Congressman Flores refutes Democrats' numbers on vote - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Congressman Flores refutes Democrats' numbers on vote


The last few days President Barack Obama has been challenging House Speaker John Boehner to call for a vote to the partial government shutdown.

The White House believes at least 17 Republicans would vote for a clean resolution with no strings atttached to but government employees back to work.

Congressman Bill Flores of Bryan has talked to his peers and disagrees.

"My guess today is you've got 200 Democrats and 232 Republicans in the House," Flores said Wednesday on a conference call.  "You'd probably get five or six Republicans who'd vote for a clean continuing resolution.  That leaves you short of the 217 required today to get to pass a clean CR."

The best way to prove that would be to have a vote, but the District 17 Representative says that's not likely to happen.

"Here's the downside to doing that.  If you put a clean CR on the floor and it fails because it doesn't have votes - and I don't think that it does, then you inject another level of uncertainty into the American economy," he explained.

And Wall Street is already skittish over the stalemate in Washington D.C.

The president says he will not negotiate the debt ceiling or his new healthcare law if the American public is being extorted.  But Flores says the debt ceiling has been raised 53 times since 1978 - for presidents of both parties - and in 27 of those cases the increase was conditional.

"In exchange for giving the president the debt ceiling increase they wanted, there were certain additional provisions attached to those," he explained.  "It is not extortion for Congress to expect that certain things will be attached to debt ceiling increases."

Congressman Flores expressed concern more than five million veterans may not be receiving their benefits checks November 1 if the shutdown continues.  He said lawmakers were told in late September by Veterans Affairs if there was a shutdown, the VA would be able to continue relatively normal operations until the end of October.

But Tuesday they were surprised to hear several of the VA's regional offices issued furlough notices for a substantial of employees.  Flores was especially concerned because the Waco regional office has made so much progress clearing the claims backlog over the last few months.

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