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

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

    There's nothing to negotiate. Boehner just has to allow Congress to vote, which is the entire reason Congress exists. Try reading.

    October 8, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. John Doehn

    They're all there? Drop a blah on that building.

    October 8, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Hikertom

    This is 100% Boehner's fault.
    LET CONGRESS VOTE.
    Boehner is obstructing democracy.

    DON'T VOTE FOR REPUBLICANS IN THE NEXT ELECTION!!!!!!

    October 8, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. RJ Wagner

    Obama needs to put down the Obamacare gun and negotiate. His health plan is a catastrophe.

    October 8, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. Bob Hope's Ghost

    @Dale K, yeah Obama is that man

    October 8, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. christinek

    Childish and ridiculous...defund the military complex and the real welfare queens -the republicans- who continually pass corporate subsidies and increase fees for grazing on public lands. The government spends much more money on corporate welfare subsidies than on social welfare programs. This display only illustrates who the republicans really care about. I am all for shutting down the government until we get public transportation, better education for our children, better roads, more parks and open space, and a single payer healthcare system. The demographics of this country are rapidly changing and its confounding that these bafoons think their antics represent the majority when they continually lose the popular vote?

    October 8, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. tammyleg

    Everyone should email or call your members of Congress right now and tell them to bring this bill to the house floor for a vote. Let's see this thing end by the end of the day. There ARE the votes in the house to end this...but Crybaby Boehner and that terrorist Cruz will be happy to see our country suffer further to save face and make this about them. You don't 'negotiate ' with hostage holders or terrorists. This is NOT a game of wills and this has gone on far too long. There is NO reason the Boehner should get to decide what goes to the floor for a vote and what doesn't. It's the will of the people he should be listening to...not the T-Party or right wing of the party.

    October 8, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. e

    Thus the real story is Boehner can't count. When it comes to giving tax breaks to big oil, big banks and investment firms he does just fine.

    October 8, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. J Robinson

    The Affordable Care Act was passed into law. However, just like No Child Left Behind, it will not work unless the money is there to implement it. Funding should be part of the deal when a bill is signed into law. If there is no commitment to funding, it should not even go before the president for signing . That alone would improve the state of our economy and stabilize the functioning of our government.

    October 8, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. Willy Nilly

    I think we have the government we deserve. We have been suckered into thinking that the ordinary folks have no political power and that we should admire the wealthy for buying political power. Many of us are so busy with pleasuring ourselves that we have no time left to monitor the things that affect our lives. Every time we get played like this, we get weaker as a nation. Don't vote for any incumbents in the coming elections, look hard at the candidates and don't be shy about recalling those you can recall. Dump them all.

    October 8, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. VoteForPedro

    Dear Mr Boehner, Um, isn't the role of Elected officials, to take voted on issues and represent the people?

    PS. Dear all gun-nuts, No need to spin this around as sime kind of violation of your 2nd Amendment rights to own a AR-15. Nobody wants to take your guns, you paranoia chumps.

    October 8, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Jamaica

    ABC also has the same figues. Boehner is a traitor, he needs to be removed from office.

    October 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Anonymous

    It's laughable how the shut-down supporters aren't believing CNN's poll, just the polls that support their ideology. Remember, those were the same pollsters that told you Romney was going to win! Come out of your Faux bubbles and look at reality.

    October 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Bill

    I say keep the government shut down and don't raise the debt ceiling. Let them suffer, I don't care. I'm tired of the Middle Class and Democrats trying to blame the Teaparty and GOP for their own problems. Take responsibility Middle Class and stop blaming the corporations. If you want to be a shareholder or a CEO then you will have to get an education and climb the ladder. It's that simple. Stay strong Boehner and don't give in.

    October 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. dorado

    what's there to talk about? you got 98% of what you wanted from the sequestration, you weasel.

    October 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Thomas

    Why not just have the vote?

    Then we can find out which side is correct? Voting is a core value of democratic governance. How can an issue be to contentious that the House can't even vote?

    I just hope that the voters will remember this the next time their House representatives come up for re-election. This is why it is so important to choose carefully who we elect to the House/Senate. It really should go deeper than just the letter after their name.

    October 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Scott

    Stay strong Boehner! Don't cave!

    October 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. History Bear

    It's about ideaology, not people. The rabid hatred by Tea Party for a non-white president colors(sic) all they do. Not an Obama fan, but I find him more centrist than leftist. Spending needs to be cut, corporate welfare ended and the borders tightened and laws enforced. There is a lack of courage and vision by both parties- somewhere along the way money and corporations became god and the reason for existence and people regelated to cogs in a machine.

    October 8, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Daniel Briggs

    This is not a news article it is advocacy. With all the posturing and deceit from both sides, CNN attaches responsibility to one man who happens to be a republican. God bless America if we are collectively buying this line.

    October 8, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Lynn

    Boehner gives the Koch bros. a rusty trombone .

    October 8, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Michele Freyder

    Can you please print the list of those other Republicans who are against ending the shutdown. That's a more interesting list to me...and include emails so everyone can barrage them with pressure to get this shutdown ended! Thanks!

    October 8, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. CB

    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
    ----

    I hate to tell you this, but "Obamacare" IS the law. It was passed by both houses of congress, the President was re-elected, and the Supreme Court upheld it. It is the Affordable Care Act, in case you are one of those geniuses that does not know the difference. You might want to check into it to get some meds to help with your problem.

    October 8, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. b oner

    Fire the speaker from his job! There is something wrong with the checks and balances of American govt!

    October 8, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Catori

    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*

    --------------------------------
    Sniffit is a stereotypical Republican – didn't read the article & the list of 17 names needed to overturn a 32 vote majority.

    October 8, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. blake

    Cut the anti-GOP crap CNN. We are all aware of your far left bias.

    October 8, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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