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

    The Tea Party won't quit until they have officially decimated America. Way to put pride in the way of resolution. Its like watching a bunch of 3 year olds.

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Old-skool Konservative

    Dudes, ACA isn't going away. Quit urinating into the gale.

    October 8, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Come on Boehner, if there aren't enough votes to pass it, put it to a vote. But there are and that's what he is afraid of, he is hi-jacking the democratic process. No one person should keep legislation from being brought up to a legitimate vote, the shutdown is ALL THE REPUBLICANS FAULT

    October 8, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Steve

    Extortion, pure and simple. The Democrats are not blameless though. Vote out incumbents and partys.

    October 8, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Lisa

    We need to update this system so that when it fails – as it is obviously doing now – our country isn't held hostage by the people we've trusted as our leaders. They have all failed, and they should have an obligation to listen to their people. If they choose not to work together and reach a shutdown, then there should be a forced backup. And yes, that should include no pay for Congress and potentially an automatic re-election. This is hurting our country and may push us into recession. Who hasn't been affected? All of us, directly or indirectly. Fix this system and more than that, learn to be gentleman (and women) and work together!

    October 8, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Ellen

    Why is Boehner such a coward? I wonder how much he has been paid to not allow the vote?

    October 8, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Fish

    It all comes down to Boehner trying to save his speakership, that's all!!! Seems in politics there are always hostage takers of late. A true sign we need another party.

    October 8, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. Christopher Columbus

    keep the government shut down forever. it's for the greater good

    October 8, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. M

    Boehner! Put an end to this reckless showdown. It might cost you your speakership, but America would appreciate being able to function again.

    October 8, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Hmmm

    IF the Healthcare Law was so good, why would Pelosi want to pass it to see what's in it? Why would Obama rush it through and have backroom deals with lobbyists? I'll tell you why: A big money making deal goes through if they pass this law. It is crazy that anyone supports this....but a large portion of Americans have been duped and brainwashed.

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Senior

    Why all this speculation about who lied? Bring the clean bill to a vote, and if there aren't enough votes, Boehner told the truth, if there are, Obama told the truth. Simple.

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. DrDanno

    In what universe is this the President's fault???? The GOP is disingenuous in their claim to not have enough votes to pass a clean CR. The republicans supporting a clean CR are ON RECORD as such and the count is clear. That means the GOP DOESN'T have a majority to support Boehner's Tea Party. There is no conclusion at this point OTHER than it is THEY, the GOP, who are at fault here.

    I know how I'M voting come 2014.

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. Mike

    Too funny. Boehner is preventing our duly elected representatives from voting to do their job. How weird can this get?

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. John B

    Why is Congress fighting over funding Obama Care? When the dems passed it in 2010 they told us it was going to fund itself......

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Trey Mck

    The votes are there, Mr. Speaker. Bring the bill up for a vote. You are acting like a) a power hungry despot or b) a scared politician who doesn't want to lose the favor of the bullies (Tea Party). Be a statesman not a craven politician and bring the clean CR up for a vote!

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. hello

    So they just don't wanna?

    I think I stopped that at age 10

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Dennis

    Bring it to a vote!

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. sno

    I expect President and Reid sit down and work with Republicans.
    Mr Reid – special note for you. Children belongs to american people and are our treasure. Please fund cancer center for children, " Why would we do that" – answer from you is not acceptable.

    Thanks to shutdown Obama finally sit at home and possibly works. " His" golf shout be close also.

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Allen Gingrich

    CNN and most other news networks certainly have a liberal bias - because conservatism is just plain frightening and intellectually unpalatable these days.

    October 8, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. jod

    Anybody fact check CNN's "poll?" I just glanced at it and it suggested Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AK) "tweeted that he would support a clean government funding bill," and after going through his twitter, I see no such tweet. This is another example of CNN making up the news as they see fit.

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. enoughalready2309

    betterdays: Boehner can argue all day long whether those votes exist, but that is just stalling. CNN is not the one that can actually prove that the votes exist for it to pass or not. There is one person that controls that and it is Boehner. What does it hurt to put it to a vote if the votes don't exist? If the votes don't exist, it gives the Republicans more leverage. The problem is that he isn't letting it go to a vote for a reason and there can only be one reason for that.

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    Uh-oh. The shutdown narrative isn't going too well for Boehner and Company and low and behold here come Fox and Friends to set us all straight. Too funny.

    I'm guessing that "slimdown" bubble gum talking points lost flavor on the bedpost overnight.

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. Jeb Gress

    ALL 200 democrats and 17 Republicans are traitors that support Obamacare?

    Okay, thank. Now we have a current list.

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. Bob

    Name one time when Nance Pelosi ever held a vote when she didn't have a majority of Democrats voting for the bill. It never happened, but now Boehner is supposed to do something Democrats won't do? The House has sent over hundreds of bills the past 3 years to the Senate that Harry Reid refuses to hold votes on.

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Watchfuliiiii

    If everyone is just making this up them the speaker of the house should put it to a vote and shut them up. He won't because he knows it will pass. Plain and simple. The media conspiracy thing is how I know when people are desperate. When the lost they election is it was the voter fraud conspiracy. First election was the birth certificate thing. What's next?

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