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. Tea Party

    The house can vote 42 times to overturn a law that will fail...Yet have no time to vote for funding the government(well parts of it). Looks like this shutdown will be lasting months at this point. Back to a recession by Christmas. Then a depression by summer. Republicans have certainly proven one thing over the last 12 years, they know how to bankrupt America.

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

    What recourse or even rights do the American people have about the sedition going on in Congress. Can we make a citizens arrest of any lawmakers? Do we have any rights at all or do we just have to sit back and take it?

    October 8, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. sockratease01

    The Extreme right is the number #1 domestic enemy of the American People, our beloved nation and Federal Government. These America-hating, political terrorists are traitors. Arrest them and charge them with Treason. I want to see the whole lot of them doing a collective perp walk in time for the Evening News.

    October 8, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. judith

    Boehner is an extortionist, plain and simple. Is is he so stupid that he does not realize his tactics will bring down his own party? These Republicans are being anti-American and treasonous with their tactics. What a useless man and useless political party. Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower would not recognize these criminals.

    October 8, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. larry taylor

    I think if the hop disentangle pass a bill they should not be reelected to any public office by there states espically Ted Cruz he thinks only about his self and not the people that voted him in public office and the same about the republican officials to espically johnbaner the speacker of the house they need to be fired or enpeached from running for any public office

    October 8, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Saul C

    No SMOKENJOE you are wrong. It's not criminal other wise the TeaParty would try to start impeachment proceeding along with their other insane idea's. And He is not the worst negotiator in history . I think Jimmy Carter has that. Presidents from the south have been a disaster for this country. PRESIDENT OBAMA got OSAMA BIN LADEN, PRESIDENT OBAMA got AMERICA OFF THE BRINK OF A DEPRESSION, PRESIDENT OBAMA, HAS KEPT GAS PRICES FROM SKYROCKETING, and MORE ELECTRIC CAR'S ON THE ROAD. PRESIDENT OBAMA GOT ELECTED TWICE TO BE AMERICAS PRESIDENT. PRESIDENT OBAMA WON THE NOBLE "PEACE" PRIZE. SMOKENJOE don't be so AFRAID of the TRUTH. That you allow your HATRED to SMOTHER your INTELLIGENCE. My fellow AMERICAN.

    October 8, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. sockratease01

    The Extreme right is the number #1 domestic enemy of the American People, our beloved nation and our Federal Government. These America-hating, political terrorists are traitors. Arrest them and charge them with Treason. I want to see the whole lot of them doing a collective perp walk in time for the Evening News.

    October 8, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. America First

    The House controls 1/2 of 1/3rd of government. Someone needs to tell them that. Killing jobs in a shut down is temper tantrum, tea party style. Time to toss the tea.

    October 8, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. JAustin

    I see all this stuff on TV saying it the republicans fault for not allowing a vote on a clean bill but I remember the same thing happening just before the shutdown. Didn't the Senate not allow a vote on several bills sent up from Congress? Look point the finger at whoever you want but the whole lot of them from the President down are wrong and all need to go. This is not a republican or democrat problem... this is a leadership problem and we don't seem to have any true leadership in office right now. Of course part of this is due to the broken system we have that allows politicians to cross their arms and throw a temper instead of talking and fixing things.... and we still pay them their already bloated paychecks. The longer this goes on the more people will see that the system is broken and needs to be fixed.

    October 8, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Kyle

    Thank goodness that we're finally done with this "Both sides are being unreasonable" nonsense that the Media has been trying to push on us. Democrats already agreed to the Republican spending bill. Democrats called for negotiations 19 times on the House floor, and were turned down flatly by Republicans. Republicans held 41 completely pointless votes to "defund" Obamacare, but now won't allow ONE vote to put American citizens back to work.

    October 8, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. rodarius

    since the votes are their why is the government still closed this is not right at all because people have family they have to support their family and its just goanna get worse

    October 8, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. snowdogg

    "A CNN survey shows 217 House members - the minimum needed - are willing to OK a measure to end the partial government shutdown. But Speaker Boehner won't set a vote."

    Why should one person have the ability to stymie the government?

    October 8, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. chuck

    If anything, this shows how the U.S. Government is too big, and how the Democrats rule by fear, and crisis. The budget doesnt have to be voted on as a whole and in fact it should be voted on separately if it would keep stupid laws that are really a big tax disguised as some kind of humanitarian godsend. I make 50k and have had my own policy which i didnt have any problem finding, i got on the phone and called anthem and bought it. it has gone up over the years, and i thought it was expensive until i just got my cancellation letter, the company cited due to changes in the law, ie the affordable healthcare act, they were terminating the plan i was in and they could offer me a " more comprehensive plan" curious, i went online to my states health exchange and found the plan as well as several others, the cheapest of which was 3000 dollars more than i pay currently. i will admit the monthly payment was less by a hundred dollars , but it had a 6000 dollar deductable. I am sad to say after weighing my options i may just buy a good life insurance policy, pay the penalty or not ( and fight it out in court) and pay my doctor cash as she already has a big sign that offers a discount for payment on day of service.

