Does Speaker Boehner Have a Way but No Will to Reopen Government?

A wide majority of Americans say they disapprove of Republicans' approach to budget negotiations.

Posted: 10/08/2013 12:42 PM EDT
Does Boehner Have a Will But No Way to Reeopen Government?

House Speaker John Boehner on ABC's This Week declared that he doesn't have enough votes to pass a no-strings-attached continuing resolution to reopen the federal government. President Obama on Monday challenged the Republican leader to take a vote anyway and "Let's see what happens."

According to a bipartisan group of lawmakers, CNN reports, there are definitely enough members to reach the magic number of 217 needed to pass a bill that would end the shutdown and leave intact the Affordable Care Act. The president's signature legislation has been at the center of the dispute between Democrats who support the law and Republicans who want to delay or defund it.

Indeed there would perhaps even be a vote or two to spare. CNN's vote count so far shows that 200 Democrats and 18 Republicans would support such a bill.

Democrats also have argued that Boehner needs to listen to the American public, which strongly disapproves of the shutdown and the reason for it. Instead, they say, he is allowing himself to be held hostage by the Tea Party conservatives in his caucus.

In a new ABC News/Washington Post survey released on Oct. 7, 70 percent of Americans said they disapprove of how congressional Republicans are handling the budget negotiations, which is 7 percentage points higher than last week. By contrast, 51 percent say they disapprove of how Obama is dealing with it and have essentially not changed their minds during that same period.

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(Photo: Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

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