Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

A Handful Away? The House Republicans Who’ve Had Enough

Advocates of reopening the government without Obamacare strings attached are within striking distance today of securing a House majority for a “clean” continuing resolution. But Republican leadership is giving no indication of relenting and allowing a vote that would bring the partial government shutdown to an end on its second day.

Democratic leadership has said it would be able to muster virtually all 200 members of that caucus to vote for a clean CR lasting several weeks. As of this morning, the roster of Republicans publicly advocating that approach had grown to 14.

Those who have publicly endorsed a clean CR are overwhelmingly from the Northeast, generally have somewhat centrist voting records and mostly represent potentially competitive districts. They are Lou Barletta, Charlie Dent, Michael G. Fitzpatrick and Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania;  J. Randy Forbes, Scott Rigell, Rob Wittman and Frank R. Wolf of Virginia; Frank A. LoBiondo and Jon Runyan of New Jersey; Michael G. Grimm and Peter T. King of New York; Devin Nunes of California and Erik Paulsen of Minnesota.

At least a handful more GOP members were expected to do likewise on a day in which congressional offices were reporting rising numbers of emails and phone calls from people angry and frustrated about the interruption of federal services and the hardening congressional dysfunction.

“It appears we may be getting to a place where there are going to be enough rational Republicans to join with the Democrats and pass what is a continuing resolution, which will fund government, get us open, give us the opportunity over the next six weeks to see if we can come to an agreement for a final resolution for the balance of the year,” Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said on CNN.

Since there are three vacancies at the moment, an absolute majority of the House is 217. But Speaker John A. Boehner has been steadfast in declaring that any legislative move to end the spending impasse would need to have the support of a majority of his majority — and, presumably, many more beyond that, since pushing through a bill that closely divides his caucus would threaten the sort of rebellion from his right the speaker has been working all year to prevent.

King, one of the most outspoken GOP members in favor of a clean CR, says the roster of rank-and-file Republicans coming to that view is escalating fast and may be approaching 100 — although many of them will stay behind the scenes until the last possible moment.

There are also about 40 hard-line tea party conservatives who are outspokenly opposing any retreat from the party’s effort to undermine the health care law as a condition of reopening the government. An equivalent number can be counted on to back that cause for the foreseeable future.

That leaves about 50 Republicans in the middle, in theory, with the fate of the shutdown in their hands.

CORRECTION: An earlier version incorrectly had Jeb Hensarling of Texas  on the list of clean CR advocates.

  • susierosie

    Talk is cheap. Come on republicans and kick the tea baggers in the rump and Ted Cruz at the same time. It is time for the GOP to take back the house from the government killers.

    • Bill Chelmowski

      Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God
      Thomas Jefferson
      Patriots need to fight the Obama regime by any means possible.

      • Lars_the_pianist

        Personally, I’m a patriot, that is fighting the Ted Cruz regime.

  • Robert Stewart

    John Boehner and the Tea Party folks who are primarily responsible for shutting down the government are nothing more than anarchists. They are not patriots in any respect. These rabid screwballs have the same mentality as the radicals who worked to destroy the Union that Abraham Lincoln was trying to preserve. They are doing this because they oppose a law passed by Congress, signed by the President and determined to be constitutional by the Supreme Court. If the Republicans want to repeal the law and deny millions of health care, they can work to gain control of both houses of the U.S. Congress and win the presidency. Until then, they have a law that needs to be honored and not attacked via anarchy and terrorism.

    • CmonMann

      Nice Dem talking points there Robert, do you really believe it is all one-sided?

    • Bill Chelmowski

      Everything you said could apply to the Fugitive Slave Act. You are on the side of tyranny. The Dear Leader wants to turn America into a communist hellhole and you are one of his supporters. He is only in the White House due to massive voter fraud and a corrupt media that functions as his propaganda arm.

      • F Michael Addams

        Another sad case of ODS ( Obama Derangement Syndrome ),,luckily for teabillies..ODS is covered by ObamaCare…seek mental health care treatment soon..don’t wait..

        • shamu9

          There are no words to describe the Derangement Syndrome you Commie Azzed Barry Bugaron Voters suffer from!

    • ranroddeb

      The government has been shutdown 18 times since 1976. 12 of those times were by democrats. Your inane assertions concerning the TP have no basis in reality but only in your warped liberal mind. It’s intuitively obvious you lack the cognitive ability to produce a cogent argument backing your position so instead you spout liberal talking points. I’d suggest you spend a lot more time when composing your comments as that may help you sound a little less like the half wit you actually are.

      • esoteric714

        What do pass shutdowns have to do with THIS shutdown? In this shutdown, the GOP, and the tea party specifically, is to blame.

        • ranroddeb

          You mean for not falling on their knees before the all mighty Obama? Give me a frickin break. This is not a dictatorship. So the Dims refusal to negotiate means the Reps should just shut up and take it? If brains were gasoline you wouldn’t have enough to catch fire.

    • shamu9

      Frack U, U Barry the Buggerer Lover!

    • ThisIsNot4U2

      Well said.

  • Bill Chelmowski

    You can always count on RINO’s to stab the American people in the back.

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