passed, signed, and vetted by the US Supreme Court? Republicans.

    Who do we vote out as soon as possible? REPUBLICANS!!!!

    October 8, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. RPC

    Dale- The same could be said for Harry Reid in the Senate.

    October 8, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Bethel

    Use a secret ballot for the fainthearted!

    October 8, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Brewer

    Right wing nonsense its best, Bob. It has been the republican credo to refuse to negotiate – no concessions. Now they are complaining that nobody wants to negotiate. And how does the President "ram through" a true budget later in a right wing nut controlled house? The GOP is digging its own grave and is complaining that nobody wants to get it out. Stop digging.

    October 8, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Sum Yung Gai

    @SmokenJoe You are adorable.

    October 8, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Data Driven

    @SmokenJoe,

    The purse strings of Congress are the Constitutional prerogative of Congress. What is Obama supposed to "negotiate"?

    Quit smokin', and start reading' ... the U.S. Constitution, that is.

    October 8, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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