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

    Call a vote and see what happens.

    October 8, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. abnguy

    @ Dana, there is a provision in the Constitution that would allow what you are talking about. It is the Second Amendment liberals are always attacking.
    @snowdogg 'Why should one person have the ability to stymie the government?" Are you arguing that the president should not have veto power? The system of checks and balances are vital for the government to function correctly and prevent tyranny.

    October 8, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. dwayne

    This is so bad for America.
    My Family in Australia just shake there heads and I am embarrassed to have to try and explain why we are in this mess .
    We used to be so admired around the World. I cannot imagine what all these terrorists here and around the world must be thinking about this performance by our politicians.
    I have been here 35 Years and I just don't get it .
    Whatever happened to the good of Humanity and the welfare of Humans.
    Its all about Money and power . Such a shame.

    October 8, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. John

    I simply don't believe CNN's reporting on this. They have proven time and again to be biased. They run misleading headlines and they ask gotcha questions to conservatives but at the same time never grill Obama for the dumb or divisive stuff he's done. CNN is not an honest news outlet and therefore I don't believe for 1 minute the votes are there.

    October 8, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. If there weren't the votes, they would prove it

    Boehner is bluffing. If he knew the vote would turn out his way, he would have held it already just to stick it to the president, but he won't even consider holding the vote. He is bluffing. He knows it will pass, which is not what his financial backers want. Boehner is more concerned about keeping his money flowing than governing.

    October 8, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "@Sniffit, they did name them. They're in the article above. Seventeen Republican names."

    I was asking someone for the names of all the news agencies he/she claimed are reporting that there are not enough votes, not the names of the GOPers who would vote for a clean CR (did you not read the quote I was responding to?).

    October 8, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. LoboLoco

    The Potus and Senate need to stand firm, they are dealing with the collective petulant child of the house bohner. Bohner has totally lost face with his rabble rouser/s in the house. Its time for him to resign.

    October 8, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. bxgrrl

    Good for Obama. He should have been this tough all along instead of bending over backwards in a misguided effort to try to please people who despise him.

    October 8, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Soapy Smith

    Many of the people commenting here are calling for withholding the pay of our elected representatives until they actually get some work done. It won't work because EVERY ONE of them are MILLIONAIRES and out of touch with Joe the plumber, Bob the teacher, and Sharon the secretary, who have to pay their mortgage, car note, clothes for the kids, feed the kids, save for college every month and they're worried about the economy tanking so they try to do their own plumbing repairs. Where does that leave Joe, Bob and Sharon? In financial trouble, that's where. Meanwhile our elected millionaires are fiddling while America burns. Both sides are to blame for this fiasco of a government and there will be a loud flushing of the toilet that Washington has become come next election day.
    I can't help but wonder who will play John Boehner in the movie that will surely come of this.

    October 8, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. JEAR

    Democracy works. Obama doesn't

    October 8, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Lindsey

    435-217=218 If 217 reps. favor a clean CR then 218 oppose it. Why is CNN saying that 217 is enough?

    October 8, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. John

    I often wonder if people really believe all the media hype and the posturing at the podiums. Listen folks, this is really simple: Boehner, Reid and Obama and their buddies have sold a bunch of stock when it was high and now they have been waiting for the stock market to get spooked and drop the prices. That is why they are making all these fired up comments and threatening default and to continue the shutdown. The market didn't drop far enough yet. Once the market drops, our elected leaders will put their cash back into the market, at much lower prices, and MIRACULOUSLY come to a 'deal'. The market will recover and they will be even more rich than before. And if the "little people" get hosed in the process, well, that's just too bad for them, isn't it?

    October 8, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Fred

    The Republican National Committee website had a "contact us" button before the shutdown went into effect.

    Now it is gone.

    Sounds like too many people actually were contacting the RNC and the RNC didn't like what they had to say.

    Nothing like closing your eyes, hands over your ears, and running straight into a brick wall to build confidence in these fine representatives of the American public...

    October 8, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Bill Yarbrough

    Interesting story. So, how many Democrats are willing to vote for the 8 bills sent to the Senate? You see Harry Reid won't let those come to the floor either. I'm no Republican apologist and I think both sides deserve blame, but CNN et al are very biased in this reporting.

    October 8, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. weezer

    Boehner is hoping he'll get what he wants if he starts to cry.

    October 8, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Sniffit

    NO. QUARTER.

    Stew in it, GOPers/Teatrolls. Stew.

    October 8, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Stick to your guns Obama! I am with ya! Do not budge! Those Republicans are screwing everything up as usual!

    October 8, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. ratherbboatint

    From what I am reading on other news networks, the votes are not there as CNN is trying to claim.

    October 8, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Malory Archer

    abnguy

    @ Dana, there is a provision in the Constitution that would allow what you are talking about. It is the Second Amendment liberals are always attacking.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And there it is.....

    October 8, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Anonymous

    We need to pay our bills. We need to limit overspending and over taxing. We need politicians (real ones) to come to the tables to do this. We need good government. We need not to continue to be held hostage by corporate, PAC, and individual interests. We need this now more than ever.

    October 8, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Lori

    CNN –
    Publish – one by one – the dems who are on record stating that would join with Boehner and act as one. It won't mean squat – your selective reporting – if dems are not on board in equal numbers to keep the government open.

    Name them, CNN. I wonder if you can. THE DEMS.

    October 8, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. Bill Davis

    Thanks John Boehner I've lost $287K of stock value in a week. Thank you very effing much....

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. JEAR

    The lame duck knows he has nothing to lose. He has no backbone. He has no leadership abilities. His pundits are running from him. It is time he acts like an executive and start compromising and negotiating. He has ruined the USA, stop now and start healing us Obama!

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. James Madison

    A House divided against itself is doomed to fall. Ring a bell, GOP?

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Lori

    Call a vote and see if DEMS all vote. In favor. Do it today. GOP – give me a break.

    BOTH parties have kept this government locked down. BOTH of them.

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 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