It’s all an effort to end the Republican government shutdown.
House Democratic leaders will begin circulating a discharge petition Friday in hopes of forcing a vote on a “clean” spending bill.
GOP leaders have so far refused to stage a vote on the Senate-passed continuing resolution (CR), insisting that the measure also include conservative provisions scaling back President Obama’s healthcare law.
But with more than 20 centrist Republicans indicating support for a clean CR, the Democrats are hoping they can attract the 218 signatures required to force such of vote.
The Democrats’ gambit is a long-shot, however, as there’s no indication that those centrist Republicans would poke their leadership even further by signing the discharge petition.
Indeed, those Republicans have sided with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on a series of votes this week to fund the government with piecemeal bills – a strategy rejected by Obama and the Democrats.
Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) launched their discharge-petition effort Friday after an afternoon meeting in the Capitol, where the Democratic Caucus huddled with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to discuss the party’s shutdown strategy.
“It is very unfortunate that the majority of the House has not been allowed to freely cast its vote to reopen the government,” Miller said. “But one thing [that’s] becoming clearer is that, as the shutdown drags on, a growing number of Republican members of Congress want the opportunity to work with Democrats to end this crisis.”
Under their petition strategy, Miller said, the House could vote on a clean CR on Oct. 14, at the earliest.0