A member of the Republican-controlled House leaves the Capitol Building. There are enough Republicans to end the government shutdown without touching Obamacare, according to recent reports. PHOTO: Reuters
Republican Party congresspeople from blue and purple states are coming out of the woodwork with a message that counters the Tea Party: let’s just end the government shutdown and worry about Obamacare later. The Washington Post reports that 14 House Republicans would vote for a “clean CR,” which would fund the government without touching Obamacare or making any other changes (CR stands for “continuing resolution”). Assuming Democrats would vote unanimously for a clean CR, that leaves the Republican Party three votes shy of passing the bill, but those three votes would surely be there. For starters, John Boehner would have to put the clean CR up for a vote, so he might vote to just end the government shutdown.
Even without him and other Republican Party leaders, it is highly likely that a clean CR would pass. The cracks in Republican Party unity emphasize all the more that they are responsible for the government shutdown. If they were willing to compromise, they could insert Republican Party ideas into Democrat bills (as happened with immigration reform in the Senate), but Tea Party Republicans are not willing to dirty themselves by compromising with Democrats to get anything done.
Maybe these 14 and counting Republicans who would vote for a clean CR could be the start of a new coalition within the Republican Party. One that doesn’t attempt to govern by hostage crisis.