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

    IIn is Out, that's what I say. Anyone who allowed this shutdown to happen should be voted out, and new people voted in. If I didn't do my job, I wouldn't get paid. They should have their pay halted, and impeached for what they are doing to the American people. This is childish, and selfish of all involved. Nearly every politician I have ever met is crooked in some way. Lets stop corporations from supporting our government, and get people in there who choose to SERVE our country, not destroy it.

    October 8, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. nc_mike

    Hard, factual proof that the shutdown is totally and completely the GOP and Boehner's FAULT!!!!!

    October 8, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Istlota Everyman

    The comments here mention it, but CNN does not mention that a so-called clean CR means an increase in the debt ceiling. That is because parent company McGraw-Hill, and hence CNN, is neither impartial nor objective. The Democrats are not just insisting that the government go back to work. They are also insisting that the debt ceiling be raised. Why? Because ObamaCare can not be paid for unless the debt ceiling is raised enough to pay for it. Which is why the shutdown is really only about one issue - whether or not we will have ObamaCare.

    October 8, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. annieL

    Is this how our representative democracy works? Even members of the House can't get the chance to vote their convictions and represent the views of their constituents simply because the ruler of the ruling party in the House says they can't? Imagine if we only held general elections when the head of one party allowed the election. Would that still be democracy? Pay attention people. We're losing democracy.

    October 8, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Bob

    We can argue all day about this but there is one ridiculously easy way to solve the argument. Call the vote and see what happens.

    October 8, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. james boyer

    Your Republican House Members are all bought and paid for by the Koch brothers.

    October 8, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. notsofast10

    Yep, give $445 Million to PBS on the first day of the Shutdown, but close the ocean and state parks and shut down the Miramar Air Show that produces $1.5 Million in revenue.

    October 8, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. glassgenre

    Talk about an ego.......Boehner is killing this country! (and I vote republican – but NEVER again!)

    October 8, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. MsLulu

    Boehner is responsible for this obstruction of the law and democracy. I think he should be held accountable. This could be considered high treason, because right now our country is at war and the government has never shut down while we are at war. This is putting our country's safety in jeopardy now. Boehner where are you? How can you sleep with yourself at night knowing that you are bringing the country to your knees while these tea-party extremists are pulling at your coat. No wonder you drink yourself into a stupor each night.

    October 8, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Michael

    What Speaker Boehner fears most is the "no confidence" vote among the Tea Party faction which could remove him from the Speaker's position should he allow the clean CR vote to come to the floor. Speaker Boehner had to fight his way back into the GOP leadership after the failed coup to remove Newt Gingrich many years ago, and I am sure he does not relish the thought of being tossed to the bottom of pile at this stage in his career. If voters can keep their long-term memories about this shutdown, I think the Tea Party has seen the last of its minority rule ways and extortion via filibuster and economic agenda nit-picking. The ACA exchange is now the law and people continuing to visit the site and sign up everyday. If the GOP wants to contest contentious parts of the legislation, then do so after voting to allow the majority of the government to begin operations again.

    October 8, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. NorCalMojo

    They should allow the vote and use the list to decide which republicans the Tea Party should challenge in the primaries. If they keep all the benchwarmers who are protecting their pork, the republicans are never going to be able to make significant cuts. They need to clean house,

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. j majorino

    I'm just glad that the truth is being reported in the news. Democracy exists for the will of the majority of the people and while I disagree with the healthcare law it is the law and we must follow the law unless it was overturned. The Republican Party would hurt the citizens of this great country to pad their own pockets. They would love to see Medicare and social security gone and screw all the people who have paid in. Unless you are a multimillionaire no way you vote republican. This party is to make the rich even richer while people starve in the streets. I really hope people take off the blinders and see them for who they are

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. David

    I was not hardcore republican but a moderate republican believing in limited government and my freedom rights. Then I began reading about the Koch bothers and their connections to the GOP/TeaParty. What’s in it for them?

    I realized that these Billionaires along with the some of the top Oil and pharmaceutical corporations do not care about us Middle Class hardworking people. They’re just using us as tools through fear tactics while they try their hardest to weaken our government so they can continue to suck up the countries wealth without government interference. I did not sign up to trade in our government so that we can have the corporations run it.  

    Now, I don't care for either Party, but I really cannot stand the GOP/Tea-party who’s corporate donors to their campaigns are pulling their strings all at the expense of the Middle Class. If you think they are fighting for you, they are not, they are fighting for the corporations who finance their campaigns.

