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

    Antonio, that's a great idea, then they can privatize everything more efficiently!!! Ya shut it all down and put my tax rate to zero!!!

    October 8, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. ART

    As a veteran it really pisses me off that Boehner has cut off death benefits for our fallen soldiers, that man should be put in front a fireing squad

    October 8, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. MITCH

    From a Canadian's perspective, this debacle in Washington is mind boggling. Unless these Tea-party/ Republicans are complete morons they know the government must reopen soon. Hopefully this political posturing will end their political careers. The last 2 democratic elections put a Democratic president in office and the Supreme Court determined Obamacare was constitutionally legal but it seems a small group cannot accept defeat. To the innocent Americans who are being hurt by this shutdown – vote the bums out of office ASAP

    October 8, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. kww

    Threatening to ruin the economy if the ACA isn't defunded in more like extortion than anything else. If Romney can't win the election when a big part of the GOP platform was repealing the ACA, then why is this even a topic for negotiations? The matter was already decided with the last election.

    October 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. NonBeliever

    Tom101, "Boehner and the GOP, the new face of Terror. Imagine, in their fanaticism holding cancer-ridden children hostage!" So, the House passes a bill that will fund the cancer studies and give those cancer-ridden children the study treatments you so desperately crave and Harry Reid says, when asked by a CNN reporter (not exactly a Tea Party sympathizer) about why he wouldn't even bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote, Harry's comment was, "Why would I do that". So Harry Reid is at least as bad as most of you are saying Boehner is. Just facts not baloney please. Stop the revisionist history.

    October 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Steven

    Your President Yet Again hold as entire Nation Hostage !!!

    he is Bar None The Single Worst Thing that ever Happened to America !!!

    He has completely forgotten your dead !!!

    and he consistently, every single time he speaks, He speaks out on the Completely wrong side of the issue in question !!!

    Every minute that goes by with this completely clued out fool in office makes your country weaker and weaker and weaker !!!

    Period !

    October 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. bill39

    Boehner needs to be impeached. But, there are problems with the impeachment system. Under the Constitution, the House must bring the impeachment charge, but in this case, it is run by the GOP, and the GOP will almost certainly not impeach one of their own party. I think impeachment process should be clarified and perhaps broadened.

    October 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Al LaRose

    We need to return to MAJORITY RULE. the fact that a senior senator or congressman cna have the power to block a vote is absurd. CHANGE THE RULES to reflect a true democacy!!

    al

    October 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Brad

    Wow DonB. What President are you talking about not being an embarrassment? Everything he said he would fix as President is worse. Unemployment-Worse. Deficit- has grown more under Obama then it had from George Washington all the way to Clinton. Free Insuarance- Oh it isn't free. Tax Hikes only on those making $250,000 or more. Now that number has dropped to those making $32,500 or more. Big difference. Assist the less fortunate- Now there are more less fortunate. What so far doesn't embarrass you? Congress as a whole is broken on both sides, but it starts with Obama.

    October 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. indyflmmkr1

    I don't think it's a lack of will power..

    It's just plain STUPIDITY on lame duck House Speaker Boehner's part..

    October 8, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Paul

    Why don't the majority of US House members in favor of ending the shutdown submit a PETITION to the House Majority Leader? They could publish the petition with the list of signatories in the New York Times and Washington Post. Maybe post the petition on the White House petition web site? Now THAT would be fun.

    October 8, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. JamR

    Oops....the accompaning file of the poll itself only lists 2 Republicans with a "yes" in the clean bill column. I hope Boehner does call a vote; and proves CNN and the President are blowing smoke in tandem.

    October 8, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Kaleani

    They (mainly GOP) playing a game with us the people. Shame shame!

    October 8, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. Chip

    Lock them all in a room with no food, drink or bathroom privileges and see how long it takes to reach a compromise. I'm guessing 2 hours.

    October 8, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Mindy B

    Obama – the most useless president in history.

    October 8, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. The GOP is Vile

    I don't know how Boehner can look in the mirror or even sleep at night after wht=at he's doing to the Nation?

    October 8, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lori
    Did you see the jacke-up list they had the nerve to publish on Friday was it, in regards to who was keeping their checks and who wasn't?
    I think there were dead people on the list that they compiled! There were certainly names on that list of folks who were not senators or congressmen.
    So we need to go elsewhere for that compilation Lori.

    October 8, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "What kind of leader says "I wont negotiate" "My way or the Highway"

    One who has spent the past 5 years "negotiating" with the House of Representatives - who I might add have already gotten 98% of what they wanted.

    Looks as if the 2% more they are still demanding isn't negotiable.

    October 8, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Gloria in NW

    The Tea Party is willing to destroy the national and international economies to get its way. Its members should be charged with sedition, and the complicit Speaker should also be charged. These people are trying to bring down the government, and all too many of them are this rabid because they simply can't stand it that a dark-skinned person was elected as President twice. (Pause while we all listen to the predicitable screaming about the "race card." I am lily white, BTW.) At 70 I am watching my country go down the drain because of the plotting of a bunch of spoiled brat sociopaths. I think the Democrats have often been remarkablly cowardly in the last few years, but the people who keep saying "Oh, the parties are equally to blame" have not been paying attention.

    October 8, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Mr Curtiss

    Why not pass a “clean bill” in the House & Senate, with the Presidents own words as the only stipulation? Meaning, if any Americans health insurance premiums rise, or if we can’t keep our same insurance plan, then the law is scrapped for a short period of time until the President can make good on what he promised. I don’t mind giving the law a chance, as long as it was sold to the public in good faith. If one of the two promises is broken, then we were sold a “lemon” and it needs to be postponed. Fair?

    October 8, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. NonBeliever

    Joe Cleveland Guy, yes and now they want to tax the young people with Obama care that the Supreme Court said was a tax. Tax that the young people who are already going to be saddled with the consequences of the huge debt we are creating. I guess the liberals don't love their children.

    October 8, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. PS

    I would like to thank the Republican Party for guaranteeing another WIN for the Democrats in the next Presidential election and for the demise of the "White Christian Conservative Anglo". Political suicide at its best!

    October 8, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. gladiatorgrl

    Bring it to a vote!!!

    October 8, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. john

    The borrower is servant to the lender, we can't keep borrowing money. And another thing, these people who get finacial aid from the goverment, who are perfectly able to work, need to get out there and get a job. I don't care if you have to work at mcdonalds for 8 dollars an hour. One more thing, I hope the republicans stand there ground, Obama is trying to ruin this great country, but boehner is trying to preserve it. It aint rocket science, everyone has a budget except for the goverment. Grow up people.

    October 8, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. opinion8it

    Nice, so we have the votes to fund our government, but Boehner won't allow them to vote. .... AMAZING !!!

    October 8, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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