Rep. Nunes to Newsmax: Reports of GOP Fracturing Are 'Ridiculous'

Image: Rep. Nunes to Newsmax: Reports of GOP Fracturing Are 'Ridiculous'

Friday, 04 Oct 2013 09:32 AM

By John Gizzi

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The mounting reports that some House Republicans are pushing a "clean resolution" to fund all of the federal government including Obamacare for two weeks are "totally ridiculous," says one of the Republicans frequently listed as a supporter of the measure.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax Thursday afternoon, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California blasted reports that from a dozen to 20 House Republicans were poised to break with Speaker John Boehner and the GOP Conference, join with the 200 Democrats in the House, and pass the "clean resolution."

"I first read all of this in a left-wing publication a few days ago and now I understand some right-of-center organizations are raising money from [the reports]," Nunes told Newsmax. "That's unfortunate, because I've been against this strategy all along – and very public about it for months."

The Huffington Post reported that "the number of those Republicans hit 20 – surpassing the magic 17 votes needed to pass a clean funding bill if all 200 Democrats stick together and team up with them."

Among the Republicans listed by Huffington Post include Pennsylvania Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick, Lou Barletta, Pat Meehan, and Charlie Dent, New York Rep. Peter King, and Nunes.

Huffington Post reported that Nunes will "ultimately support a clean continuing resolution."

"The last thing I would do is work with Nancy Pelosi," Nunes told Newsmax, adding that "someone took some comments I made and then made up a conclusion" that put him in the pro-clean resolution column in the Huffington Post.

Nunes has publicly voiced criticism of the Republican strategy and preferred pushing earlier with the third continuing version that passed the House, which delayed only the individual mandates in Obamacare for a year and required the executive and legislative branches of government to purchase health plans on exchanges.

But he emphasized that "there is no conspiracy at work here" and that "the only meetings some of us have held in the Capitol have been to deal with these reports." Nunes went on to thank Newsmax for "giving me the opportunity to respond to this false story."

Other Republican House members spoke to Newsmax Thursday to voice strong doubt about the reports that a group within their conference is poised to bolt and work with Democrats to pass a "clean resolution."

"If they are, they certainly haven't said anything about it in conference, and our conference meets every day," Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas told Newsmax. "I haven't seen any calls for changing the rule, which is what would have to happen before a 'clean resolution' vote. No, our conference is pretty united."

Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a top lieutenant of Boehner, told Newsmax, "I'm sure some of our colleagues are saying what they think – that if a 'clean resolution' came up, they'd vote for it. It's important for some of them in their districts to take this position."

Cole quickly added, "Saying 'I'd vote for something if it came up' is a lot different from, say, circulating a discharge position or changing the rule. And no one is engaged in undercutting the speaker – nobody."

"There are a lot of members who don't like where we're at. Do I like where we're at? No, because I don't like government shutdowns," Cole said. "Just look at the number of Democrats in the House who are voting with us on opening the monuments and funding different parts of the government."

Cole said the House Republican Conference wants to negotiate and "we're waiting for the White House and Harry Reid to do that."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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