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. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    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.
    --------------------
    Pass a six week CR, which chips away at the ACA. Pass another short CR that chips away, again and again until it is gone.

    The Tea Party is trying to circumvent the legislative process by issuing exective orders of their own. "Do it our way, or else." This cannot be tolerated or allowed to continue because it would destroy our Constitution. It flies in the face of what a Republic is supposed to be, which is affairs of state are made public. The Tea Party way has affairs of state being decided behind closed doors with large campaign donors calling the shots.

    October 8, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. dnokc

    Negotiable after you receive the checkbook? LMAO!

    October 8, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. Jeff

    Everyone still going to point the finger soley at Obama?

    October 8, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. GT58

    Boehner is using blackmail rather than elections to change legally passed legislation. A sad time when the Speaker is more concerned about his own agenda than serving the country.

    October 8, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Treason?

    At what point does the refusal of one man to prevent a democratic vote on an issue this large become treason? If there are not the votes for it then fine, it will be shown when the vote and it would actually strengthen Boehner's case for negotiations. But to hold the nation hostage by refusing to allow a vote it beyond just irresponsible, it is criminal. Even more so when the house has already voted to approve back pay for all the government employees out of work, so this won't end up saving any money. It is only hurting the small businesses that operate in and around government complexes, the same "job creators" that Boehner claims to care about.

    October 8, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. concerned

    The President invited them to the White House the other day!! The Repugs said it was a "waste of time"!!!

    October 8, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. DonkeyBurger

    The entire planet is watching the US Republican Party. This could be the end for Boehner and old school right wing politics that is in the way of the democratic progress in the USA. The Republican Party, as we knew it, is millimeters away from falling down the cliff into the abyss. I'd say, make the move!

    October 8, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Elohel

    Yeah I trust "CNN polls" for sure.......lol. State media at its best.

    October 8, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Jim

    These IDIOTS are making this Great Country of Ours look Moronic. I know that when the next election comes around that I will definitely not vote for any incumbant. I think that the President and the Congress should not get paid until they straighten out this mess. They are not doing the job that they were hired for and do not deserve their pay!!

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Yermom

    This is just getting ridiculous. I"m actually kind of glad this is happening. Now the nation, no, the entire world is aware of how clusterfucked we are, and HOPEFULLY the nation does something about it in the next election cycle. This is a complete failure of Congress to do it's job.

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. MNClownfactory

    @Robert

    Your solution amounts to this: Punish all of society so you can figure out what 2 % of our federal government is unecessary. Also who decides what is essential, the crippled lady who needs meals on wheels? The factory Defense contractor that supplies widgets so our DOD factories can build new weapons? The family living in the middle of nowhere who depend on snail mail to get paid for food? It is so easy in your comfortable chair to make others suffer while YOU decide what is right to be cut. This mentality is exactly what has us in this postion it is short sighted, naieve and unAmerican.

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. sftommy

    "Triumph of the Will"

    When the votes aren't there...Herr Speaker

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. Speaker = Problem

    Like Obama says bring it to a vote! Stop trying to control American Speaker Boehner, you are the problem! Bring it to vote and see if a clean bill passes. Who the hell are you to say it won't pass let everyone vote!! You are making our country look foolish. Everyone is laughing at you and shaking their head!!

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. RK

    Lets see....Boehner had no problem bringing to vote bills that would repeal Obamacare 40+ times, knowing full well that it would be DOA in the Senate, yet refuses to open voting on a clean CR bill, despite reports suggesting that votes are there, and moderates in his party (i.e. Peter King)calling on him to do so...

    At least Reid allowed voting to take place on the first House bill that passed.

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. TxCentrist

    You mean, settle this democratically? The Tea Party Republicans would never stand for that. They want to force their will on the country. I understand that Boehner is in a difficult position politically, but he needs to suck it up and do what's right. Compare that to our brave service men and women who risk theirs lives on a daily basis. And Boehner is just concerned about saving his position as Speaker. I have zero respect for that man. He's a spineless coward.

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Brickwall907

    Another attempt by CNN to sway the public. Who are the surprise 17? How about the Senate get off their rears and earn that paycheck that many are not getting right now. How about criticizing the President for continuing to divide the country. If you want to make a difference America get pissed and vote these bums out of office! All of them

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. Data Driven

    @Firstname Lastname,

    "The blame is on all of them"

    Wrong. The blame is on John Boehner, who won't allow the CR to come to a vote.

    I'm afraid you're going to have to choose a side, Firstname. Choose carefully.

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. kylefromohio

    Yes the Tea party should have their own party, a 3rd party would be more representative of our country today!

    October 8, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. rick

    So go over Boehner's head and pass it. What's the problem? Is everyone afraid of him? We elected him, unelect him!

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. ireadthearticle

    i am not sure if anyone looked at the list here of people needed to pass the vote. But there are only 14 yes votes when CNN clearly stated that the 17 that were needed were there?

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -------------------
    That's funny. I don't recall Democrats shutting down the government. The last shutdown was engineered by Gingrich, a Republican.

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. lerianis

    Time to force Boehner the Bonehead to call for this vote or simply overrule his objection. I'll be honest: I truly think that the Tea Party Republicans should be arrested for treason and blackmail and put on trial for treason and blackmail.

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. MNClownfactory

    The Tea Party Congress should be Tarred and Feathered and run out of Congress on a rail.

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. bspurloc

    John Tears Boehner cant risk losing his high paying Speaker job... his JOB > Citizens on the United States of America needs

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. Hmmm

    Interesting that democrats actually WANT to raise our credit card limit to continue paying the bills with credit. This from the party of entitlement who believes aren't paying off the debt, but are contributing to it.

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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