Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will
October 8th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
6 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 (982 Responses)
  1. CR

    So there's now no doubt Boehner and the Republican "leadership" are the ones lying and obstructing efforts to reopen the government. It's looking more like November 2014 will be known as the Big Flush.

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

    Why should anyone pay Republicans a ransom to do their job?

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  3. 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 who are 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 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. blondmyk

    OMG! Those of you who point out that this presidency has been so terribly fiscally irresponsible have apparently forgotten the billions upon billions of dollars spent to fund 2 wars on a Credit Card! Oh yeah...lets blame this presidency for the faults of all the others as well...that makes such good sense! Perhaps that's a big part of the problem with American Politics today. Politicians are so busy living in their own fantasy worlds that they've forgotten what happened yesterday and the day before, and ten years ago. Wake up you idiots! America's getting sick of all the bickering and with the beating of dead horses.

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. The politicians (kids) in the Candy store...

    Wow – CNN – this is really dumb and it shows that CNN is siding with big Government, and not everyday Americans. Congress and the President are like kids in a candy store who are going to vote if they want to get some candy. Of course they want to fund government – they ARE Government!!!! It is the few kids in the candy store that recognize that eating this garbage day in and day out is killing America, and it needs to go on a fiscal diet of monumental proportions!

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Ted

    CNN does a survey, headlines it, and the world should take this as the absolute truth ? I'm sorry but CNN;s constant left wing spin leaves me and many others doubtful at best.

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Boo

    I know five year olds that act with more maturity than the Republicans....pretty sad...

    October 8, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Sophie Meyer

    Further proof that Boehners claims that he doesn't want to shut down the government are complete hooey. He could bring this to an end right now, but refuses to. He insists on intentionally and unnecessarily inflicting hardship on Americans to what...secure his job? Save face? What? No matter, none of those excuses are good enough reasons. Folks, you don't mind watching the value of your 401 diminish so boehner and his merry band of nitwits can keep up this charade, right?

    October 8, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. John

    Citizens in every district deserve to know where their representative stands on this important issue. Let's have a vote on a clean CR so members of Congress can be held accountable.

    October 8, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Rico

    I ask only one question to the house did the American people Elect Obama in 2014 then why are they saying people are against the health care refrom Is not the American people Republican are the only one who don`t like the idia because it will sit as Dem refrom the Health care act Not the Rep And also that Cruz who is tell the US how to live our life Now what he knows about the goverment the problem We have in this Country everyone wants to be A President Hello We already have one his name is Barack Obama Not Ted Cruz

    October 8, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. JC55

    well got a good laugh out of that . Someone should have fact check checked the definition of insanity being doing something over and over when you get the same result. Did the GOP congresswoman mean " voting 42 times to repeal Obamacare" Yeah... probably qualifies

    October 8, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Maybe Gunderson know answer. Maybe Hector Slagg know answer. Maybe Ray E. ( Georgia) know answer. Too bad it wrong answer.

    October 8, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. Jennifer McGuire

    Come on, you cowards. If you're so sure you're going to win, then vote.

    October 8, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. Anonymous

    We question ANYTHING that CNN claims.

    October 8, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. Bob S

    Your bias in reporting continues. The President needs to lead, and be willing to negotiate.

    October 8, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. santex

    CNN counts the votes but CNN wasn't elected to do squat. CNN has their own agenda. I for one am not impressed.

    October 8, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. maximusvad

    Not sure how any GOP worshiper can defend the House GOP from attempting to pass a clean CR.

    October 8, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. les

    someone answer the question why rep did not try to close the gov under an rep president

    October 8, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Pat

    This whole thing is ridiculous! Pick a topic! How many times is the public of this country going to sit by while our government holds us hostage? We could all stop this ourselves simply by stopping the federal taxes being taken out of our paychecks! If our government isn't doing their job, we should not have to pay for them to do nothing. I don't get paid if I don't work. I think it's time for the citizens to be heard. Get back to work!

    October 8, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Clevelandindian

    This financial problem is showing the rest of the world that our form of government has serious flaws. Is that the message we wish to promote?

    October 8, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Heaven forbid that John Boehner would ever become president – a wimp controlled by idiots.

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Peach

    And WHY should we believe CNN--they have always been an extension of the President's press core.....so SORRY, I don't believe you CNN-– biased much???????

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Ron

    Absolutely no negotiation that includes a massive expenditure for affordable health care, which many people receiving their new premiums now realize is extremely unaffordable This administration has been all about backroom deals and non-negotiation. And so it continues.

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. enoughalready2309

    jod: Once again, does it make a difference? If the votes don't exist, why not put it to a vote a prove it? It really doesn't matter what CNN days at the end of the day, but it does matter that the Speaker of the House isn't allowing it to go to a vote. It speaks volumes about his confidence of whether or not it would pass through.

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. longfisch

    When you actually look at CNN's poll you realize there is not enough voted, only 15 say they would vote for he house measure, one says it should be brought up for a vote, not that he would vote for it. and one says he would pass a very short term, one to two week bill to fund the government.

    Why lie CNN? Why not tell the people the truth that it is very close and might pass. If you want to pressure the Republicans that is your business but please change your status to a political action committee instead of a news network.

    I also agree it should come to a vote, I just don't like being lied to by the media.

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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