More than a dozen lawmakers from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are among at least 186 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have signed a special petition that would force a vote on reopening the federal government.
The discharge petition is a procedural maneuver that only needs the signatures of a majority of House members and no action by the Republican leadership.
GOP House Speaker John Boehner has refused to allow lawmakers to vote on a straightforward temporary spending bill that would keep the government operating.
Connecticut legislators backing the petition include John Larson, Elizabeth Esty and Joe Courtney, all of whom released strong statements explaining their positions.
"Today, Republican leadership refused to let us do our job and reopen the federal government," Larson said in a statement on Saturday. "That's why I signed today's discharge petition to open the government now. In Connecticut people are sick and tired of Members' inability to sit down and work together."
"Families and businesses in Connecticut and across the country are hurting because an extreme faction of the Republican Party is holding our economy hostage in an attempt to defund and dismantle health care reform," said Esty, in a statement.
"Speaker Boehner's refusal to confront his most recalcitrant Members and his forfeiture of his responsibility to the American people has left me no choice other than to join with my colleagues on a discharge petition to allow a vote on a bill to reopen the government," Courtney said in a statement. "The dysfunction and paralysis of the House Republican Conference has now leaked out of their ranks to poison our entire government."
Rosa DeLauro and Jim Himes also signed the petition.
Massachusetts supporters include James McGovern, William Keating, Joseph Kennedy, Niki Tsongas, Stephen Lynch, Richard Neal and John Tierney.
Rhode Island supporters include David Cicilline and James Langevin.
A full list of Congress members who have signed the petition can be found online.