The saga continues.
After Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh) failed to gather support for a clean continuing resolution (CR) among his fellow Republicans, the government shut down. Now, four more Republican congressmen from Pennsylvania have said they support a clean CR to get the government running again.
According to a list compiled by the Washington Post, Reps. Pat Meehan (R-Delaware), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), and Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne) have all voiced support for a clean CR, one that does not attempt to limit or delay the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) joined them Thursday morning, bringing the Pa. total to five and the national total to 13.
“I came to Washington to fix government, not shut it down. At this point, I believe it’s time for the House to vote for a clean, short-term funding bill to bring the Senate to the table and negotiate a responsible compromise,” Meehan said in a Wednesday press release.
Echoed Gerlach on Wednesday, “It is time for Congress to vote on a budget bill that gets the government back to work providing all of the services already paid for by the hard-working taxpayers in my District and across the country. If a bill comes to the floor to accomplish that goal, I will vote for it.”
Gerlach said his constituent correspondence since the shutdown began Tuesday has gone 89% in favor of reopening the government, while just 10% have told him to stay the course.
Neither Barletta nor Fitzpatrick indicated their support for a CR in a press release.
What is not clear is whether the three are merely expressing verbal support for a clean CR, or whether they will back up that positions by voting against the GOP on non-clean resolutions, as Dent has done.
A spokesman for Meehan did not respond to a request for clarification.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has kept up a steady drumbeat against Fitzpatrick and Meehan, considered the two most vulnerable incumbents in Pa.
“The people of Pennsylvania have had enough of Congressman Meehan’s reckless delays and irresponsible extortion that are now hurting middle class families and our economy,” said Emily Bittner of the DCCC.
Still claiming support for a CR containing provisions for the defunding or delay of Obamacare, which went into effect yesterday, are Pennsylvania’s remaining eight Republican representatives from various locations across the state.
After the House and Senate failed to meet to establish a compromise, the House began to attempt to address the budget piece by piece, an effort that failed when rejected by U.S. Senate Democrats three times.
As the country enters its second day of shutdown, it is yet to be seen whether or not more Republicans will announce support for a clean CR, or whether the debate will continue on.
Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.