    October 8, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. rc

    O and Reid would rather sink the US than to do what is right for America.

    October 8, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Chris

    Please educate this Canadian who is a small bit confused about Democracy. I have been watching all of this unfold over the past several weeks and I have a question about U.S. Policy. When one individual, regardless of position, is permitted by law to stand and refuse individuals the right to vote, what political system is that called? Is this not what the Speaker is doing? I thought voting could not be refused in a Democratic Society... I have become very confused by your "Democracy".
    Regards,
    Chris

    October 8, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. ora pike

    i am aick of CNN biased reporting. think not? wolfe biased UPSET about clint's empty chair??? if obama had thought of that you would praise your socialist buddie. CC, cheeseburger candy in a debate agreed with obama??? THE PRESIDENT IS THE WORSE PRESIDENT SINCE CARTER AND HE IS A SPOILED BRAT WHO HAS TO HAVE HIS OWN WAY-AND HAS SAID SO. We are on a crash course to bankruptcy, we no longer have respect around the world-more like the laughing stock. We are headed for more debt with this socialist attitude that only government can run things like our health plans. GET THE PRESIDENT TO SIT DOWN AND WORK THIS OUT-PERIOD. CNN, you are the modern day joseph goebbels and should wake up. I am a vet, love my country, and when obama shut down and put up barriers to our vets here and overseas-well it is time for CHANGE--CHANGE WHO IS PRESIDENT.

    October 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    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"
    -------------------------–
    My, what short memories some right wingers have. Last year this time the right wing was complaining about Pres. Obama was planning to steal $787 billion from Medicare in order to pay for Obamacare. Obviously, you've forgotten.

    "Nice try, but we gotcha."

    October 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Al LaRose

    We are now officially a POLARIZED COUNTRY. Simply look at the elction maps of the last few elections. This, along with gerrymandering districts has created numerous elected congressman that are immune tio challenges.

    On 10/1 the House of representatives changed the rules to limit the ordering of bills to be voted on. The Senate takes simialr appoaches and includes the Super Majority, while we elect Presidents on much lower percentages!!

    MANY obstacles have been created by Congress over the years an NEED TO BE UNDONE as they are paralyzing our government. Among them:

    Eliminate the Super Majority required in the Senate.

    Outlaw filibustering. congress is ineffective enough without this spectacle.

    Allow all bills with minimum support ot be voted on (WITH NO UNRELATED AMENDMENTS)

    Redraw voting districts geographically instead of politically.

    The recent trend toward nearly 50% of congress transitioning to lobbying jobs should be addressed.

    Al

    October 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. jbloe

    The speaker appears to be a liar.

    October 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Viktoria Michaelis

    When you come right down to it, it makes no difference if the votes for a CR are there or not. It should be brought out and voted on so that we know, and then either the government starts up again, or we get to see people heading to the negotiating table without all the macho posturing.

    October 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. TRex

    CNN...pollsters for, and media arm of the liberal-democrat party(s)...

    October 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. anonymous

    i guess the liberals haven't noticed they don't run the house. harry reid needs to start voting on funding bills sent to the senate. the house has passed many of them and the democrats refuse to vote on them and pass them.

    democrats dictating to the house about what to do is not an option. they need to negotiate and compromise as has always been the case.

    October 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. tonyl

    America should not give in to GOP terrorists holding the nation hostage. 25 to 30 congressmen along with their "cry baby Alqada leader Boehner" have the nation at a gunpoint and are threatening the newly elected President just less then a year ago. GOP right wing fanatics with their extremist ideology should be destroyed.

    October 8, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Half A Brain

    I'm glad to see CNN advocating a half truth. You could use the exact same headline and discuss how the Senate is refusing to bring up appropriation bills for NIH, the National Park Service, and other agencies. However, Harry Reid will not allow the Senate to vote on these individual appropriations, which would win be a substantial majority in the Senate. Also, funding the government by individual appropriations is the traditional way the government has operated for over 200 years, until the Obama Administration.

    October 8, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. rs

    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.
    ________________________________
    Here's more simple truth- the GOP will get the blame for this anyway- you've already lost because Boehner put himself above party, and the GOP put party above America.

    October 8, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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