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

    This has been being reported for days on alternate media. Anyone getting their news from cnn, cnbc, or fox... you have no idea what's going on. Get yourself away from corporate news, you're being sold a product that has little to do with news or journalism. They're part of the problem.

    October 8, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Hogan's Goat

    As long as the farmers back home don't realize they are being used by these city-slickers, they have it made.

    October 8, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. RugbyGuy

    "Washington (CNN) – There appeared to be enough votes in the House on Tuesday to approve legislation to reopen the federal government, according to an ongoing CNN survey of House members." The RINOs (Dixicrats, neoconservative chicken hawks, Tea Party, etc.) will be out to shoot the messenger.

    October 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. End_the_SHUTDOWN_Boehner

    Vote: clean bill and pay our debts

    October 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Black intuition

    Do yo thang Obama, you the man bro

    October 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. maraba1

    CNN should be renamed as Democrat Voice Box (DVB). It certainly is not an unbiased news agency – not by a long stretch! They should be ashamed of themselves.

    October 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. wayne

    What about Harry Reid putting the House Bill to a Senate vote by majority of 51 instead of the 2/3 vote of 60 CNN again telling half the story to try and get the public behind their bias point of view

    October 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. captcaps

    Boehner and Cruz Must Go! Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. NonBeliever

    For those of you that cry that this is unprecedented or that you "have never seen a government shutdown" please Google "Here is every previous government shutdown". There have been plenty of shutdown by both parties. Just some facts guys. Read the Washington Post article. Not exactly a Tea Party newspaper.

    October 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. allenwoll

    Boehner's position MUST be abolished.

    October 8, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Gman

    Obama is governing by 'double-dog" daring the republicans.

    October 8, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. vethusbandfather

    This article is incredibly mis-leading. Many of these reps indicated they would only support a short term clean CR for a few weeks. In other words, no Democrats do not have enough votes to pass a full clean CR, and even if a short term the Presedient and Harry Reid have been very clear that they will not agree to a short term CR.

    October 8, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Fred

    John Boehner, LET THE HOUSE VOTE!!!!!!!!

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. BigSir

    A guy who took 7 years to get a B.A. giving the American people endless BS!

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Mary

    "Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all, gloom, despair, and agony on me."

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Capt Beefheart

    Which makes more sense: Defaulting on our loans or voting for changes to national health care after it's implemented? Seems we can modify health care as time goes on (including changing it's funding and budgeting), but once loan default has occurred, it's very hard to undo. Last time Congress indulged in this stupidity we lost our AAA credit rating as a nation. Have we earned it back yet? Did we learn anything from this exercise?

    I'm sick of the tea party moron minority dictating what happens for the rest of us. And I'm REALLY sick of Boehner acting like he's the ruler. Obama was elected president twice and should be treated with respect, even if you don't like him and even if you don't like his policies. Boehner and the rest of Congress should make sincere efforts to communicate and negotiate instead of empty hand waving gestures or demands through the media, and TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTION, not the grade school playground antics. And the tea party should take a hard look at the damage to the country they are causing by making these demands. If they want smaller government and less spending, they should go about reducing them one item at a time over a period of time vs. one nuclear blast that flattens the nation's economy and respectability all at once. I'm REALLY angry with this silliness.

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Joe in Florida

    If you consider the 14 GOP votes from California did not respond to CNN and that California has very little TP districts. I think that the votes are there no matter what.

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. JLM

    Sandra Richarson – You are not seeing the big picture. If CNN is the only place you get your news you need to dig deeper. Boehner wants Obama to at least have a discussion on way to cut spending and waste to pay for Obamacare. That is what his constituents demand. We are spending our children's future away.

    Have you read this statement? Something you wil never see on CNN:

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. ... I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

    — Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. jsdarkstar

    The Republican Party can end the shutdown by voting on the Senate's CR. The Tea Party is holding the country hostage. Politics by force is now the new Republican mantra. Well it will cost them in 2016. It's clear they are to blame and it is just as clear then can open the Government any time they want. Vote on the Senate CR and end this madness.

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Dr. Stan

    I'm proud to see so many Pennsylvania Republicans on that list.

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. wade moran

    "CNN's vote count appears to bear out what President Barack Obama said on Monday." CNN, always stumping for their boy

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. mbw

    Enough is enough. It is ridiculous for the Republican Party to shut down the government and then pass legislation to pay for government employees to not work. What is the matter with their brains? Obviously, this is just a political ploy to either accept the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act or to look bad for not paying government workers to not work. This is no longer a two party system. The use of the Hastert rule by the Republican Party has reduced our
    government to rule by an extremist majority within the Republican Party. It is time to recognize that the Tea Party is
    a disruptive faction which is endangering our democracy.

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. ARMYCSM

    Surrender GOP. Now or later. You've had your day in the sun. Nov 2014 is coming and bringing Hell with it!

    October 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. knicksfan518

    the hostage takers running the GOP are blocking a vote of the majority, which, incidently is how this country is supposed to be run. They lost two elections and a decision by SCOTUS and still want to grandstand about what THEY want. that's not how it works. The United States of America doesn't negotiate with terrorist hostage takers.

    October 8, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Joe Smith

    If the republicans really believe that they represent the desires of the majority, then they have nothing to fear from bringing a clean bill to the floor of the congress. To me, the fact that they refuse to do so shows that they KNOW that they don't have the support of the majority, and are willfully obstructing the proper functioning of the entire government in an attempt to force their own partisan viewpoint down the throats of the majority.

    October 8, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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