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

    I think having someone support a short term (1 or 2 week solution) is not a vote for a clean CR-at least someone has some conviction and is willing to stand their ground. The truth is America needs to deal with their debt problem. We cannot keep spending money when we are borrowing more and more each year. It is time to take a stand and limit spending. I personally have not felt any effect of the government shut down, so it goes to show that we can do with less government, less governing, and get by just fine.

    October 8, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Pablo

    The federal workforce will be paid, along with other obligations the government has. Just direct the agencies to go back to work now, and ignore congress. Like a child, the more you placate them, the louder their cries will be next time.

    October 8, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Bianca

    There is nothing to negotiate. The laws are passed according to the well known system, and it is the system Republicans are attacking. Laws are not negotiable. All negotiations have to happen before laws are passed. This was a bill, then it became a law, president signed it, it was challenged in Supreme Court, the challenge did not strike it down, and it is time to IMPLEMENT. Where would we be as a country if all the parties have to do is to IGNORE the political system, and force President - by refusing to their work - into reopening an existing law!

    If you cannot achieve the change thorough the legal political process, what are they hiding? Is there another motivation for this slick way to undermine our system of governing? Are we to really slide into the third world status, when mighty do whatever they please, unencumbered by any norms, laws, or even decency?

    October 8, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Whatever

    @ aspam99

    The bill that represents the ACA was voted on and passed all branches of governement. The ACA is law. The constitionality of this law was challended in the Suprme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that ACA is constitutional. There is nothing left to debate or negoiate regarding the ACA.

    What the Republicans are doing amount to political terrorism. They've shut the goernment down and are threatening to default on this country's debt unless President Obama makes concessions on and delays a legitimate law (the ACA) because a small faction doesn't support the ACA. The United States of America doesn't negoiate with other terrorist so why should President Obama negoiate with political terrorist?

    The problem here isn't President Obama or the ACA. The problem here is the Republican Party.

    October 8, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Susan

    Boehner needs to be removed as Speaker (and/or removed from office) and this vote needs to be made immediately–no more ands, ifs, or buts about about it! Then Congress needs to get a serious bipartisan negotiation started on the deficit! If any member or this 'so called' Tea Party attempts to get in the way get them removed too.

    I don't know about you but I am totally ashamed of Congress. We (I'd say) need a serious independent investigation of how this whole 'Congressional mess' functions and not let any part of them tell us what they are going to do. WE RUN THE COUNTRY through _their representation_–not the other way around.

    October 8, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Duke

    God Forbid the facts should get in the way of entrenched beliefs.
    Boehner – THE VOTES ARE THERE!!!!! Let them vote you coward!!!!

    Old Yellow Stain and his weak willed toadies are going to drop this country into an unimaginable financial mess unless some Repubs who actually care about this country, and they do exist, step up and smack some sense into him.

    October 8, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Jim

    Who does this clown Boehner think he works for? To refuse to let a vote come to the floor so that the representatives of the AMERICAN PEOPLE can exerise the democratice process and vote; is unconscionable. Where does he get the unmitigated gall to place himself and his party ideology above the people who pay his salary. He is holding this nation hostage to obtain his own personal and political gans.

    October 8, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. NameTomika (Daughter Of A Government Employee)

    Boehner and those OTHER REPUBLICANS refusing to help take this vote to the floor should now be the blame for delaying a possible way to end the shutdown. They still recieve a paycheck. STOP making those who camt right now suffer because of your NONSENSE and CHILDISH ways.

    October 8, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. W.K. Sexton

    CNN is fair and balanced compared to Faux News. The Speaker can count...bribes from Choke Brothers and Tea Party terrorists. Please, God, end this peacefully without harm to our nation...and then generate enough honest votes to change campaign finance laws. Honest people won't run because they know they will have to beg for bribes to pay Big Media for TV ads. Let's require PUBLIC BROADCASTERS to give nearly unlimited free candidate profiles and debates.

    October 8, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. NonBeliever

    Jason, "If we are negotiating a law passed three years earlier then we also need to negotiate Iraq war medicare partD and Bush crimes" as a retired Republican I am for all that. Let's not mortgage all of our kids future with this treasonist, terrorist, Bin Ladenist deficit spending. Just had to use a few of the liberal adjectives to show how ridiculous they are.

    October 8, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Larry Byrne

    Why don't reporters ask the tough questions? School House Rock went through how a bill becomes law, it did not require the Bill to go through appropriations over and over pass a piece meal budget every year. The Patriot Act does not go through funding every year. If you do not like a law change it. It is improper to change the entire legislative process because you lost an election. The issue is one party is being opportunistic and holding the economy hostage and now they feel that they "must get something" to avoid losing face. Reporters should call politicians out on 6th grade civics issues.

