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

    CNN Poll ... equals – what ever is good for Obama, after all, CNN is Obama TV......

    October 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. RugbyGuy

    For the past week I have repeatedly posted: Tell Boehner to let the people's representatives vote. Thank you CNN.

    October 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Bob

    Oh, by the way, Peter King has already come out today and said he does not support a clean funding bill.

    CNN already has done denial, which means once again, the votes aren't there.

    October 8, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. wotudezerv

    NOTHING TO NEGOTIATE. Obama needs to hit back fast and hard and knock those tea party heads right out of the box or this nation will continue to be held hostage to these terrorists. they hate america and can do more damage than their taliban brothers.

    October 8, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Tom Voter

    Where has the CNN story been every time (and there have been many) that Senator Reid has prevented matters from coming to a vote in the Senate?

    Where is the CNN story about how our government continues to spend tens of thousands more per man/woman/child than it can afford?

    October 8, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Hogan's Goat

    "businesses are learning how to get along with a lot less workers" Sure, and the groceries are learning to get along with less customers and the gas stations are selling less gas and the clothing stores are ok with selling less clothing. Sure. Hey, it's ok for you to believe in the trickle-down effect; St. Ronald Reagan believed in it.

    October 8, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Kenman

    So CNN is at it as usual! They suggest here, and on tv right now, that they know the 17 individual Republicans that would vote this way, YET many deny those media reports from OTHER media sources!

    I just wondered, did CNN ask all 200 of the Democrats if they would vote for this "clean" CR, or are they taking the word of the Princess Pelosi that her minions are lined up to serve her?

    If only we had a legitimate "mainstream" NEWS industry that would serve the American citizens in an unbiased way, we'd be much better off as a country.

    But, CNN is an arm of the liberal wing of the Democrat Party, and carefully decide WHAT we are to know! For example, how many read here that Obama approved the go-ahead for an immigration march on the national mall TODAY, where ILLEGALS will be out in force protesting America not giving them everything THEY ask for! The mall is OFFICIALLY closed, but you can bet there will be law enforcement, logistics, facilities, clean up, etc. there for THEM today, while he had barricades put around our open air monuments to keep out the WWII veterans!

    October 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Norm

    Sounds like Boehner took a page out of Harry Reid's playbook. How many budgets has Harry not put to the vote in the Senate.

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

    Seventy-eight percent of Republicans, 88 percent of members of the tea party movement, 57 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats would vote against raising the debt ceiling. Sixty-two percent of all, including a plurality of Democrats, said they would favor a debt-ceiling increase only if tied to major cuts in government spending. Only 27 percent said the limit should be raised unconditionally, as President Obama has demanded.

    October 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. SteveFromBoston

    After we get through this mess, and we will somehow we need to pass a resolution that would link all congresses pay and benefits to a government shut down.

    If they shut down the government every single one of their perks, pay, health care,free postage, unpaid interns, etc etc etc stops on day one.

    All registered voters should email/call/mail their representatives and tell them we will not donate to their campaigns if they don't vote to re-open our government. In Washington everybody talks but the only thing they listen to is money.....

    October 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Laura Gendreau

    So, let me understand this my husband who has returned to his DOD position is sitting at work today and is informed that he is "voluntarily working" with no pay date in the horizon. After nearly a week at home; at which time we spent calling our mortgage and trying to figure out how to pay for our THREE son's college tuition as well. Would a congressman or woman like to send their work check to us?!! Because after 25 years of both military and government service I think someone owes me a DAMN check!! Congress needs to do their DAMN job and so does the President and pass the budget! This is holding us hostage, ruining our lives, and stressing us to the point that we are beyond at our wit's end. To think these hall of FOOLS are in charge of our lives is beyond acceptable. I have never said or thought this but I am ASHAMED to call myself a Democrat..wait let me make this correction..and INDEPENDENT! My party has lost my vote, my support, my donation and my RESPECT!

