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. Malory Archer

    JEAR

    Democracy works. crybaby doesn't.

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

    FIFY

    October 8, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. DonB

    So this is how democracy works? I always thought our government was based upon majority rule. We finally got a President that isn't an embarrassment and now congress is. USA, USA!

    October 8, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Joe Cleveland Guy

    Return the Senate to State Legislature control like it use to be befor the 17 Amendment. We the people got dupped on that one!

    October 8, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. emt

    How is it that the Republicans are getting away with this?

    October 8, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    concerned

    Democrats are calling Republicans terrorist and other non deisreable names and in fact, Obama has done more harm to this country than any President before him.

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

    Care to cite some CREDIBLE examples?

    October 8, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. MH

    Both sides are backed up against the wall.

    I'm sorry the GOP has backed themselves up against the wall by trying to keep the old failing (for the people that is, business loves it) healthcare insurance model alive, but GOP, it's over. Obamacare give people lower premiums (mine went from 437 to 350) and removes the "pre existing condition" and lifetime limit rules that bankrupted so many people.

    The DNC is backed up against the wall because they have fought for this for 40 some years. This is as close as the US has come to fair healthcare for all. If they give up now, we will never get it back and we all go back to waiting for the day when something major goes wrong with our health and we lose everything.

    I didn't want a shutdown and I don't want a default that damages our economy but I think this is the time to fight all the way. Let the GOP show itself, once again, for what it is: the party of business and the rich. I'd rather see economic damage now so that we can settle this issue now rather than lose obamacare and go back to the old system that will bankrupt most of us anyway.

    October 8, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Scott Cisney

    IThis is a man made crises from one side of the political spectrum. I hope, and pray, that people will remember this is how the republicans governed when they had their artificial gerry mandered majority in the house. I don't know though. People forget so quickly. The millions and millions of people hurt by this action (me included) HAVE to remember next fall when the midterm elections come. Even people where I live who would vote for Adolph Hitler if he were a republican have to be feeling SOMETHING! SOME sort of cognitive dissonance when they look at what is hurting them and who did it!?!

    October 8, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. VJ

    Lets bring it on!!! @John – There are votes to pass CR without any string. This has been reported by MSNBC, AL Jazeera, wall st, new york times and many media outlets. Your fawled networks doesn't report these news to you, since they want to blame Obama as much as they can. Sorry.. You are going to loose.

    October 8, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. asdfsd

    The only thing more inept than the government is a company named experian. Try to sign up at healthcare.gov and you will find out what I mean.

    October 8, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. aaron

    Well, John, you can stroll back over to Fox "News" to get the one-sided conservative version that you're so obviously craving.

    October 8, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. oneWayfarer

    What is happening is NOT Politics but the EXTORTION of an INDIVIDUAL
    Representing a cadre of CONFEDERATE ZOMBIES who have America Under ATTACK
    just like 9/11

    October 8, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. Malory Archer

    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.

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

    All 195 Dems have said they will vote for a clean CR.

    October 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Widow

    Well then why hasn't anyone signed the discharge petition to force a vote?

    October 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Rick

    It appears Mr. Boehner is "holding America hostage" for a partisan agenda. the Healthcare law has already been passed. Pure terrorism. The world must be laughing... do we still consider ourselves the brightest nation in the world? We can still be if we stop the foolishness. Vote!

    October 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Dean

    If a new edition of Profiles in Courage came out, and profiled members of the House instead of the Senate who took heroic political action, John Boehner would not be in it. Boehner's only interest is keeping his job as Speaker, he has no consideration for the wellbeing of the country.

    October 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. fed up

    The president should not back down. These republicans won't win, Ted Cruz is full of crap. It's like a little kid who did't get his way here. I thought the government was supposed to make decisions not based on their personal beliefs. Guess I'm wrong. This ideological attitude is b.s. and the world has changed. The public spoke and we still don't matter up on the hill. Amazing how greedy all of them really are. SAD

    October 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Yankee Doodle

    I don't think Obama was ever spanked as a child.

    October 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Dase

    Close wright Patterson AFB and turn it into an ACA call center.

    October 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. jean

    Just vote on it. Before this mess I was an Independent with Republican leanings. Now I am almost a Democrat. My money next election will go to whoever runs against Nonetheless and Curses

    October 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Anonymous

    A temporary bill? For what? So, in a week or two you can do this again? No thanks!

    October 8, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. DVILU

    mR Boehner: We would like tto thank you for you past sevice, and wish you much success in your future ventures. Which for the sake of the American people, has nothing to do with politics. Now get the hell out of here!

    October 8, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Jay

    So Boehner said he would not bring the CR bill up on the floor because he would not have enough votes for it to pass yet he has brought 40 different bills up to abolish the Affordable Care Act when he knew well in advance it had not a chance in hell of ever passing through the Senate. He can waste the time of the House when it suits the Republicans but not try when it will clearly benefit the whole of America. All he cares about is the SMAA (that is Save My Ass Act). Just put it to the floor and if it does fail you can thumb your nose at the president and say I told you so.

    October 8, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Buffalo Yetti

    How does one go about removing a speaker of the house?

    October 8, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. American

    Impeach Boehner and America will be in better shape....

    October 8, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Jon Weban

    But has CNN or ABC, etc., done any OFF-THE-RECORD polling of SENATE DEMOCRATS to see how many might actually support a CR that includes a delay of ObamaCare, as most voters really want? It is irresponsible/biased journalism to try to degrade support for House Republicans holding their position, while ignoring the likelihood that a handful of Senate Democrats might change their positions, for an even better outcome for most Americans.

    October 8, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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