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Barletta Backs Off Clean CR; Dent Says No to Discharge Petition

Lou Barletta portrait
Rep. Lou Barletta

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne) was among two dozen Republican lawmakers who supported a clean continuing resolution, including 5 from Pa. Today, his office confirmed he no longer does.

Tim Murtaugh, Barletta’s spokesman, said that the Congressman is “beyond” a clean continuing resolution.

“He would vote against it now, because he is now focused on passing the CR with the medical device tax repeal, which can pass the House and Senate,” Murtaugh said. “He has found a group of Democrats who would support in the House, and it represents a compromise that can get to the president’s desk.”

“His original ‘yes’ answer was after midnight last Saturday, after three failed attempts to get the Senate to agree to House-passed CRs. It would have been a short-term ‘clean’ CR for a week or two while we continued to negotiate. That time has passed.”

Dave Weigel of Slate first reported Barletta’s new stance.

Dent won’t back discharge

Meanwhile, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh) still says he wants to end the shutdown with a clean resolution. But he won’t side with Democrats to use a procedural tactic to force a vote.

Dent is among roughly two dozen House Republicans who have declared their support for a clean, continuing resolution to fund the federal government. However, the lawmaker announced on CNN Monday that he won’t sign a discharge petition to force Speaker Boehner to have a vote.

“I am not going to sign a discharge petition,” he said bluntly. It’s uncommon for representatives on either side to oppose party leadership with a discharge petition. But his refusal to do so is at odds with Dent’s high profile insistence that Republicans give up the budget fight.

Very high profile. Dent’s centrism placed the legislator in the national limelight. He was the subject of an A1 story in the New York Times on Tuesday.

Dent also affirmed that there probably more than twenty-one moderate Republicans who would support a continuing resolution – enough that they and all House Democrats could win a clean CR vote.

“I believe there are many privately who would vote for a clean CR. They just have not stated so publicly,” Dent said.

The Morning Call, the newspaper of Dent’s hometown, Allentown, called Dent’s effort to secure a bipartisan agreement “dead,” a claim that Dent refutes.

“We’re going to have to get this thing resolved. This is painful, it’s problematic, it’s disruptive, but the debt limit could be catastrophic.”

3 Responses

  1. Mr. Guzzardi again with the meaningless talking points. You really should return those degrees and ask for a refund. Does Politics PA not have a SPAM policy for the comment section?

    This is really disappointing from Congressman Dent – not all that surprising from Lou Barletta, though. I can’t say I’m entirely surprised; bucking party leadership could be very dangerous in DC, but I was hoping to see more political courage. I guess Charlie Dent couldn’t get enough people to make the jump with him. Either way, it makes his previous words ring just a little bit hollow.

  2. Opposing the national socialization of 1/6 of the economy is both good economics and good politics.

    Liberty cannot be imposed by more government intervention in the economy. Constitutional Republicanism protects Liberty and the ability to grow economically and spiritually.

  3. All good news for the Dem candidates in 2014! Keep painting yourselves into that Loser’s Corner, boys. It was nice knowin’ ya!

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