Nightly News   |  October 08, 2013

Why won’t the House vote on a spending bill?

House Speaker John Boehner said the votes aren’t there to approve a spending bill, but according to NBC’s Chuck Todd, there are more than enough votes – provided the bill doesn’t have any amendments, such as health care.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> shutdown continues, and as we said we heard from both the president and speaker today starting with the presidential news conference this afternoon. our chief white house correspondent chuck todd was there for it. good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian, you know nine days before the country runs out of its ability to borrow money and we don't appear to be any closer to a deal, republicans insist changes to the health care law must be part of it. the president says he is willing to talk about that, but only after the government is reopened.

>> the only thing that i will say is we're not going to pay a ransom for america to pay its bills. we're willing to pass at least a short-term budget that funds at least the current levels.

>> reporter: speaker john boehner dismissed that.

>> the president says if there is unconditional surrender by republicans he will sit down and talk to us. that is not the way our government works.

>> reporter: an angry john mccain has been there before. he pleaded with congress to sort it out.

>> how is this going to end? we know how it is going to end. sooner or later the government will resume its functions and sooner or later we'll raise the debt limit. the question is how do we get there?

>> reporter: one way out would be to take a straight up and down vote on the house regarding a spending bill without any amendments like health care . john boehner says it is not there, but our math says it is, the house has 42 members, there are 32 republicans. all the house democrats are on record supporting a temporary clean spending bill. and we've identified these 20 house republicans who have told us they too would support a clean bill, bringing the total to 220, three more than necessary. and brian, a little breaking news tonight. tomorrow, the president will formally announce that janet yellin, the number two official at the federal reserve will be his choice to replace the current fed chairman ben bernanke as the next chair. ben bernanke 's term ends at the start of next year. janet yellin would have to get confirmation from the senate, but it would make history if she