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. 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 |
  2. John

    That title of the article is misleading. It starts out saying the votes are there and then at the bottom it lists republicans that needed to vote for it saying they won't. Poor use of headline.

    October 8, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Jersey Guy

    It is good that the media is unveiling the truth. This is a very dangerous situation for the United States. If the media shines a light into the darkness the ones doing the evil deeds will be seen.

    October 8, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. W.

    Quite possibly the SEALS were sent after the wrong people. The real culprits of so much calamity is in Washington. Someone should enter congress and make a citizens arrest of the Speaker.

    October 8, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Steve

    @$$$$
    I'm really tired of these unsubstantiated claims that people are losing benefits and premiums are going up. Have you been to an exchange? Have you gotten an account? Or are you just passing on BS that you hear in passing. I will be saving $200+ per month for better coverage. My daughter with pre-existing conditions can now get out from under the firm she works for (and has benefits with) and start her own firm and buy her own benefits. TELL ME WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT

    October 8, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Bill Hudson

    We fight wars to bend the will of the world to ways of Democracy yet, we demonstrate that perhaps democracy is not such a good thing when it can be attacked at the whim of a few. Democracy stands on a set of principals, process and procedures. The principle is that we the people accept the process of democracy and hold it dear even in the face of adversity.

    A Bill passed in the House of Representatives moves to and is passes in the United States Senate. It then moves to the office of the President who signes it making it Law. If challenged, the Supreme Court determines if the Law is Constitutional.

    Having passed all of the branches of government scrutiny The bill becomes the law of the land.

    Not every Law is a good law, but people are human so there is a mechanism in place to repeal a bad law and this is accomplished through the Legislative process. The same process that puts a law on the books can remove a law from the books. All and all these steps support and sustain Democracy. Unfortunately, when people attack and refuse to follow and recognize the processes of Democracy because they dont agree with a law or their position is contrary to the issue, it is not an attack on the issue but an attack on Democracy. Even If we fail to agree on the issue we must agree and respect the Democratic process.

    The World is watching!

    October 8, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "May God help us..."

    I can guarantee you that if she exists, she's doing nothing but laughing at us.

    October 8, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. MyCommonSenses

    Is it just me or does anyone else not see the simple way truly know if there is enough Votes. that would be . .. wait for it, actually have a Vote. I know radical idea isn't it.

    October 8, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Patty

    Democrats – It's the Republican shutdown.
    Republicans – It's the Democrat shutdown.
    Me – It's BOTH you MF's shutdown!!!!!!
    Watching SPAN is like listening to a broken record that keeps repeating, repeating, repeating. I like reruns of favorite movies, but DAMN.....they need something NEW to say.

    October 8, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. wcnea567

    Those extremist republicans just wont take no for an answer. They in the House have voted and failed more than 30 times to overturn Obamacare still they wont accept defeat. Instead they keep on wasting time and money that they claim we don't have trying and at the same time dragging our country and economy down. So vote every one of those radicals out of office in 2014. May be by doing so we can get our wages up including increasing the minimum wage.

    October 8, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. G-Simms

    First off, I tip my hat off to the 18 republican members of congress, to vote on a clean spending bill. I just hope they keep their word. None of the less, lets end the madness and re-open the gov. The debt is another story, but we'll see how that goes. And for speaker Bohner, grow some balls and start getting your GOP buds to get things done in congress. It's time to move forward.

    October 8, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. ConcernedCitizenVoter

    Boehner says the votes aren't there, but clearly that doesn't deter him from putting things up for a vote, namely repealing the ACA since he has put that up for failed voting 42 times!!

    Actually that was a huge mistake on his part, because not only does he now has a precedent of doing such things that proves he is simply scared the clean CR will pass, but it also proves that clearly the "votes aren't there" to repeal the ACA! So why is he and his tea party buddies trying to sideways repeal ACa through defunding when they know for a fact that "the votes aren't there" to support a repeal??

    This is such a blatant case of one side twisting information and being hypocritical that is just makes me sad that so few people actually see it for what it is and somehow have found a way to place blame on democrats and the prewsident! They keep saying "he won't negotiate." Well he doesn't have to!! The law was voted in!!! If there's any negotiation to be done, it has to be the republicans that need to negotiated with democrats on making changes to the existing law WITHOUT holding the government and our economy hostage! But they know they can't do it! Because "the votes aren't there" so they are using this dirty trick to force the views of the minority onto the majority.

