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. rs

    SmokenJoe

    It's criminal what President Obama is doing...He is the worst negotiator in the history of these United States!!!
    _______________________________
    Name the crime. Now for extra points- show me where in the Constitution where it's legal for the GOP to hold America hostage.

    October 8, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. H Glen

    The GOP needs to kick out the Taliban Tea Party or else they will never see the presidency again. I as an independent will never vote radicals into our political system. They are toxic to bipartisan politics and compromise which are essential to governance by the people and for the people.

    October 8, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. snotfair

    Ohio-the Buckeye State needs 2 buck Herr (thanx 4 the idea Julie) Boehner OUT OF OFFICE NOW! He is a gutless kiss- a ss who cares 0 about the American people! Keep lining ur pockets Bozo Boehner- Karma will find you & We the People r not going 2 forget like you think we will! Time 2 change your diaper BABY BOEHNER- YOU STINK!!!

    October 8, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Silence DoGood

    @just a thought "Last time I checked our government still had checks and balances for a reason and that was to make it the will of the people. "

    It also has 3 branches which were all engaged in this law, right by the book. And it arrived a compromise – trust me – many liberals wanted it to go WAY further. And now it is a compromised law. If you want to change it – follow the process and checks and balances. There is no 4th branch of government called the Petulant Whiners.

    October 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. nuclear mike

    CNN...your "count" is propaganda babble-speak like Jerry Farwell use to do when he was alive....

    October 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Now we have Republicans IN the House saying that there are enough votes for a clean CR to pass an up and down vote if it were brought to the floor.
    Boehner is nothing but an orange orb target glowing in the dark all by itself.

    October 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Mymy

    What's up pussy cat, pussy cat, what's up pussy cat? Boehner got called on a bluff, was caught sending out emails to Reid that now prove he is a liar, and he still has a little pain in the rear called the tea party that has taken his manliness away fro him.

    October 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. kim martin

    Does that mean once they reopen the government that they wouldn't shut it down again?

    October 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Reasonable Man

    Oct 2008: "You'll never get elected and pass healthcare."
    Nov 2008: "We'll never let you pass healthcare."
    Jan 2009: "We're gonna shout you down every time you try to pass healthcare."
    July 2009: "We'll fight to death every attempt you make to pass healthcare."
    Dec 2009: "We will destroy you if you even consider passing healthcare."
    March 2010: "We can't believe you just passed healthcare."
    April 2010: "We are going to overturn healthcare."
    Sept 2010: "We are going to repeal healthcare."
    Jan 2011: "We are going to destroy healthcare."
    Feb 2012: "We're gonna elect a candidate who'll revoke healthcare NOW."
    June 2012: "We'll go to the Supreme Court, and they will overturn healthcare."
    Aug 2012: "American people'll never re-elect you-they don't want healthcare."
    Oct 2012: "We can't wait to win the election and explode healthcare."
    Nov 2012: "We can't believe you got re-elected & we can't repeal healthcare."
    Feb 2013: "We're still going to vote to obliterate healthcare."
    June 2013: "We can't believe the Supreme Court just upheld healthcare."
    July 2013: "We're going to vote like 35 more times to erase healthcare."
    Sept 2013: "We are going to leverage a government shutdown into defunding, destroying, obliterating, overturning, repealing, dismantling, erasing and ripping apart healthcare."
    Oct 2013: "WHY AREN'T YOU NEGOTIATING???"

    October 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. Brewer

    @Sniffit – really. Which news network is reporting that the votes are not there? Check the Times.

    October 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Hiram57

    Boehner needs to be impeached, then imprisoned.

