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. Andy

    The GOP now have the small minimized government they want.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. Mike

    This story is a complete lie. There is NOT enough votes to end the stupid "Obama will not negotiate" and hates america pact. Another ploy by CNN to blame the GOP for a President who WILL NOT NEGOTIATE.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. Outofmoney

    Here is the way forward for Congress (as I see it):

    1- Pass a Continuing Resolution through the end of FY14. Fund at FY13 levels.

    2 – Increase the Debt Ceiling with no strings attached.

    3 – Make Program cuts through the Authorization Process for the FY15 and subsequent FYs.

    4 – Pass an FY15 Appropriation Bill for the entire Government that makes the necessary cuts. This should be done by 30 September as required by Law.

    My bottom line is we should not peice meal the reduction of the government spending through any process except the Authorization and Appropriation bills. And NO pork projects attached to any bills too.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. PrimaveraPM

    They've voted to cancel Obamacare like 40 times, but Boehner won't call for 1 vote for only a debt ceiling increase. I thought we still lived in a democracy. Apparently the minority "tea party"can rule the nation with their antics.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. Grumpster

    Ok....this is officially Boehner's shutdown if he is too coward to call for a vote. No matter what the spin on Hannity, Beck, Limbacile or Faux News....this is 100% owned by Boehner and fellow whack-job GOP/Tea Party members.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    In other words, crybaby is UNWILLING to do his job! The BBC had a program last night about this fiasco, and contrary to what the reichwing screaming heads and CNN are telling you, the entire world blames crybaby and the rethugs for what is shaping up to be a global meltdown.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. Jon

    If The 8th District of Ohio votes this idiot Boehner back into office then Ohio needs to be thrown out of the Union. What are those voters thinking ? Also, the power to prevent a vote should not be in the hands of any one person. Anyone in that body of representatives should have the right to move to a vote.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. conrad

    I don't think our system of government was intended to work this way. The GOP/TP are really off the charts. They need to be voted out, every last one of them. Isn't there a provision somewhere that makes it possible to remove a speaker who is unwilling to do his job? Let's start some kind of immediate recall of these fools.

    October 8, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. Grumpster

    We really need to bring back tar and feathers....and rails to ride carpetbaggers out of town upon.

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Lucy Blavich

    As a non-partisan voter, it is clear to me the republican party is causing this all. ObamaCare is a law. It was voted on and passed. Grow up and be the leaders you are being paid to be. You are not proving anything except how inept you all are. How disappointing all of congress is being at this point. Get to work and do the job you were elected to do! No wonder most of our young people don't vote. Why should they if this is the result?

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. conrad

    I don't think our system of government was intended to work this way. The GOP/TP are really off the charts. They need to be voted out, every last one of them. Isn't there a provision somewhere that makes it possible to remove a speaker who is unwilling to do his job? Let's start some kind of immediate recall of these folks.

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

    Hurry up guys....We new to start another war so i can make me & Georgie boy & pals lots mo money!!!

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Joe06042

    This is so outragous and further proves the unwillingness of the Republican House Leadership to work for for what is best for our country, instead of their own agenda. The simple solution is to allow a vote. If it does not gathers majority to pass it proves what the GOP House Leadership is saying. However if it does pass it proves what the Dem Leadership has been saying. But the vote is not being allowed due to the fear of the GOP Leadership that it will pass, proving that the GOP is holding our country hostage to their demand to defund/dismantle the AHA – which has majority support of the US public. Let's have a simple vote on a clean CR and let the majority decide...

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Waiting for a Candidate

    The veracity of this article bears little on what the majority of Americans want. The GOP is the American Taliban, their way or the highway. Where are the moderates? I am so sad our country is now looking like the Iraqi Parliment.

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. JJ

    It's a real mess and the American taxpayer is the loser.
    I'd feel more comfortable if all these elected officials were also FORCED to enroll in Obamacare and didn't received any monies for them and their staff.
    America has lost today and leadership is a thing of the past.

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. tlb51

    DrDanno

    In what universe is this the President's fault????
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    The universe where all the polls are wrong and Romney defeats Obama. Half the public lives in a logic-free, evidence-free bubble.

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Data Driven

    @dnt,

    "Pelosi and Reid have both pulled the same stunt of not allowing a vote on things that would have passed"

    First of all, I doubt you can cite one instance of either Reid or Pelosi blocking a vote on "things that would have passed". Talking points are not arguments supported by evidence.

    Second, what the rebels are doing now in the House is NOT "the same stunt". Democrats have never held the debt ceiling hostage. Not once. I'm sorry to say that you're misinformed. Blame media outlets like CNN, who make money off generating political fights rather than reporting the facts.

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Andrew

    Boehner and the Tea Party are such lying frauds.

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

    CNN poll. Must be true

    October 8, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. Tom

    So, with a supposedly "representative" government, why does one man have the ability to prevent every representative from representing? How does seniority figure into equal representation? Why can't any representative vote on anything any time he feels like it? A one time pad encryption technique could certainly insure it was a real vote from a real representative. Why do they have to gather on the floor of the house and vote in a small time window?

    October 8, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Rick

    Why don't we see if there is a vote in the Senate first for the CR delaying Obamacare for one year? Bring that to a vote on the Senate floor and if it doesn't pass then I am okay to bring the CR with no restrictions to the House floor. But Senate first THEN the House.

    October 8, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. enoughalready2309

    MarkoPolo: What you say and CNN says is meaningless. There is only one simple way to prove it. Such childish antics from both sides, but right now Boehner shoulders the largest amount of blame for not simply putting a clean CR to a vote. You can't jsut say it doesn't have the votes and expect the country to accept that. If you put it to vote and it doesn't pass, leverage moves in the Repbulicans favor. Clearly Boehner isn't so confident about it being rejected by the House. Either he knows he doesn't have the votes or is at the least very concerned he doesn't have the votes. Prove it to us so we can move this along. If it doesn't have the votes, Obama needs to bring them to the negotiating table. if it does, problem solved and you can then negotiate on the debt ceiling.

    October 8, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. L.Sanfod

    The GOP/TEA is telling the American people to GFTS.. and we pay these idiots to do so!

    October 8, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Danny592

    I am amazed that any sane person can say this congress is working for the people. Criminal fraud investigation should start with republican speaker. Obvious to the world something seriously wrong here.

    October 8, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. John

    NO NO NO!!! CNN is lying!!! This can't be the GOP's fault! Only Reid doesn't put things to the floor for a vote, Boehner would never stoop to that! He loves America and would never hijack the country!!! #Sarcasm

    October 8, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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