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. Bob

    Peter King: NO, CNN IS WRONG....I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS.

    Am betting half the rest will come out today and confirm CNN is full of nonsense.

    October 8, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. T. Hunt

    Just bring it to a vote!!!

    October 8, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. sly

    Now Cruz says today he won't let there be a vote unless Roe v. Wade is overturned.

    October 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. Ed Wood

    Thank you CNN for gathering the Primary challenge list and putting it in one spot appreciate it greatly.

    October 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. hopethispost

    CNN lies and propaganda. CNN reports what obama tells it to.

    October 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Jerry

    Make Congress come under ALL laws they pass and come under a control of term limits(no more than 3 terms). NOW...

    October 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    I think if it were brought to a vote and these clowns HAD to go on RECORD, then the vote would be well over the 217 mark. Heck even that insane t eabag ger Cruz voted yes after his fake fillibuster.
    Turned out he does like green eggs and ham, Obama I am.

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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
    -------------------------------------------------
    Please.
    Funding was found and committed to independent of the budget. Why do you think GOPeeing Teatards are working so hard to defund it via this hostage taking? They can't touch it and they know it.
    In the future please do not compare legislation passed by President Obama to No Child Left Behind because the Village Idiot did not think ahead as to how it was going to be funded and so ultimately his half-assed legislation left Every Child Behind.

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Guy H.

    We hear so much talk-and not many info. bits that seem like possible turning points of the issue (or any news issue, for that matter). I just heard for the first time that the Republicans changed House procedural rules on Oct. 1. now only House leaders (Republicans) can force votes!! How cynical! Please shine a light on this. And I hate the childish level of our political process--but when Dems. retake the House, I hope they remember to play by Republican rules!! Maybe it's time for a bi-partisan "send the bums packing" movement. If "we the people" unseated some very "safe" incumbents from both parties, perhaps they'd get a useful message.

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. deee510

    Thats what president obama has been saying.just one more lie that boehner and the teapublicans tell.teapublicans can care less about americans suffering.they have been doing these scandalous things for a long time but now they are being exposed

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. America First

    The House is 1/2 of 1/3rd of passing laws. Yet Boneher and the Tea Slags want to take the entire government HOSTAGE over crazed, anarchist, radical ideology. IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT. It's called DEMOCRACY Boneher. Turn over the gavel before the people march on the House.

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. widow

    if they SUPPORTED it they would sign the discharge petition that forces a vote without the speakers authorization. If congress wanted to do it they could... It isn't like anyone individual is holding this congress hostage.. Congress has an override procedure in place for this reason. The people voted and these members of the house largely were put there to stop Obama's wild spending and to stop obama care.. that is why they were elected. The republicans have compromised 4 different times on this. All they want is a one year option out for individuals the same terms Obama gave his corporate buddies. I say congress should make a law that says if it doesn't apply to themselves then it cannot be made law. If they are not subject to the same rules and regulations as the rest of us americans how can they truly know what we go through? We can't call our buddy lobbyist and ask for a stock tip when we need a quick 100k.. They can.. We don't get free healthcare they do.. and they get it for their families as well. We don't get mandatory paid vacations.. They get all that and soooooooo much more. It is pathetic.

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Reasonable Man (page 21 @11:04)

    In a word: truth.

    In three words: truth is power.

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. GI Joe

    The debt ceiling has been raised about 90 times over eight decades, and there haven't been 90 debt-reduction agreements over that period. So just on a surface level, we know there's a serious flaw in the argument that the debt ceiling is often used for negotiation such as this..

    More important are the details Republicans choose to overlook. For example, since President Reagan, Congress has approved 45 debt-ceiling increases. How many of them were tied to budget deals? Seven. In other words, over the last several decades, 38 out of 45 debt-ceiling increases were not part of debt-reduction agreements (or any other policymaking measures).

    Indeed, we should highlight an inconvenient detail: many leading Republican members of Congress, including a cast of characters that includes John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell, have each voted for clean debt-ceiling increases unrelated to budget deals.

    While Boehner desperately hopes you have a short memory, his references to the 1980s and 1990s overlooks the fact that neither party ever held the debt-ceiling hostage before.

    Before 2011, the notion of American policymakers threatening to crash the economy on purpose unless their demands were met was considered so hopelessly insane that neither party dared go that far.

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. mike

    Isn't this a democracy? It's supposed to be a place where decisions are made by the people. Like your senators and reps or not, they are elected by you and thus represent you. So if they take a vote on a bill then they're doing so representing us. How on earth can it be legal for the majority party in the house to simply REFUSE to let them vote on something because they're scared there may be enough votes to pass it? This is ludicrous. And before you flame me, know this- I did not vote for Obama either time, typically (but not always) vote republican, and think that this country has a serious problem with spending more than it makes... but come on, is it really right to hijack the democratic process to get your way?

    October 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Chuck

    John Boehner, put your money where your mouth is, put the bill to a floor vote. If it doesn't pass, you were right. If it does, the rest of the government can get back to real work and do the job they were hired to do, which you seem to have forgotten.

    October 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. RugbyGuy

    Let the elected representatives vote.

    October 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Seth Hill

    We hired these Bozos ... excuse me, Representatives and Senators ... to go to Washington DC and vote. That's their job.

    October 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Paul Deemer

    I am so Tired of this Brinkmanship. Republicans are now even stupid enough to actually believe their will be no serious consequences if we Default. (That is the new battle plan) They are saying Wall Street will be Forgiving and nothing Bad will happen. That is just unbelievable and reminds me of how they got taken for a ride in 2012. Republicans believed Fox News, Skewered Polls, and Karl Rove that Mitt Romney would win by a landslide. But it ended up being Devastating for their party.

    The same thing is gonna happen again but on a much grander scale. It will be Devastating for Republicans which I have no problem with. The Voters will be Livid and Republicans will be swept out of congress en-masse. The only problem is Americans everywhere will suffer regardless of Party or Race. I suggest that CEOs and Republican Party Donors start getting serious and putting pressure on Republicans in congress before they have a chance to actually follow through on this threat. But in the back of my mind I actually believe this is something that the KOCH Brothers actually had planned and want to happen. Guess they will be betting to short the market.

    October 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. GI Joe

    It's in the CONSTITUTION that all bills are to be paid.

    October 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. lunchbreaker

    This isn't complicated: Boehner will not let those that were elected to reperesent the people vote, period end of story. He won't let elected officials do thier job until he get's what he wants. Before you react with anti-dem hate rants, just picture the situation reversed and a dem speaker doing this to a republican speaker. Either situation is childish.

    October 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. ST

    I think the country can be run perfectly and efficiently by the White House and Governors only. The two chambers of congress have proved to be useless and only giving headache to people. Must be abolished as it is wastage of money to pay them by doing nothing.

    October 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. America First

    George Washington risked EVERYTHING to create an American Government. Abraham Lincoln went to war to save the American styled government. The TEA SLAGS are hellbent on spewing hatred over this great nation. Anything, and everything government is evil in the minds of their little pea brained skulls.

    October 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. KimmieSue

    @Reasonable Man – Most insightful comment ever.

    October 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Its about time

    Boehner is only doing what he was elected to do. Follow the will of the voters that put him in office. This is also what the majority of Americans want. No obama care. It started out being an 860 billion dollar expense and has already risen to 2.6 trillion and it is not even fully in place. I am so happy to finally see a politician do what he was elected to do.

    October 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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