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

    $$$

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

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

    You must live in a red state. Blame your angry little rethug governor and your angry little rethug state legislature for that as THEY are the ones who passed legislation allowing insurance companies to increase rates on any policy written after the passage of the ACA – and they ADMIT they did so for the sole purpose of making their citizens HATE "Obamacare".

    October 8, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Hogan's Goat

    "Boehner may be suffering from the mental illness" Like his pal Dubya, he's a wetbrain who never completely sobers up after years of drinking. Bad kidneys and liver all filling his blood with aldehydes and ketones and giving him that street-bum smell. They can roll along for years with no problems until one day . . .

    October 8, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

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

    October 8, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Malory Archer

    $$$$

    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.

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

    Cite the reasons for those shutdowns and the similarities to THIS shutdown.

    October 8, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. NonBeliever

    artamer, "How does one go about impeaching the Speaker of the House?"
    You move to his congressional district and vote against him in the next election.
    BTW, impeachment does not necessarily mean removal. Bill Clinton was impeached.
    Most commenters here would be better educated if they would spend as much time researching how our government really works and why it works that way instead of slinging emotional insults. As long as you take that approach to elected government it gives them the wiggle room to continue the tactics you seem to despise.

    October 8, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    NonBeliever

    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?

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

    They did so because their employees can buy insurance for a lower price on the exchange than the company's current plan.

    October 8, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. NonBeliever

    $$$$

    @Steve
    @$$$$

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

    How much of that is subsidy?

    October 8, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    $$$$$ wrote:

    I am paying $423.00 per month more as of October 1st. I don't want a government health plan.
    -----------------–
    That's too bad. The Affordable Care Act's rates don't kick until January 1st. In fact, most health insurance plans don't change rates until the first of the year. I guess you're just out of $$$$$.

    October 8, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Steve

    @NonBeliever
    Nope – show me the numbers.

    How much are they paying now. Which plans have they considered in which states and what are the differences. This is precisely the unsubstantiated rhetoric I am referring to. For all I know this is just an excuse for Trader Joes to blame the ACA when they decide to cut the cost of their benefits.

    October 8, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Samuel

    If all of you American leaders are wish enough please vote for Obama health care why because this care is for all Americans not for Obama kids

    October 8, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Jersey Guy

    The definition of economic terrorism is the threat of economic kidnapping or economic bombing carried out for political purposes.

    This government shutdown is homegrown economic terrorism.

    October 8, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. NonBeliever

    Sam M., "Republicans are not speaking for the people. Only for themselves. The people spoke during the election."

    That assumes that the election was only about the ACA. Perhaps there were a lot of other reasons for the results of the 2012 election. The implication of your statement displays a very simplistic view of the US election process.

    October 8, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. kathy

    I have not once heard either oboma or Boehner speak about the thousands of employees that work for the fedetal govetnment how it is affect ing they life by way of the stress it has on them. I one have not had a good nights sleep since this whole tjing started. I am the only one working right now not to mention the fact that my son is on unemployment. I do
    believe that the whole thing will and is causing people to feel they do not matter in the eyes of either person we are expendable as long as they get what they want.

    October 8, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Mark of Tennessee

    Time to vote all these Teabaggers and Repubs out of office NOW!!!! I hope the red states remember that your elected officials do not have your best interests in mind

    October 8, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Mark of Tennessee

    Malory Archer
    $$$

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

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

    You must live in a red state. Blame your angry little rethug governor and your angry little rethug state legislature for that as THEY are the ones who passed legislation allowing insurance companies to increase rates on any policy written after the passage of the ACA – and they ADMIT they did so for the sole purpose of making their citizens HATE "Obamacare".

    ... The truth

    October 8, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Hogan's Goat

    "So many bitter tiny little rethugs here. Their little sad words make me smile." Frankly, I don't find any humor in people getting this worked up over nonsense told to them by demagogues. The Christian citizens of Germany were led to first hate, then kill their Jewish neighbors in exactly this way. You'd think Americans would be harder to take over, but it's not looking good except for the fact that we outnumber them substantially. The last thing I want to see is one of these dumb militias shooting up a mall to "save us from tyranny" and causing the FBI to round them all up as traitors. Everybody CALM DOWN and remember we are Americans together, and that what we are arguing so bitterly about is a minor detail of economic existence. People screamed about Social Security when it started up this same way.

    October 8, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Suzanne Crockett

    How can Boehner whine, with a straight face, about Obama being unwilling to negotiate? How many times has Boehner proudly proclaimed his party's unwillingness to compromise??

    October 8, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Craig

    The problem is one of posture. Boehner doesn't need to sit down, he needs to stand up. He's the Speaker of the House, not just the GOP portion of the House, not just the "people I like in the House, and certainly not just the Tea Party members of the House. The WHOLE HOUSE. He's decided he doesn't want to represent or care about nearly half of the members of the House, who were elected by more than half of the American People. Get off your butt, John and allow a vote. If you lose, it's just like 2012....you lost the Presidency, seats in the Senate, and seats in the House. GET OVER IT!

    October 8, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Guardian Transition Services, Inc.

    For our Service men and women: If you want to donate to help families get to their deceased loved ones who die during military service, you can call this number and donate directly to pay for what our government is not at this moment:

    Dover Air force Base – Airman & Family Readiness Center – (302) 677-6930

    October 8, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. BSH

    What about the votes in the Senate? The House has already passed two or three continuing resolutions. The Senate has stonewalled the process. Why won't Reid allow a vote? The House has done its job. The Democrats need to do theirs, and CNN needs to own up to the fact that the intransigence of the Democrats is greater than that of the Republicans, and that the shutdown is due to inaction by the Democrats.

    October 8, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. weddingphotographer2012

    Where can I vote for in support of Obama Care? I wish my government was united.

    October 8, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Tom

    Polls are showing that if the 2014 elections were held now, the repuglicans would lose their majority in the House.

    In Virginia, the republican Cuccinelli is losing in EVERY SINGLE POLL to democrat Terri McAuliffe.

    It can't happen soon enough.

    October 8, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. Republicans Are Burying Themselves

    Polls are showing republicans are losing ground big time in polls.

    Please America, stand your ground against the teabagging lunatics trying to take over the country!

    Call your representative.

    But you can't "Contact" the Republican National Committee. They took that option off their website.

    The republicans don't want to hear what you have to say.

    October 8, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. Luke,AZ

    Republicans will pay in 2014 !!!

    October 8, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. simplefaith

    Enough is enough. There must be someone else to bring the vote to Congress. I have never seen anyone that in full eyes of the public refuse to do his job. How hard is to bring the vote to Congress to reopen Government. Can the Supreme court do something. If a President can be impeached why not Speaker of the House? Obviously, John Boehner is refusing to the job of the people. Can we the people of the United States impeach the Speaker of the House for refusing to perform his duties as was elected by the American people. Can we sue John Boehner for fraud by saying there is not enough votes to pass without actually doing a vote. What's up with that?

    October 8, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
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