House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that there are not enough votes in the House of Representative to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government without a provision defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act.
"There are not votes in the House to pass a clean CR," Boehner said in an interview with ABC's "This Week."
Contrary to Boehner's claim, several House Republicans have signaled willingness to pass a bill to fund the government with no strings attached to Obamacare's funding and implementation.
The Huffington Post's Jennifer Bendery reported:
As of Wednesday afternoon, the number of those Republicans hit 21 -- surpassing the magic 17 votes needed to pass a clean funding bill if all 200 Democrats stick together and team up with them. Of course, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would have to be willing to put that bill on the floor in the first place. But if he did, the votes appear to be there for passage, at which point the bill would sail through the Senate and be signed by President Barack Obama, ending the shutdown.
In the ABC interview, Boehner pushed back on the vote estimates for the bill, saying negotiations still needed to happen.
"The American people expect in Washington when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation," Boehner said. "I told my members the other day — there may be a back room somewhere, but there's nobody in it."
Boehner criticized President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for their unwillingness to budge on the CR, saying Reid is demanding "complete surrender."
Turning toward the looming debt ceiling deadline, the House Speaker said his chamber would not pass a measure to raise the limit without an Obamacare-related provision.
"We are not going to pass a clean debt limit [bill]," Boehner said. "The votes are not in the House.. We are not going down that path."
Boehner added that he had no indication of when the standoff would end.
"If I knew, I'd tell you," he said.