    October 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Frank

    I'm confused. I see a lot of posters saying that CNN is lying, but if that's the case, why refuse to call the vote at all? Just call the vote, and if Obama is wrong, you might have some leg to stand on. I try to shy away from the ultra-partisan garbage you see on just about any anonymous comments section on politics but, seriously, vote away and see what happens!

    October 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. CB

    nuclear mike

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

    So, you are saying all of the Reps that have made statements to TV and print media are lying?
    The "count" is based on actual statements these people have made.

    October 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. rs

    Just like going to war in Iraq- the GOP was all set. They just didn't have an exit strategy. Same here....These cats just don't learn.

    October 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. SMH

    Instant gratification will once again prevail. We Americans love our short term solutions that distract us from long term problems. Sure, bring it to a vote today, a clean CR will pass, and everyone can high five and quickly go back to work and ignore the larger problem that is the long term consequences of the ACA. Passing a clean CR does not fix anything, it simply conforms to what our government has been doing for years, ignoring fiscal problems by kicking it down the road. We cannot ignore mathematics forever.

    October 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. Sadie

    The constitution clearly states that ALL THE PEOPLE have to be on Obamacare – EVEN Congress and the Supreme Court, however, they chose to make themselves EXEMPT. They changed the law to suit themselves and yet they are making all of us CHOKE on it. Enforce the constitution and see how fast they decide to negotiate.

    October 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. sammy750

    Some law attorneys are saying that Boehner and the Tea Party Congress is committing extortion and their acts would be criminal if they were NOT protected by Congressional laws. They said an regular citizen could be arrested for a crime, but Congress is protect by law.
    The Tea Party and puppet Boehner are holding the people and nation HOSTAGE at this time.

    October 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. stewart

    John's mind is made up don't confuse him with facts. Any number past 20 is to big for him to understand as he runs out of fingers and toes.

    they are still in the mode of making obama a 1 term pres. seems they forgot he won twice

    October 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. AFVET

    I think this is Boehner's last gig in congress. It's sad that his own people in OHIO, that includes many Air Force employees & military members at Wright Patterson, are not seeing the impact yet. I say wait until next year as they would probably vote for anyone but Boehner or his replacement. The question is...how could Boehner do this to his own constituents and to the American people? It's time to retire sir!

    October 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. steveeyes

    You can't reason with terrorists. They manufacture their own facts and constantly place blame elsewhere with a religious fanaticism. The Repus are no different. We have real crisis in this country to deal with, but Repubs manufacture crisis and than campaign on the mess they created by blaming the other guy. I don't know how anyone can agree with how the Repubs are handling this, but like Religion, they believe they are are on the Right side of things. I do know, if the roles were reversed and the Dems where demanding that taxes be raised on the top 1% or they will shut the Govt down, they would pay dearly at the polls. I wonder with all the Gerrymandering by Repub Governors if that will be the case for Republicans in 2014.

    October 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. mike from co

    "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."

    Foreign aid is in our self-interest. Where we don't send aid, unfavorable forces are more than willing to step in.

    October 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. rs

    Solution? Handcuffs, arrests, long vacation in Gitmo. Problem solved.

    October 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. viranka

    Boehner full of crap- what about all the other times in past 5 years when the GOP wanted to add obstructive bills to a clean CR and Obama negotiated last time and the time before and time before that. GOP is a spoiled brat wanting their way every time this situation comes to ground. GOP IN CONGRESS NEED TO BE OUSTED 2014!!

    October 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. elucidated1

    And again the GOP makes it very clear that they intend to be the obstructionist party? And what has been the reaction? Well the first victim of voter backlash will be the Republican VA Governor candidate who has seen his numbers dropped by 9 points since the shutdown began. . as VA voters polled blame the GOP two to one. And if the Democrat, McCaliffe wins, that means VA will be turning blue. . another stake in the Republican coffin.

    October 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Jerry

    Where's the"Votes are there"??? People are tired of the rehetoric from the Administration that the people want the debt ceiloing raised... BS...
    We want the shut down to stop but only when spending is cut....

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