Constantly Shifting Majority Supports 'Clean' Govt. Funding in House

PHOTO: Clouds fill the sky in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, Oct. 7, 2013.
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Update: Get ABC News' latest count and reporting on support for a "clean" government funding measure HERE.

Speaker John Boehner continues to insist, as he told told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday, that "there are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," meaning he does not believe a majority of House members would support continued funding for the government without conditions attached.

It looks like he might be wrong, but just barely.

By ABC News' count, 218 members say they would support a "clean" measure to extend all government funding without other conditions attached, such as defunding or delaying the president's health care law; 217 is the threshold needed to pass the measure.

The president today again urged Boehner to bring the vote to the floor and "see what happens."

"There's one simple way of doing it, and that is Congress going in and voting," President Obama said at a news conference this afternoon. "And the fact that right now there are votes, I believe, to go ahead and take this drama off the table should at least be tested. Speaker Boehner keeps on saying he doesn't have the votes for it, and what I've said is, put it on the floor. See what happens."

How did we get to that number?

On Saturday, 195 Democrats signed a letter to Boehner that said, "Enough is enough. … We demand a vote on a clean continuing resolution immediately so that government functioning can resume and Americans can move on with their lives."

Aides to the five other House Democrats -- Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Jim Matheson of Utah, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Ron Kind of Wisconsin and John Barrow of Georgia -- told ABC News Monday that they would vote for a clean "continuing resolution," or CR.

That makes 200 Democratic votes for a clean CR.

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Cooper and Kind wrote their own letter to Boehner Monday calling the government shutdown a "real tragedy for America."

"We support a clean CR," Kind and Cooper wrote. "There is more than enough bipartisan support in the House to pass a clean CR and reopen the government. … Democrats and Republicans are supposed to compromise and work together for the good of the country."

According to ABC News' count, there are 18 Republicans who have publicly said they would support a "clean" CR if it were brought to the floor.

Aides to 13 GOP members have told ABC News their members of Congress would support a "clean" CR. They are: Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado; Michael Grimm of New York; Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania; Peter King of New York; Tim Griffin of Arkansas; Frank Wolf of Virginia; Rob Wittman of Virginia; Scott Rigell of Virginia; Bill Young of Florida; Jon Runyan of New Jersey; Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey; Dennis Ross of Florida, and David Reichert of Washington.

Five other GOP members -- Reps. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., Lou Barletta, R-Pa., Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, Leonard Lance, R-N.J., and Randy Forbes, R-Va. -- had previously been on record in support of a clean CR, but said Monday and Tuesday either their previous positions were misconstrued or they had changed their minds.

Why does this number keep changing?

Two of the most recent changes essentially swapped one Republican for another. Barletta's press secretary Tim Murtaugh told ABC News Monday the congressman would support a "clean" CR "should it come up," but Murtaugh today said Barletta had changed his mind.

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