    They're the ones who can't pass a "clean" repeal or modification to the ACA and have to try to force it with defunding and hostage-taking. They are the ones who won't negotiate!! They are the ones who are acting like dictators!! How is this not obvious to everyone????

    October 8, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    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!!!

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

    Yeah, except when things get "privatized" they end up costing exponentially more.

    October 8, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. MH

    There haved been many failed votes in the house. Tune in CSPAN and you'll see that they vote all the time. What's one more? If the Dems are wrong, show them. The problem is the GOP does not want to be on record voting either way on the clean CR. They just want to destory Obamacare so that we can go back to being totally beholden to our empoyers for healthcare. We can go back to the insurance companies having all the power in the healthcare industry.

    October 8, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    NH Rick

    This country needs two things right now. 1. No debt ceiling increase, and 2. Cut spending.

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

    The debt ceiling needs to be increased to pay for things that have already taken place: two unfunded wars, unfunded Medicare Part D, unfunded tax cuts and the TARP bailout come instantly to mind.

    October 8, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Malory Archer

    NH Rick

    This country needs two things right now. 1. No debt ceiling increase, and 2. Cut spending.

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

    The debt ceiling needs to be increased to pay for things that have already taken place: two unfunded wars, unfunded Medicare Part D, unfunded tax cuts and the TARP bailout come instantly to mind. The deficit has been steadily decreasing since President Obama was elected five years ago, so spending has been and continues to be cut. Cutting the military budget in half would go a long way though.

    October 8, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. crazy steve

    All you people critizing Obama and saying it is his fault is dead wrong Obama has compromise the last time when there was a shut down to open the government he gave in to the republicans so i agree hes not negoiating hes done already to please the people and they still say bad things bout him why dont u give obamacare a try and if it doesnt work u can always change it or vote it out for the republicans to be holding us hostage to get wat they want put the bill on the floor and let them vote wat the harm can it do. So all yall that saying its Obama fault go back thru his years from 2008 and see wats been done. i am not a pawn and will not be useed as one boehner is playing with people lives and wont be tolerated.

    October 8, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Andrew

    Impeach Boehner. Get that proud arrogant politician out of office. The AHA passed! Get over it! Pass a budget now! Remove Boehner from office!

    October 8, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Patty wrote on page 37:

    Democrats – It's the Republican shutdown.
    Republicans – It's the Democrat shutdown.
    Me – It's BOTH you MF's shutdown!!!!!!
    ------------------------
    It's niether. It's a Tea Party shutdown. The NY Times published an article this past Sunday that describes the meetings that have taken place members of the Tea Party and their billionaire donors. The donors present the politicians with lists of talking points and a plan to bring about a government shutdown for the sole purpose of extorting policy changes. Don't believe it.

    Why would the Tea Party House pass a back-pay funding bill, only to have a Tea Party Senator filibuster it in the Senate?

    October 8, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. cliffintex

    The first day of the shutdown the administration ordered the NIH closed – but funded PBS ($440M). Priorities, I suppose.

    October 8, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "When we are going through a greek outcome then we will start cutting spending and stop asking for a credit increase. "

    The "Greek outcome" was partially caused and grossly exacerbated by "austerity measures." It's not even close to debatable.

    October 8, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. dwayne

    How do any of you people know that Obama Care is a Disaster ?
    Because your News outlet informed you. Maybe your representative in Congress.
    Give the dam thing a chance to either work or prove you right. And as far as keeping the Government shut down.
    Whether you like Government or not, this is not the way to go about it.
    The next elections will decide that.
    Stop being so dam negative and open your mind a little.
    And no, I am not one of those dam liberals so many of you complain about.
    so many of you surround yourself in fear

    October 8, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Hogan's Goat

    "Boehner will go down in history as a stooge" Rand and Cruz make three. As soon as Boehner calls the vote, he'll be impeached and a new speaker will be banging the Cartoon Gavel©. Next year, they are going to lose their seats. Norquist already fired Cruz from the GOP. Newt Gingrich's dream of a "permanent one-party majority" like Russia had is coming true for the Democrats.

    October 8, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. deee510

    Obama was getting this economy back on track.now the republicans want us to support their ideas when theyre the reason for the recession?they want us to go back to 12%uneployment rate and the stockmarket back to what it was when they left the office.their senile sheep will follow them right off the cliff

    October 8, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. barryinlasvegas

    There are not enough votes to pass according to CBS. What Obama wants is a vote so he can them run commercials in next years congressional elections showing how Republicans voted on this mess he created.

    October 8, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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