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. John

    John Boehner’s arrogance is hurting a lot of federal employees and their families, including mine. It is difficult to believe that the U.S. government can remain shut down because of one man’s arrogance! Boehner, call a vote, please!

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. Julie

    What Boehner says: "There are not enough votes in the House."

    What Boehner means: "There are not enough *conservative* votes in the House."

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ************
    Was probably ordered to delete it: has that possibility crossed your mind?

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. scott

    Anyone check CNNs facts? Interesting how never one mention how the fault should be spread across both parties and the president. The american people are catching on to the slant of the mainstream media. Wake up America, all parties are to blame. Watch what they are doing, not what they are saying :) Many polls suggest americans fell all are to blame, majority of americans dont want the debt ceiling raised without spending cuts.

    October 8, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. amlcpamaine

    Last week's Business Week had an article on Jim DeMint and his influence on all this. His Heritage Foundation bankrolls the tea party droogs (you think their "protesters" actually pay their own way?!?) and has been planning for this blackmail strategy ever since Romney lost. They refuse to accept the will of the people yet claim they are doing just that. DeMint's predecessor was paid $1 MILLION/ Year for this robbery and he's likely paid more. It's disappointing that the administration and the media don't show more of this hypocracy. It's not "the people" who are driving the tea party but a handful of power brokers on private jets, filling their own pockets from the health insurance companies.

    October 8, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Fred Cook

    What the people can do is vote against all House and Senate people seeking re-election.

    October 8, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Eric

    I vote for the GOP but not the Tea Party. I agree that the Tea Party should break off and form their own political party and the GOP needs to separate itself. There is a difference between their ideals and what the GOP stands for. The budget needs to be figured out but not at the cost of veterans disability pay and peoples's right to visit national landmarks that belong to us. This is our country and government should have no right to shut down anything we use just things that they use. Plus why would you shut down the things that make money like the landmarks and parks.

    October 8, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. indigo9200

    I'm tired of these Jr. High games. Let's just hold an emergency public election and let the people decide whether to raise the ceiling or not, period. In addition, vote whether to withhold Congress and the President's pay/benefits until June, no vacations in 2014 and require they have next year's budget prepared and passed before September or withhold pay for the remainder of their terms.

    October 8, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. BD70

    Boehner is to blame. Bring a clean CR to the floor to vote on. Until then...Boehner is to blame.

    October 8, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. MarkoPolo

    Copied and pasted the table they created. Only 102 people said yes...where's the other 115?

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

    Okay, so you guys aren't going to compromise, legislate, and do your job that way, fine fine fine. Okay, but one of you is eventually AT LEAST going to let the other win so America doesn't end. Right?
    ...
    ... Right?

    October 8, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Tomm

    Boehner and the silent moderate are the problem. Boehner because he cannot control his tea party (ledby cantor) and the "silent republicans" who are afraid of the tea party and Fox News.

    October 8, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. fed punching bag

    I would like to pay my mortgage this month

    October 8, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Shane

    So charge Boehner with treason and replace him with someone who will call for a vote and get this crap over with!

    October 8, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. chatmandu002

    More lies from the liberal/progressive media trying to push their agenda.

    October 8, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Stephen

    CNN is really a liberal joke. Most Americans according to most of the major polls wants obamacare de-funded and the debt ceiling needs to be reduced along with spending.

    Instead of focusing on this you want to wave a poll based look we have the votes to just stay status quo. This is really silly and shows just how liberal CNN is with this posting...

    CNN should Grow up and act responsible for America but instead the liberal look we can stay the same with 217 votes is posted..

    October 8, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Lurker

    @Elohel

    Yea because anything that isn't Republican based is liberal media. They have a place to feed you "fair & balanced" brainwashing propaganda, it's called Fox News.

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Dave

    It's a shame we aren't still under the British system where the queen could just fire all of them and call for an election. Maybe then we could get a congress that can do it's job instead of just bicker and fight over every little thing. Whatever happened to all of these automatic cuts that were supposed to eliminate this problem? Sounds like that was a load of bunk too.

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. rosaadriana

    IN the end the GOP will stick together to destroy the country. If the clean bill is brought to a vote it will not pass.

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. rh

    Boehner is afraid that he is wrong, that he is lying, and that he will take the fall for it.

    But it is not right that he has a choice to not put a vote up. Can't he put up a vote to see if the House wants to take the vote or not? The Tea Party members who are full of pride will want the vote to go to see it lose, and the others will want it to go so they can pay attention to other things.

    Boehner seems kind of cowardly, glad he is not associated with my state.

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Bill

    Wow CNN! you totally left out that today's public opinion polls are rejecting a debt limit increase to pay for public CONSUMPTION spending. So it looks like the GOP is CORRECT for insisting on a public spending compromise and using the shutdown as leverage sense Obama has avoided coming to the table for ANY prior negotiations.

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. steve

    For all the millions and millions and millions that we give or spend to elect these pack of fools that we call politicians that could at least do the damn job.

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. jag

    Speaker Boehner won't call for a vote. Because he is a COWARD and will hold America HOSTAGE for the parties benfit!

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Matt

    You know, if Harry Ried would allow the Senate vote on the over 2 dozen CRs sent to the Senate, they might pass as well. The House has sent funding after funding, but Harry won't allow a vote on them because they would then have to back up those votes come 2014

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Dan

    Raise taxes-lower the debt

    October 8, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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