    October 8, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. LK

    Who cares. This has to end. When are you all going to get your heads out of your behind and act like grown folks with some brains. You were elected to these offices to act in our best interests. That hasn't and isn't happening. You are hurting the middle class, the seniors, the vets, active duty military and the disabled. You are sitting in Washington and still getting a pay check. And you all are financially well off so none of this is affecting your livelihood. If you ran your personal finances like you are running our government finances you would all be living on the streets or in homeless shelters! You elect to give yourself a raise every September. What about all of us that have had our pay frozen since Obama took office? You have forgotten us. I don't want Obama care and I didn't authorize you to approve it. I don't want the debt ceiling raised but it appears that that is what has to be done so that we can go back to work. All of you sitting in some political office in Washington need to be fired or impeached. This is morally and financial wrong to use us as your pawns. I am so fed up with you butts that I could scream. Which one of you political incompetents want to pay my bills from now until you decide to give me back my pay check? I have no problem walking away from my financial obligations and aid in the economic crash of the United States. I am so tired of hearing that you all are stubborn children refusing to talk to each other that I don't even want to turn that boob tube on or log into my computer. Get this settled NOW!!!!!!

    October 8, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. cog in the wheel

    The right wing of the GOP is to blame for this, not the Dems, the President, or moderate Republicans (if such an entity exists any longer :-) Many feel the president has already given up too much during earlier negotiations. Time to fund the government with no poison pills, and raise the debt ceiling. The right wing ideologues are hampering an already feeble economy.

    October 8, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Mentallect

    The Tea Party GOP prevents John Boehner from bringing the bill up even though it will pass. Unfortunately for Boehner, America will vote Republicans out of power so he will lose his job anyway. Political courage is in short supply, and the GOP are not about doing the right thing, but about doing what their short-term goals dictate even if America is harmed.

    October 8, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Tony

    J Robinson, funding is already there for Obamacare. That is why Republicans are demanding to defund Obamacare.

    October 8, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. voiceinthewind

    America is surely broken when a large majority of congress and people want to move forward but one man can go against congress and society and make everyone pay because he is stubborn, narrow minded, short sighted and a racist who will do anything to stop a black person. There needs to be changes made and America and congress has to be fixed. This person should be barred from politicks and held responsible for the wrongdoing and damage to America and its people.

    October 8, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Steven Brown

    Aside from refusing to allow the House to vote on this resolution, Boehner insists that the president must negotiate, as though the president were in the legislative branch of government. It is a matter for the Congress to decide and vote upon, and for Boehner to obstruct that process is tyranny. He seems to think he speaks for the American people, when he fact he was elected by the voters in the 8th congressional district of Ohio.

    October 8, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  18. John

    Wait, didn't they spend last week passing bills that had no chance of having the votes to pass the Senate or the President's desk? This would be comical if it wasn't having a negative impact on people.

    October 8, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. EDWARD

    Who are the Republicans ready to cave? That's what I want to know!

    October 8, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. LoadToad54

    Please, please, please lets Obama Care pass so we all can be happy and healthy....or...we can LOL while the train wrecks...either way I'm grinnin.

    October 8, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Armyman2007

    CNN trying to put pressure on Boehner to allow clean CR vote. I always thought CNN was left leaning, but damn really? It's like yjey are an extension of the Democratic Party now.

    October 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Woman In California

    I learned a long time ago, not to assume anything but why not bring it to the House floor for a vote? Boehner claims to speak for the American people everytime he opens his ignorant mouth, so do what we want and put this to a vote NOW.

    October 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Chris

    "Regardless of political party, opinion of Obamacare, or who you blame for the shutdown...a government that intentionally makes life harder for its citizens is no longer of, by, or for the people. That is a fact."

    They are denying people from getting their drugs to fight cancer because of the shutdown. They are spending more on security guards to keep vets out of their memorial than it would cost to keep them open.

    Isn't anyone else tired of being punished by our corporate masters for not falling in line? This is BS. Both parties need to go.

    October 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. bassmaster22

    Wow, you people hate deomcracy. The Affordable Health Care Act is law. It is law. This isn't on the table anymore than taking guns away from people are. The plan to defund "Obamacare" because you can't legally have the law reversed is akin to controlling guns by making bullets expensive. It's ridiculous.

    October 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. Thoughtful

    Calling Bull on this article. At least two moderates on this Republican list, have said they support "the idea" of a clean CR but WILL NOT vote FOR one. Debt Ceiling Limit is what matters anyway at this point in time.

    October 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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