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. Jobi

    I know 2 Florida Congressmen who will be looking for JOBS come next election !

    October 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Paul in Atlanta

    Obama must negotiate or own the first default in American history.
    First priority – reduce spending so the debt ceiling doesn't need to be raised. Obama is still whining about the sequester, but that was a drop in the bucket compared to the real cuts and entitlement reform that must be accomplished now. Quit kicking the can down the road. We've reached the end of the road and it's time for Obama to negotiate and time for the dem-controlled Congress to finally pass a real budget under Obama. Hasn't happened yet.

    October 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. em

    Does anyone remember a few years ago in similar circumstances that President Obama sat with the Speaker and a deal was supposed to have been made? Then the Speaker went back to the House and it fell apart and he would not even take the President's calls? I remember. Why would you negotiate with him ever again?

    October 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Joe

    CNN making the news instead of reporting it again.

    Why do we need to raise the debt ceiling again? Why do I need to pay for someone else's medical insurance?

    Why do we need to bankrupt our country, destroy the choice of medical care, and dump billions of dollars into the pockets of insurance companies via the 'exchanges'?

    HSA's. Choice is always 'fair'.

    October 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. bob365

    There's no deficit problem that won't be solved by returning taxes on the top 1% back to their pre-Bush levels and implementing the ACA. There's an unemployment problem, but that will only be exacerbated by further spending cuts.

    The GOP - which lost POTUS, lost the Senate, and lost the popular vote in the House - is reneging on their own deal, and holding America's economy hostage in an effort to defund a health care program that came straight out of a conservative think tank.

    They are political terrorists. The US doesn't negotiate with terrorists.

    October 8, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Brian Berry

    fire bohener!

    October 8, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Gerald

    Boehner has maintained that there are not enough votes in the House to pass a "clean" CR. – however we know this is not true.....question for the day is Boehner a liar? Regardless of your politics, this is not the way government should function.

    October 8, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. WLR Florida

    The American People have a basic right to have their government funded and the bills of the United States paid on time. Using these rights to blackmail the United States into accepting a reversal of any law can be considered as terrorism. A terrorist seeks to hurt / kill a small segment of a population (in this case women, children, seniors, and disabled Veterans) so they can create fear in the entire population. The terrorist uses the fear to force their own political desires on the population. Sound familiar? We need two constitutional amendments to avoid this problem in the future: a) Amendment One: if Congress does not pass a budget and a debt ceiling raise by midnight September 30 then the previous year budget is continued and the debt ceiling raised if necessary to pay our bills; b) The Speaker of the House should represent all the American People but they are currently elected by only one district in one state. The Speaker should be elected by the entire United States on the Presidential Election cycle so they can represent all of us. Take the “weapons” away from both parties, and you reduce the Washington Crisis Management while protecting all Americans. Shutting down the US Government is wrong, period!

    October 8, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Wake up People!

    I bet some of the GOP members change their minds about voting yes, after receiving those phone calls that tell them if they do they're out.

    October 8, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. gb333

    Got to love Republicans. Never willing to admit when they are wrong.

    Even when they lose, they blame it on some sort of conspiracy.

    October 8, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Mike

    EXTORTION – used to be illegal I thought?? EXTORTION IS NOT NEGOTIATING!! Just sayin' people... How times have changed... I"m tired of being a hostage in my own country by these looney-tunes who have no factual basis for anything....

    October 8, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Its about time

    Why are the people on furlough, who are getting paid, not at work????

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

    Koch bros. give boehner a dirty Sanchez .

    October 8, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Craig Campbell

    This is just too much, and I'm tired of hearing about this in the news. At this point, I've made my decision. I may be a Republican, and I could never have seen myself doing this even in my nightmares, but at this point when elections come around, I"m looking for a whole new team to fill the seats to 'properly' represent MY VIEWS. Be you Republican or Democrat, I want you out of office, and tomorrow would not be soon enough!!! I may even have to vote for a Democrat if that is my only option to remove an incumbent.

    October 8, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Repub4Life

    Here is this simple truth. Boehner will never bring a clean CR vote to the floor unless he wants to wave the white flag. And that's not because he knows it will or will not pass. If he brings it to the floor and it passes repubs get all the blame for holding things up and negotiations will still continue to be non exsistant. If he brings it to the floor and it doesn't pass then dems will double down on the message that repubs in the house want the slimdown (it's not even close to a shutdown). It's a lose-lose for Boehner and Obama's plan is to force him into that vote. But then that brings us to Obama's lose-lose situation. If repubs hold strong through all of the deadlines, which would be a disaster for everyone, Obama would be in a mess that he helped create by holding onto a "I will not negotiate" mantra. No president has ever been so

    October 8, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. rs

    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....
    _______________________
    Clear demonstration the Right has no clue what it wants- it is all about the chaos their little cabal can inflict on America and that's all. Last week it was about the ACA, now your concerned about the deficts that grew out of the Reagan years.... sigh. Well whatever you decide remember this: You lost twice to Obama, the third time is the charm.

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

    Boehner would rather destroy the country than give Obama an inch. I think Boehner suffers from some mental illness and should be removed from office immediately. Same problem that men with small penxxxx suffer from.

    October 8, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Kevin

    I have never seen a time in my young life (if 38 can be counted as young) where a party in the majority has to sit down with the minority party to negoiate concessions to keep the country's government running and to keep the country from going into a depression (lack of debt limit increase) over a law that was passed 2 or 3 years ago by both legistative branches and signed by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Court. Even the right wing must understand that if the democrats and the President allow this it will become the norm of our government even when or if your party gets back into control. This amounts to holding the legislative process hostage. Our country is built upon majority rule and at this moment the democrats control both the Senate and the White House and this president was re-elected. He cannot allow this no matter the cost for the long term viability of this democracy. As a democrat I have always thought that the we should have repealed a majority of the bankruptcy law that the GOP passed several years ago, as well as a lot of the Patriot Act, however I understand why it never happen as this would undermine the whole system of government. However, the GOP or the TEA Party has no sense of that type of governing. I believe that the GOP is sealing their fate by using these tactics and will lose the House in 2014 and seats in the Senate if they continue on this path.

    October 8, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Dean

    Why doesn't CNN take a poll of how many Democrats in the Senate are against 1) ending subsidized healthcare benefits for Congress, 2) ending the medical device tax, and 3) extending the mandate exemption for 1 year like Obama did for businesses? Oh yeah, I know why. It's because they're a bogus media outlet that may as well be state-run.

    October 8, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. RugbyGuy

    Frank at 11:09 Thank you.

    October 8, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. Lisa P

    Another CNN article brought to you by biased untrue paid for reporting.

    October 8, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Sandra Richardson

    Get rid of Boehner, he and his group are a disgrace to the government. Playing with the jobs of the American people is not a way to act when you are suppose to be representing the people.

    October 8, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. dana

    Very good post "reasonableman". With your permission I am going to put that on other sites with credit to you.

    October 8, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Jim

    Lie or not, just vote to prove it. We will know the truth in five minutes.

    October 8, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. GiveMeABreak

    This is where the legislative process gets just plain stupid - when one powerful person in Congress can stop everything. It should be brought to the floor of the full house, a roll call vote taken, and then let the chips fall where they may. Enough of the political b.s. already.

    October 8, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40