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. Pat Carr

    Orange man is personally costing us money. I am going to send the bill to him

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  2. George Henry

    Quick question, How much did the Obama administration pay CNN to fabricate this article?

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. SeeThruIt2

    So, the CNN headline says the votes are there to pass the clean CR. T

    They can't name the 17 Republicans that would be needed to pass it, because those referenced by other news sources are saying that those news sources are lying. But, CNN still puts it in their headline that the votes are there.

    How long has Boehner been in Congress to know how they act? And how long has Obama been in federal office to understand how they act?

    Boehner knows the votes aren't there.

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Wirius

    Remember 2014. Vote Democrat so the Republican party is forced by hot pokers to return to sanity.

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. AJW

    Isn't it so much more important that Boehner remain as Speaker than the Shutdown and getting people back to work? And we all know who's really running things for the GOP....the highly toxic and dangerous Cruz. Who in Texas voted for this guy, and did he manage to take over all of the moderates...and why are they so scared of him and the other Tea Baggers? We must make sure all of the totally disgusting Tea Baggers never win another election.

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. John

    But it's the Democrats fault because Reid won't put the vote to the floor.... oh.... wait....

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. patticake

    If they have the majority votes to start the government and John B doesn't want to take a vote than these same majoriity voters need to find a way to use their majority to relieve John B of his duties and elect a new speaker who will work in the best interest of this country, ALL of this country, not a select few.

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. betterdays

    So CNN has named ONE of the seventeen who has confirmed. The other sixteen... well, I guess we're just supposed to take their word for it.

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. MightyMoo

    Put your votes where your mouth is Boehner, call the clean CR up for a vote.

    October 8, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Sam

    Boehner's mafia racketeering tactics need to end. It's time for democracy to come back to Washington. Bring it to a vote.

    October 8, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. MNClownfactory

    The Tea Party is throwing America down a financial pit. These guys have NO understanding of laws, economics or compromise. They said lets make it like 1850 again and their approach is like 1850, they are holding a knife to the throat of all of America until they get their way. Vote them OUT!!

    October 8, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. Mark Roman

    How can the Senate just vote to end the shutdown, if there is still no budget in place?

    This is no longer about "Obamacare", it is about the budget and deficit.

    October 8, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Dan

    I love it when everyone pretends to understand economics and public policy. You all are so silly. Go back to sports; that doesn't have the serious ramifications voting does.

    October 8, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. jinx9to88

    What the moron GOP people on here fail to realize is that these are bills that the REPUB Congress already approved. Its not new spending. Hard to explain facts to people that live in the Faux bubble.

    October 8, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. Ztarbod

    If the "clean" CR come to the House floor for a vote it will pass, because Boehner indicated it is OK for it to pass by bringing it up for vote.

    October 8, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. PJ

    When Mr. Speaker reads this article he will cry. He knows he has the votes; however, that small element of radical crazy folks have him by the you know whats. They must have something on him or he would be leading instead of being lead. Terrible to witness what radicals can do to an entire country.

    October 8, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. James Madison

    What, CNN is now the house whip?

    Where's the article detailing all the Senate Democrats who would vote for a piecemeal CR if Harry Reid would just bring them to a vote?

    October 8, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. JKB75

    I am tired of reading "most Americans want ____". How do you know? Did you ask them all? I mean, I guess we kind of figured out what most Americans wanted when they voted to re-elect the President who implemented the ACA, but I guess that those "most Americans" don't actually know what they want.

    October 8, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. dsangiovanni

    We want a call for a vote !!...

    October 8, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. Tony

    Bring a discharge motion in the House. I understand that Republicans don't want to vote against their leadership, but do they really want a government default on their record? A government default hurts everyone, not just people who choose not to buy insurance. Individual mandate only applies to people who are uninsured by choice.

    October 8, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. leah

    Shameful how the Republicans are treating our veterans.

    October 8, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  22. Anonymous

    These idiots are making this Beautiful Country look moronic. I know when the next election comes around that I will not vote for any incumbant!!

    October 8, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. dnt

    Please, people ... All of you who are blaming Boehner for this need to look back just a few years. Pelosi and Reid have both pulled the same stunt of not allowing a vote on things that would have passed. There's plenty of blame of both sides of this mess, and more than enough hypocrites in Washington, DC.

    October 8, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. SCBAMA

    Gotta love the media lies.

    October 8, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  25. Eddie

    GOP: Throw the Tea Partniks out or the moderates should found a new GOP and leave the Tea Partniks behind.

    October 8, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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