Majority of House appears to support ‘clean’ continuing resolution bill
All but five House Democrats have signed a letter urging House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, to allow a vote on a “clean” continuing resolution bill, meaning the legislation appears to have the support of a majority of House members.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, released the letter, which bears the signatures of 195 of the chamber’s 200 Democrats.
“We demand a vote on a clean continuing resolution immediately so that government functioning can resume and Americans can move on with their lives,” the members said.
Combine those 195 Democrats with the 22 House Republicans who have signaled support for a clean resolution, and you get 217 members, which is a bare majority of the chamber’s 432 members.
The Senate already passed the bill, but House GOP leaders have declined to bring it to a vote over the objections of Democrats who argue that it’s a quick and easy way to end the government shutdown. The measure would go to President Obama’s desk immediately upon passage.
Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, have questioned in recent days whether the bill actually has majority support. Republicans have argued that the legislation could be opposed by liberal Democrats who would prefer to return to pre-sequester spending levels or conservative Democrats who joined with Republicans to try to delay the health-care law’s individual mandate.
“There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR,” Boehner said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.
A clean bill is one that would not link funding the government to funding for Obama’s health-care law.
The letter from Pelosi’s office is the clearest sign that the bill has majority support.
“The solution to this crisis is a simple piece of legislation that funds the government at levels that have already passed both chambers of Congress,” the 195 Democrats said in the letter.
Some on the left have pushed for a so-called “discharge petition,” which allows for a vote if a majority of the House signs the petition. But it’s not clear that the Republicans who support a clean CR would also support the petition – Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, has said he wouldn’t – and even if it passed, the vote likely wouldn’t be held for weeks.
The five Democrats who did not sign the letter come from the party’s more conservative wing. They are Reps. Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, John Barrow of Georgia, Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina.