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. Elle

    I can't wait to see the movie version. We should cast a big pile of crap as Boehner. It's the most accurate portrayal I can think of for him.

    October 8, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Hogan's Goat

    "Democrats – It's the Republican shutdown.
    Republicans – It's the Democrat shutdown.
    Me – It's BOTH you MF's shutdown!!!!!!"
    ================================
    No, the GOP tried over and over to repeal Obamacare, and didn't have the votes. So they tried to blackmail the president into letting them have their undemocratic way by shutting down the govt. IMHO Reagan would have had the Democrats arrested if they'd dared to slap him like that; Obama's got more patience than Job.

    October 8, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Arun

    They 18 will flip once the Koch brothers threaten them with a primary!!

    October 8, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Dennis

    But it's only a 6 week CR. And it does nothing about the debt ceiling. So then, what good does it really do?

    October 8, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. JPJ

    Why is it that everyone just wants to spout out exactly what the media (like CNN) feeds the public with no real logic or reason behind what they say? Seriously, the GOP, POTUS, and Congressional Democrats are all equally to blame. Republicans won't pass a bill unless it has what they want. Democrats won't pass a bill unless it has what they want. Obama wants what he wants. It's all ridiculous!!! And now everyone wants to just pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling, when no one wants to acknowledge that the Government wants to up their credit card without addressing the fact that they're mismanaging the country's money and spending what we don't have!!

    90% of this comment thread still thinks that this is the GOP not wanting to take care of the American public by denying them all health care – WRONG!!! Ignore the fact that the ACA is going to penalize uninsured American's like me up to $700 dollars in the next two years (first year is $95, but the second jumps to $600 and increases every year) unless YOU BUY OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE NOW!!! My company has wonderful health insurance but since I just got hired I don't qualify for the next six months. Now I'm being told that if I don't buy into the ACA I'll have to pay the Government a penalty?!? If anything, the Government owes the American public a penalty for all the damage they're causing – GOP and Dem's a like. But is ANYONE on the hill willing to step up and work with the other? Nope!! And is anyone in the American public doing anything about it? NOPE!! Just spouting illogical non-sense in these comment threads. It's sad.

    October 8, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. MIJohn

    Elle, please do not refer to the Speaker of the House like that. It's an insult to piles of crap everywhere.

    They at least produce useful materials like saltpeter and eventually fertilize the ground. Boehner not only produces nothing useful, he stops anything that would be useful from seeing the light of day.

    October 8, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Barbara

    I can't figure out why Boehner wants to keep his job as Speaker. He hasn't done anything with it, except act like a fool and a coward.

    October 8, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    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.

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

    OR, he can run commercials in next years congressional elections showing how Republicans chose to do nothing and crashed the world economy. If the rethugs really believe in what they're doing, then why is it a problem for voters to be reminded of how they voted, or didnt vote?

    October 8, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Sam M.

    Republicans are not speaking for the people. Only for themselves. The people spoke during the election. America be smart, this party is wreckless. Their motives are political and hate driven. The health care reform is not hurting the economy. The Republican party is doing that. Health care is a basic right for Americans.

    October 8, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Shekhar Das

    Entire nation has been held hostage by some of its own people. Let the democratic process take its path people. VOTE!

    October 8, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Bev

    Boehner is a liar and simply trying to protect his position as the speaker. He is obviously controlled by the Tea Party. His lack of action and efforts to play the blame game speaks volumes about the Republican Party. When the approaching elections occur, veterans and federal workers will send the GOP a message! Since we do not matter to you at this time, we will send you packing and you will not matter to us.

    October 8, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. ireuel

    Silly gooses. I know that is not plural for you grammar police. OK here the compromise everyone wanting a Democrat ruined world move to the left coast and the everyone wanting a Republican protected States of America go right. Then leave a little part in the middle to become the New Switzerland where no right or left wingnuts can live. This country use to be middle of the road and now it is not. DOH wonder why it is not working. One third are Independent and are tired of both side.