    Now, the GOP wants to get rid of the contribution limits that this country has so that the Billionaires who run these corporations can give an unlimited amount of money to their campaigns. This is what Russia already does, It’s called bribery and it’s legal there. Today, Boehner is set to argue his case before the supreme court, challenging the contribution limits as a violation of free speech. Really GOP? That’s what you are using? Comparing our first amendment rights as Americans of those of the corporations. Remember, there not just paying them for nothing, there asking them for something in return.

    I don’t want you to read this and believe me, I want you to read this and say, “You know what, I’m going to do my own research on this.

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Malory Archer


    i guess the rethugs haven't noticed they don't own the whitehouse house. crybaby needs to allow a vote.

    rethugs dictating to the the President & Senate about what to do is not an option. they need to negotiate and compromise as has always been the case.



    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Peg

    Call you congressman

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Roscoe

    To Laura Gendreau: At least you will eventually get paid. I am on furlough and will not.

    It is unconscionable for the GOP House leadership to play brinkmanship politics with the budget and the debt limit. In July, the Senate Democrats agreed to a $988B GOP budget which was $70B less than the Democrats wanted. This was with the condition the House would present a clean continuing resolution up for vote. And for the GOP to now say the Democrats aren't negotiating is, at best, disingenuous.

    The United States cannot continue this path. It is toxic to allow the political near-fringe to continue to mutate the legislative process by using extortion to get their way. It's possible we could be back to doing business tomorrow if only the most basic democratic process of the vote is allowed to occur today.

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Anonymous

    I love the Obama "Joseph Goebbels" propaganda machine known as CNN...if you look closely, it says "appeared to be" – way to handle the "facts"

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Ali


    The votes are not there the President and Senate need to sit down and workout a deal PERIOD.

    NO actually they are doing exactly what they were elected to do.

    The Republicans lost the health care fight. Repeatedly. Rather than accept that they cry fowl. "The vote was rushed" "No Republicans voted for it" It reminds me of a teenager crying about failing a test. It must be because the test was unfair, not because they didn't study or chose to ignore facts that.

    ACA passed without Republican support because the Democrats, thru the electoral process, controlled the house and senate. They didn't need Republican support. Right now the Republicans have a very slight majority. They can't repeal ACA because they don't have the votes. After 40+ tries that is very clear. They refuse to accept that and decided to shut down the government to try to get their way. NOW they are trying to change the subject to make it about the lack of compromise. They don't want compromise. If Obama were to give them a delay in the individual mandate today they would demand repeal of the medical device tax too.

    Where has this desire to compromise been for the last 5 years?

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. mark

    I love the way CNN does their counting. Among the 17 republicans is one who is in support of a CR for 1 or 2 WEEKS. Another said a short-term CR. There's not enough votes for a clean CR that lasts for 6 months let alone a year.

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. abnguy

    Boehner will bring it to a vote as soon as Reid in the Senate starts bringing all of the bills sent to it by the House to a vote on the floor. It is clear we may need some changes in our representatives in PA.

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Glenn

    I can tell who the faux news watchers in here. The 14th amanedment to the constitution states that the US must pay the bills. ONLY CONGRESS has the power to do so. By allowing is to exceed the debt ceiling Boehner is violating the law. I invite the tea Partiers to actually read the constitution. The president in this case is powerless until after the debt ceiling deadline is passed. The house republicans have been planning this. They can't win the election so they commit a terrorist act against the United States instead to extract their demands from the President.

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Anonymous

    The House should vote AFTER the Senate votes on ALL of the House passed versions!

    October 8, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. NYVeteran

    So for all those blaming the democrats, here is proof positive that the GOP is blocking the resolution and there is a bi partisan majority ready to end this folly.

    October 8, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. concerned

    Don't understand the Democrat mentality. Democrats are calling Republicans terrorist and other non deisreable names and in fact, Obama has done more harm to this country than any President before him. I agree, we need to work together, both Republicans and Democrats. This is Obama's last term and he has nothing to lose. It's his way of the highway. Hopefully, this country will be able to survive his last term. I Love this country and want a President that does too.

    October 8, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. SenatorCruz_is NOTan American!

    What power does Cruz hold over the GOP? The power of a viper over its prey...

    The sobering thing is this: When the Tea Party phenomenon burst upon us, every Republican – from moderates to extremists – welcomed them with open arms. The hate spewing likes of Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin excited that base, calling them "true Americans" and "Patriots". Moderates such as John McCain, Bhoener and others welcomed these extremists into their midst with open arms and mouths full of praises. What they did not understand was that they were welcoming a clutch of vipers into their midst.

    Well, now the vipers have them all cornered and are devouring the weaklings...because that is what vipers do...
    And Raphael "Ted" Cruz is the meanest and most vicious of the vipers, because he is not a "true American", and he is bent on destroying America..

    Moral of the story "Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it"

    October 8, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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