"Vote Count: John Boehner Could Reopen The Government Immediately (UPDATED)"
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.