    October 8, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. highnoon7

    Time to declare the tea-party a domestic terrorist organization, indict the American Taliban and put them on trial for treason.

    October 8, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. deee510

    What republicans call fiscal responsibility is 12%unemployment rate.no one can eat or have health coverage but the rich.just like they left us in 2008.all their poor toothless ill supporters they have are totally blinded by their hatred.they dont want aca because it benefit middle class/poor and not the rich.they will lie and spin the facts to get the dumbest poor/middle class to believe the bs

    October 8, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. lunchbreaker

    I don't know if everyone in support of Beohner realize the danger of this presedence. A speaker, either Democrat or Republican, can shut down the gov't simply because they disagree with the president. Sure that's fine when your side is doing it, Republicans, but how will you feel if a Dem speaker does the same to a Republican President?

    October 8, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. mike

    So many bitter tiny little liberals here. Their little sad words make me smile.

    October 8, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Swedge70

    "We demand respect! We will not be disrespected!"
    "Okay, then bring up a vote on the bill and let's get started."
    "NOOO!" *sob* *sob*

    October 8, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. $$$$

    l@lunchbreaker
    I don't know if everyone in support of Beohner realize the danger of this presedence. A speaker, either Democrat or Republican, can shut down the gov't simply because they disagree with the president. Sure that's fine when your side is doing it, Republicans, but how will you feel if a Dem speaker does the same to a Republican President?
    -----------
    The government has been shutdown 18 times since 1976. Both sides do it. It is a negotiating tactic. Obama will negotiate with the Republicans in the end.

    October 8, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. Sallie

    I think many people in this thread are forgetting their civics 101, in that "Obamacare," or as enacted (this is a term we reserve for bills when they become law) the Affordable Care Act has been through a rigorous and compromise-laden process ALREADY. And of course there are those who opposed it at the time and (we hope) made their opposition and reasons therefor known to their representatives in Congress....and still it was enacted into law.

    Now, the executive branch, whether it likes a new law or not, is responsible for implementing the law. If President Obama were to take no steps to implement this law now that Congress has spoken would be a breach of one of the key duties of his office.

    Oh yes, and this story has all the players, because the Affordable Care Act got a nice review by the Supreme Court. The job of "the Supremes," if you think back, is to interpret what the law IS, when some aspect or another is disputed.

    Put it all together and you have our wonderful, exasperating, but until the past few years functioning democracy. But no matter how well constructed our federal/state system of government, it wasn't built to withstand renegade actions of elected officials who are willing to disregard the already expressed will of the majority of folks.

    I have 2 grown sons, one who runs his own audio business and the other who is employed but not full time and this Act will help them. I agree with the person who did not like the language one person used about Boehner. Let us agree to keep this discussion on a level that can serve as an example to the out there fringe of the Republican party who seem to have forgotten basic 9th-grade civics.

    October 8, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. snotfair

    @Roscoe- I believe you are correct! Boehner may be suffering from the mental illness associated w/ having a vanilla Tootsie Roll the size of a peanut! Get over it Boehner & get your effen job done! Cough. Again!

    October 8, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. NonBeliever

    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?"
    Here's some substantiation for you, Trader Joes market chain has discontinued health care coverage for their part time workers (all their store workers aside from management are part time) due to the impending ACA. Enough substantiation for you?

    October 8, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. Hogan's Goat

    "So many bitter tiny little liberals here. Their little sad words make me smile." You mad, bro? Butt hurts now? Awwww, we sowwy. Get Newt to kiss it for you.

    October 8, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. rs

    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
    _________________________________
    Yes, but why let the Tea Party lunatics further dictate what parts of government get funded? That gives them immense pwer they simply should not have.

    October 8, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. $$$$

    @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 am paying $423.00 per month more as of October 1st. I don't want a government health plan.

    October 8, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. NonBeliever

    Shane, "Not voting = treason against the United States." Do you have the United States Code reference to where that is treason.

    October 8, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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