Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will
October 8th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
6 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 (982 Responses)
  1. 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 |
  2. ChuckName

    CNN and democrat counts being the same is not a coincidence. CNN has been shrilly advocating for the democrats since they were incorporated

    October 8, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Jason

    If we are negotiating a law passed three years earlier then we also need to negotiate Iraq war medicare partD and Bush crimes

    October 8, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. chaing

    In 2014 WE will have the votes and the will!

    October 8, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. craig pettit

    Hmmm. The liberals didn't think it was unfair to pass Obamacare with 80 lame duck votes - it was legal. Why are they calling foul now? There isn't anything happening here that Obama hasn't done.

    October 8, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Gisabun

    Boehner [and some Republicans] is holding America hostage. He should be ashamed.

    October 8, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. joe v

    I hope the Government defaults. Then maybe the American people will finally be feed up enough to put down there phones and Facebook, grab there torches and pitch forks and right this mess!

    October 8, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. cpuff

    Spineless, worthless politicians. Call the damn vote, the American people are fed up with the Bull Shit and political stunts. Obama is here, so you failed to do a damn thing about it. Move on, pull up your pants and call a vote every chance you get until a bill finally passes. You all are embarrassing the nation in front of the world. Then when you can get back in touch with the public you represent pass a bill that raises the debt ceiling. You all put brought us here might as well roll with it then you all can start doing some research and hard work on start trimming the fat. I'll hint at a starting point with your outrageous retirement plan and benefits. If you can't start with your own then leave everyone else's future out of it.

    October 8, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Cathy

    ...but not a word on Harry Reid not scheduling any votes for the bills that have made it through the House??

    Both parties stink

    October 8, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Vince

    Loving every minute of it! Free adverting for Dems in 2014! Keep up the shutdown GOP...keep it up!!!

    October 8, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. danield

    you silly people thinking that the Dems are going to break from voting for a clean CR and that CNN didn’t take that in to consideration. you forget that the Dems are together on this one and not one has said they agree with the shut down. At this point i hope Obama does agree to negotiate, what he needs to do now is agree to get rid of the medical device tax, in turn we roll back the tax cuts for major corporations and the rich. Let’s see if they’re willing to come to the table then! We know they wont and it will just show how much the GOP is for them and the people who pay them and not all the American people. OHH and for you who say the American people don’t want health care, ummm yeah check the new poll numbers!! You guys are on the wrong side of this one

    October 8, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. voter

    I dare you guys to actually do what you are suppose to do and represent the people that voted for you. Not keep everything on a standstill until you meet your donors needs. If you don't – I really hope that those same people see that you don't have another term.

    October 8, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. $$$$

    The Republicans have already won. They have reduced government spending through the sequester cuts. The budget deficit is already lower and the U.S. fiscal situation has improved.
    The next target is Obamacare. Wait six months from now and see how popular Obama and the ACA are with the electorate. Many people have already had insurance plans either eliminated or their premiums have substantially increased as I can attest to personally. The one thing that all of Ted Cruz's theatrics have done is to tattoo OBAMACARE across the forehead of every Democrat in Congress. There will be hell to pay for the Democrats in November of 2014.

    October 8, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Erik

    Bluff called... and I lean republican. Lying to the public and media and sounding factual about the vote not passing shows his true ties... just makes Conservatives even more hated. Way to go.

    October 8, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. ART

    As a veteran it really pisses me off that Boehner is blocking death benefits for our fallen soldiers,that man belongs in front of a fireing squad

    October 8, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. MontanaSon

    So what then? 20 trillion? 40 trillion? This thing is going down one way or the other. May as well have it out now, before the whole thing topples under its own weight.

    October 8, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. SirQL8

    Most Americans are too financially ignorant to realize that Congress is saving America from financial ruin. With the deficit at $17T, (2.3B interest daily) it may already be too late. If Obama gets his way to continue borrowing from the Chinese to fund entitlement programs, the US will plunge into the depths of a Kondrietieff winter.

    October 8, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. MidGround

    After reading most of these posts, I can see a lot of educated thoughts and uneducated thoughts. Over all, I weep for america.

    October 8, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Tom101

    Home-grown terrorists Boehner and the GOP have shown that they are more willing and able to hurt America than any foreign terrorist could.

    October 8, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. teaparty days are numbered

    i heard today all the teaparty politicians and alot of the republicans sent money to Putin to run against the next Democrat in 2016 presidential race. They would have liked Hitler better but he is dead.

    October 8, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Sandra Tambini

    1. Mike Coffman
    2. Tim Griffin
    3. Bill Young
    4. Dennis Ross
    5. Mike Simpson
    6. Frank LoBiondo
    7. Jon Runyan
    8. Pete King
    9. Michael Grimm
    10. Jim Gerlach
    11. Pat Meehan
    12. Michael Fitzpatrick
    13. Lou Barletta
    14. Charles Dent
    15. Robert Wittman
    16. Scott Rigell
    17. Frank Wolf
    18. David Reichert
    -----------–
    Thank you. Now let's get this show on the road‼

    October 8, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Bob

    Taking the United States Government hostage because you don't have the votes to get your way through the Democratic process, is not a sane negotiating strategy.

    Republicans seem determined to burn Washington to the ground.

    October 8, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Get on with it

    Just pass a clean bill that raises the debt ceiling while leaving the government unfunded. This will highlight the waste in government, and stop the brinksmanship with the full faith and credit of the US government. At some point, the public polls will force them to talk over the issues.

    October 8, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. doh

    The GOP & Tea Party have turned our country into a laughing stock.

    October 8, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Dave

    without verifying with other less partisan sources, does anyone here give CNN enough credit to believe them without question?

    October 8, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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