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

    "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 US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. ...Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here'. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and Grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
    BHO

    October 8, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. Data Driven

    @Hardliner,

    "What is this CNN, you trying to artificially move along the democratic process"

    What "democratic process"? Boehner is the one who is preventing that process from moving forward by not allowing a vote on the floor that would pass.

    October 8, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. ItSoNlYmE

    So now we see 100% for certain who is responsible for the shutdown (hint: it's not Obama or the Democrats).

    October 8, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. Robert

    Jason:
    "We should fire each and everyone one of these idiots when election rolls around... putting the hard working backbone of this country out of work."

    Are you referring to federal workers? Keep it shut and see how necessary the many federal functions are.
    RATS don't want partial funding because it will reveal what agencies are useless or actually detrimental.

    October 8, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. Julie Labrouste

    Hello? Herr Boehner? Prove it.

    October 8, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  6. Jay

    How is it this John Boehner guy can hold an entire Nation hostage? Legally? That's truly messed up as if he speaks for all 320 million Americans.

    October 8, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. Bessy

    Maybe the reason Boehner doesn't want to take it to a vote is because there are more Republican votes there than he is willing to admit to. I'm sure these Republican terrorists are hearing from the people back home. If not, they should be.
    Just a thought !

    October 8, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. GOP = Greed Over People

    Validation that Boehner is a lying, bag of hot air!

    This qualifies as "breaking" news, how, exactly?

    October 8, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. LibThrasher

    Keep the government shutdown and the debt limit as is until this despot Obama decides to listen to the American people.

    October 8, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Firstname Lastname

    Idiots. The blame is on all of them. Not any one of them, but all of them for failing us all. The fastest way to recover from this invented disaster is to fire all of them in every branch. Cut off all aid to any country but this one. Voting is useless when they have NO MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 8, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. Hogan's Goat

    "Where and how did CNN get this information?" Google "journalism" and "news beats" and you may begin to understand how reporters ask people questions and write down their answers, then put them in order for a news story. Maybe you can be a reporter when you grow up!

    October 8, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. prsorensen

    The GOP has generated this mess by taking the federal government hostage. They failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act so they decided to shut everything down until they get what they want. But this is the party that lost the last election. More americans voted for democrats for the house of representatives than republicans. The only reason the republicans maintain control of the house is because of gerrymandering. The house is NOT representative of the peoples wishes as expressed in out votes. The GOP lost and now they are throwing a temper tantrum. We MUST get rid of this bunch of sickos!

    October 8, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    "What is this CNN, you trying to artificially move along the democratic process"

    I can attest to throwing that theory out the window by simple virtue of the fact that I cannot get a post cleared for takeoff.

    October 8, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  14. John

    Tea party folks have been threatening house republicans if they should vote on a clean CR. "Clean CR or their house seat"!!.
    Not only does the White House have a gun to their head but so does most moderate house republicans!

    October 8, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Bill

    There have been a lot of lies and finger pointing between democrat and republican lines........but you can always trace the big issues back to one person. That one person continues to be Boehner.........

    October 8, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Jim

    Oh, silly me, if CNN says there are enough votes then it must be true. They would never stretch the truth or skew the view.

    October 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. CountryConcerned

    That's interesting, the liberal CNN says the votes are there to drive the country deeper in debt, the Fox polls say the votes are not there and that most Americans want cuts in government to reduce the deficit. It amazes me how much media and not the government runs the country.

    October 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. ShawnDH

    Call for a vote on the clean CR, Boehner. You COWARD!

    October 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Just_One

    That's it CNN; keep pushing the agenda

    October 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. auditna

    Maybe the Congress does not have the "will" to vote, but I have and will vote against any incumbent next time around.

    October 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Janet Totten

    This is disgraceful. Boehner is blocking the democratic process, and this needs to end. I wish the President would go on TV and appeal to the American people to put the pressure on their representatives to end this fiasco.

    October 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. Paul

    CNN is slowly losing me as a fan –
    What temerity to impose their pro Obama views and attempt to sway the American people.
    Who voted CNN into office??

    October 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. LetsGetSerious

    And thus, Republicans are the roadblock. Call the vote. See what you have. If it doesn't pass, THEN you have a leg to stand on.

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. Joi Gibson

    This is outrageous. The government is shut down purely for ideological and pig-headed reasons and now the House Republicans want the President to give them something to help them out of the cluster they created. Open the government and he will negotiate. it's as simple as that. Boehner doesn't know whether he's on foot or horseback – he should hold a vote, open the government, and stand up to the loons in his caucus. Show some backbone. I look at this way – the President's term is over in 2016. He and Speaker Boehner should do a grand bargain and they both go out on a high note by doing what is difficult, but right for the country.. But Boehner is too scared of his looney tune faction and too worried about his own hide. Shame on him. As far as I am concerned, this is all on him!!!

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. Faux Scandals

    He can't move til he gets his orders from Cruz!

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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