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. jinx9to88

    When politicians worry more about keeping their job, Democrat or Republican, instead of whats best for the country they need to get fired!!!

    October 8, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. teaparty days are numbered

    now we know who the real traitor is , JOHN BOEHNER, and his merry men of the obstructionist rightwing terrorists group.

    October 8, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. foreverflag

    Why doesn't Reid put anything to a vote, different strokes for different folks? Enough of spending our monies on
    stupid things, tighten the belt.

    October 8, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Natrldiver

    Just give Obama his CR. Just like giving him a no limits credit card. At the rate this administration is spending money, we will be at 22 trillion by the end of Obama's term. That is a 120% increase in debt! No president in the history of the US has done that.

    October 8, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. Lee

    If this vote happens I predict Boehner will cry during his speech.

    October 8, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. Can't You See

    Irresponsible reporting by CNN trying to get American's mad at Congress. Good grief – how in the world can a CNN poll show the vote profile before it happens. Thank goodness the Republican's are pulling the reigns on the out-of-control spending horse Obama.

    October 8, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. GuyinVA

    So, CNN tells us there are 17 votes. Oddly enough, that's exactly the number of republicans needed to pass it. What a coincidence. Then in the body of the story, we find out that three of the supposed 17 aren't on board.

    October 8, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Chaz

    The votes are not there the President and Senate need to sit down and workout a deal PERIOD.

    October 8, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Anne

    Put up or shut up, CNN. Where are the results of the poll? List the members and how the members voted.

    October 8, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. actorforchrist

    The only reason to call for a vote now is because the votes are there now. A day from now the number can (and will) change. That's the trouble with Congress in general...too many wishy-washy politicians who aren't listening to their constituents, and fluctuate based on the latest and greatest offer that benefits them (not their voters). The government is too big, with too many fingers in too many pies, and business and lobby groups pulling a lot of the strings, on both sides of the aisle.

    October 8, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. nellibly

    Last I checked, we are still a Democracy. That means the majority rules, not a small, vocal, angry minority. The health care act was passed by Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Next time the Republicans have the majority they can take action the right way.

    October 8, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. VG

    It is criminal what the Speaker is doing and not doing! How can he remain Speaker of any institution if he chooses to be the mouthpiece of a few anti-american self-centered crazies! All this posturing for what end! How does hurting the American public help anyone? And I ask of the folks who voted for him and his cohorts...I hope you have a 3 square meals to feed your families and are gleefully watching others suffer for your idiocy of having voting these people to power! Hope you feel proud of yourself for being anti-human!! This is utterly disgusting!!!!

    October 8, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. Larry in Houston

    ""There appeared to be enough votes in the House on Tuesday to approve legislation to reopen the federal government""

    Does this mean that the bonehead lied to the voters ?

    Ohio, Please take him back to Cincinnati – so he can go back to bartending, Please ? & take Cruz along with him. Ohio probably needs another Lawyer anyway, since he's good at being an attorney.

    October 8, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  14. Dave Scoven

    Of course there are enough votes in the House to stop the shutdown. That's an absolute no-brainer. The problem is that Republicans made a HUGE strategic error early on – the attempt to defund the AHCA through pressure brought on by shutting down the government. It was a colossal blunder that failed, and now they have no exit strategy and don't know what they want or how to get out of their mess without looking weak and stupid. Obama should get together with Reid and offer to bring repeal of the medical device tax forward as the first order of business and real discussions about spending cuts as the second order of business, once the government is back in business and the debt ceiling is raised. Problem solved. Thank you.

    October 8, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  15. al

    Boehner does not have the intestinal fortitude to bring this to a vote because he would lose and saving face is more important to him than this country or its people

    October 8, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. Susan

    Put it to a vote and stop stalling! I am voting these idiots out of office next election! They cannot stop bickering and do their job which is to pass a budget. Out with them next election! PUT IT TO A VOTE!! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??

    October 8, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. Hardliner

    What is this CNN, you trying to artificially move along the democratic process by calling out only side of the legislative branch? Why don't you just report on the news and let the democratic process run its course.

    October 8, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. Fred Evil

    RETIRE BOEHNER!
    It is the will of the American people. You have shamed us all (but mostly yourself), now do the right thing and let your countrymen get back to work!!

    October 8, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  19. Howard

    Interesting poll results ... assuming all those responding to the poll taker were telling the truth. Considering that those were congresspersons, that's assuming one heckuva lot.

    October 8, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Data Driven

    @AZTEA,

    "At no point are the Democrats interested in lowering the spending levels "

    Irrelevant. Let these discussions occur when the country is not at risk of default. We need to pay our bills. Now.

    "You hated the spending under Bush but now because it's your guy, its OK???"

    You loved the spending under Bush but now because it's a Democrat, it's not OK?

    October 8, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Hogan's Goat

    Remove the Speaker and get a new one who isn't orange or a drunk. Then vote and stop jogging the president's elbow while he runs the country. It's like they think this is sports and they just want a 'team win.'

    October 8, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. BR

    Very nice piece of fiction.

    BS Article about nothing!

    October 8, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. George Henry

    Look at how many uneducated liberals actually believe this bogus article. What is the percentage of error? Funny how it is the exact minimum number to pass it. Where and how did CNN get this information? These are all the types of questions that Democrats always forget to ask before believing things. And that is EXACTLY why we have this WORTHLESS president in office.

    October 8, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. RandyIA

    So 17 Republicans need to switch with the Dems to pass the resolution in the house. I haven't heard anybody say if 6 Dem break ranks for a simple majority or 15 break for the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster/veto in the Senate, the shutdown will be over as well.

    October 8, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. What's in that tea anyway?

    @Hector Slagg

    I understand a lot of businesses are learning how to get along with a lot less workers. If something ain't broke, don't fix it.

    -----

    Genius, absolutely genius. Here the rest of us are thinking we have serious issues and challenges to fix in this country and you have pointed it out to nearly 99% of the american people "nothin' is broken" .....and they say the faux news and fools watchers aren't very smart......total sarcasm, MEH

    October 8, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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