Seventeen House Republicans have now indicated that they would support a “clean” continuing resolution, like the one passed by the U.S. Senate, to reopen the government. If they joined with all 200 House Democrats, it is possible that they could give majority support to such a bill without any additional Republicans — if Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) allowed an up-or-down vote.
On Tuesday, a handful of House Republicans from Democratic-leaning and swing districts endorsed the idea of ending the shutdown without the anti-Affordable Care Act poison pills they had all previously voted to include. By Wednesday afternoon, the number had risen to 17, according to a Huffington Post tally.
The Republicans abandoning their party’s line on this include Reps. Devin Nunes (CA); Mike Simpson (ID); Erik Paulsen (MN); Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo and Jon Runyan (NJ); Michael Grimm and Peter King (NY); Lou Barletta, Charlie Dent, Mike Fitzpatrick, Jim Gerlach, and Pat Meehan (PA); and Randy Forbes, Scott Rigell, Rob Wittman, and Frank Wolf (VA).
With 432 current members of the House of Representatives (and three vacancies), it would require 217 votes to pass a clean continuing resolution, like the Senate bill. If all of the House Democrats voted as a block, these 17 Republicans could give majority support for such an effort. In order for such a vote to happen this month, Speaker Boehner would have to agree to let the House majority decide the matter. Asked about whether he’d allow a clean bill on Monday, Boehner told reporters, “That’s not going to happen.”
In the past, Congressional Republican leaders have embraced the “Hastert Rule” — an arbitrary and unofficial requirement that legislation enjoy the support of the majority in their own caucus before it comes up for a vote. Speaker Boehner has blocked consideration of the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate, citing the rule, but has also ignored it in allowing votes to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, avert the “fiscal cliff,” and to provide Superstorm Sandy emergency aid funding despite opposition from most of his own party to those measures.
Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) came out in favor of a ‘clean’ CR on Wednesday afternoon, pushing Republicans one member above the threshold.
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) said he would “take a clean [continuing resolution],” on Wednesday. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) reportedly told a constituent that he would as well, though a spokesman refused to confirm that.
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) responded to a question on Twitter Wednesday, indicating that he would back a clean CR if Speaker Boehner allowed a vote. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) told the Miami Herald he would back a clean funding bill at the Senate bill’s level.
Though the list had grown to at least 22 on Sunday evening, some Republicans appear to be backing off of their support for a clean continuing resolution. The offices of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Randy Forbes (R-VA) are now saying they do not support a clean CR.