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. smokeee

    Boehner and many Republicans just flat out lied to the American people about this although it was obvious when they wouldn't even allow a vote. Even if they lie often, it is unbelievable to me how they get away with it so regularly, and now when this whole set of events has been under such a microscope.

    October 8, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. Fred

    Republicans are betraying the Constitution the claim to love and honor.

    Look up Section 4 of the 14th Amendment – there is another story here about Section 4 and why it exists.

    That republicans would threaten the United States like this is unConstitutional.

    Republicans don't truly love this country or the Constitution. They pick and choose what they want to abide by and throw away the rest.

    Republicans are traitors to the Constitution. Talking to you John Boehner. Let the House vote!

    October 8, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Harry Baxter

    If Boner persists in maintaining this roadblock, he will cement his reputation as one of the most incompetent politicians in US history. Even if he doesn't, he's pretty close.

    October 8, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. rep

    Boehner and the GOP sicken me. But here's where I think the Dems could give a little more to try and get things moving:

    Have the House pass the clean CR and debt ceiling and THEN Obama & Dems offer prioritize passing a full budget and includes some entitlement reforms–before ANY other legislation can be discussed. That may not seem like much of a concession at first, but it will hold up everything else on Dems' agenda until it gets done–immigration reform, infrastructure funding, even (unfortunately) emergency relief funds. That way, the country keeps moving for now and some very important negotiations still take place ahead of everything else.

    October 8, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Peacemaker

    A guy once said, let my people vote! Or go.

    October 8, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. Anonymoose

    The Republicans will vote 40+ times to defund the ACA...on each and every occasion KNOWING there weren't enough votes to pass it. Yet the Speaker won't set a vote for this particular CR because...?

    The GOP's shenanigans will backfire in 2014 simply because MOST of those who vote aren't as stupid as the Republicans take them to be. A shame...

    October 8, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. AG

    CNN should repeat this every hour that the government is shutdown. There are the votes and Boehner won't let the Representatives elected by the American people vote. Shame on you John Boehner – democracy demands that the voters be heard and that you, as leader of the House, stop pandering to a small group of right wing Republicans with a self-serving, extremist ideology.

    October 8, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. American Worker

    Good. Boehner is pulling a Harry Reid.

    October 8, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. ronald K. Lewis

    Once again the Speaker of the House is lying to the American people, isn't this grounds for impeachment? Actually you could impeach both houses of Congress and no one would know the difference.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. TG

    So basically, according to CNN, nobody has the balls to stand up to Boehner.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. Jose Jemanes

    Who exactly does Boehner represent in Congress? It can't be the American people–it must be himself and his gang.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. tednugent'sdiapers

    Well, now we see the actions of our "patriots." Time to ban the Republican Party and the criminals that are its members.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Bob

    NYVeteran, actually Peter King has already said CNN is lying about his vote, so there is not 217.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Activist4Vets

    This headline makes the adequate case that we are looking at extreme mental illness and behavior misconduct along with a list of other potential ETHICS violations against Cantor and Boehner. If only somebody would file the papers to have them removed. The state of Ohio should be extremely embarrassed into a RatHole right now.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. betterdays

    Well, Ohio looks good to me: D=Y; R=N.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Jeff

    GOP's fault ... proof positive.

    October 8, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Name tim

    Kick that so called speaker out on his butt, he has gotten to big for his own good. He is not for the people he is for himself.

    October 8, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. LarrytheCableGuy

    All just political "gaming", manufactured by the Fed bank and Wall Street Crime Cartels, perfectly acted out over media entertainments by the Congressional Crime Cartel, default isn't possible!

    October 8, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. SeattleReign

    Of course Boehner won't bring it to a vote, not without the same old same old stuff the GOP has been pulling for the last four years. If they can't kill ACA, they want everyone to suffer, and they don't care as long as their jobs are safe. Kind of a dangerous game to play, just because they lost two elections that put a black man in office over the standard old white guys.

    October 8, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. NonBeliever

    Saul C, president Obama got Osama bin Laden because the CIA got intelligence from waterboarding, a technique that Obama called "torture" and said we shouldn't use. All Obama did was authorize a strike that was enabled by the groundwork done under Bush that used techniques that Obama decried as inhuman. You don't get your cake and get to eat it to.

    October 8, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Thomas

    Who needs enemies when you have the TeaParty

    Thank you Ted Cruz ?

    October 8, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. If there weren't the votes, they would prove it

    The thing is that if Boehner wasn't full of it, he would call a vote simply to stick it to the President and say "haha, see, I told you so," then cry about it. Since he is unwilling to even bring it to a vote, it shows that he is not confident that he will get his way and he's bluffing to get some concessions from the democrats. It worked before with the Busch tax cuts and again with the debt ceiling, but that was before the President was reelected by a landslide based on the fact that the informed American public (most of whom will benefit from the ACA) wanted the ACA and didn't elect Mitt Romney primarily because he said he would get rid of it (despite the fact that it was based on his signature achievement as Governor in Mass.).

    October 8, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Thomas Jefferson

    Someone should do a 'stupid' poll among Congress. For example, how many of them know what are the Bill of Rights? My guess is about half don't know them or could even name one Amendment.

    October 8, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Michael in Houston

    The votes are there to resolve this now and they cant do even that? Gutless. I mean think about that one....they can reach agreement but cant agree?? Are they this useless that they cant even agree to agree?

    October 8, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. jake

    you know, i'm starting to think that the republicans want the obama presidency to fail.............

    October 8, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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