    October 8, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. David Major

    This is all happening because we are 17 trillion in debt and keep wanting our credit limit increased. When we are going through a greek outcome then we will start cutting spending and stop asking for a credit increase. Why then? We will no longer have any other choices.

    Boehner is actually trying do reduce our spending and deficit, he is trying to change our future so this doesn't continue to be a problem. Where would we be if we had a Balanced Budget Amendment. Not in this mess.

    October 8, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Mo Taylor

    The Republicans are pushing for this to happen simply so they can say that we hit the debt ceiling limit on Obama's watch. But they fail to realize that the American public will not solely put the blame on the President when this happens. The conservatives may feel justified in labeling Obama as the worst president in history, but certainly Speaker Boehner should share in that distinction: his deplorable leadership through this crisis easily has earned him the title as worst Speaker in history. There you have it. Equal blame, equal shame.

    October 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. FedEmp

    Boehner will go down in history as a stooge of the extreme right. Let him prove that there aren't enough votes to approve a CR by allowing a vote. That one man can prevent the wheel of democracy from turning is appalling.

    October 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. skeptical-guy

    It amazes me that a man, Ted Cruz, born in Canada under a universal healthcare system could come to the USA and make it his prime objective to deny that possibility to Americans. It is also unbelievable that this same man, who has only been in Congress since January of this year could already have this much influence over his party. But the most amazing thing is that Boehner allowed this to happen and now he won't let all of these government workers and services get back on-line because he was led astray by an inexperienced novice, and now he apparently doesn't want to be embarrassed.

    October 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. zappo15

    What a bum. He does not believe in the rule of democracy he believes in the rule by those who are entitled and know that they are the only true Americans.

    October 8, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Missileman

    The polls say that the voters are fed-up with the actions of the politicians in Washington DC. Yet they continue to keep playing games. It seems obvious that they are more worried about the displeasure of party and big donors, than the voters. We must take control of the government back and to do so will require the politicians to fear the public more than the special interests. All the money they receive for campaigning is worthless if people would start voting on the politician's record, rather than by how long, loud, and dirty his/her ads are. Remember this next year when these people come up for re-election, because they sure can't run on their records.

    October 8, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. tarura

    THE VOTES ARE THERE, says CNN:
    A CNN survey finds there are enough House votes to end the partial government shutdown, but Speaker Boehner won't set a vote.
    On the other hand – there are enough Senate votes to end the partial government shutdown, but Harry Reid won't set a vote on bills passed by the House

    October 8, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Hcainman

    Just like the Repubs. They are the only ones that know what's right for the country. They are the only ones who are fiscally responsible (except when they are in office). They are the only ones that know health care requirements will bankrupt the country even though without it the country was going bankrupt. It's government of the Koch brothers, for the Koch brothers, and bought by the Koch brothers. Forget the will of the people it's the will of the Kochs.

    October 8, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Hogan's Goat

    "What kind of leader says "I wont negotiate" "My way or the Highway" John Boehner, my friend. John Boehner. Call the vote and go home. Take a cue from Roof Dog Romney – when you lose, shuddup and go away.

    October 8, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Name Christelle

    Will that US department of the Treasury return to work this week? I would like to know, just make sure that is end of shutdown. I am wondering that would plenty do co- worker to help other do works.

    Thank you, Christelle

    October 8, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. TOZ

    I'm republican last election I did decide to vote democrat /= Obama care. These politicians don't get it us citizens are nothing but mere pawns. They send our jobs to the slave labor works force of China and wonder why so many Americans need health care. I honestly believe all American who are tired of how this country is going right now. Need to stand together and vote some of these problem out of office. Mr President please don't negotiate the people have already spoken last election. (Obama care)

    October 8, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Christelle

    Will that US department of the treasury this week?

    Thank you..

    October 8, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Wow

    All posters, please become informed on our style of government before voicing your opinion. The United States is NOT a democracy. You can say we are all you want, but we are a REPUBLIC. We use a democratic vote to elect our representatives.

    October 8, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. NH Rick

    I simply cannot understand why the majority of our citizens can't understand the implications of letting Obama care go forward. This country needs two things right now. 1. No debt ceiling increase, and 2. Cut spending.

    Simple enough. Keep the Government shut down completely until this is resolved.

    Also Obama care is a disaster and will prove so soon, however the sooner we repeal it the more chance we might be able to minimize the damage.

    We will soon see the impact to this country that the worst president ever elected has put into motion.

    May God help us...

    October 8, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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