Boehner said Wednesday that the House “absolutely” will take up the new Senate budget plan, knowing he has to rely on mostly Democrats in order to pass it.
House Speaker John Boehner expects the partial government shutdown by the end of Thursday.
Boehner in an interview with Cincinnati radio station WLW-AM stated: “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.” The House and the Tea Party Representatives did fight the good fight, it was the the Republican Senators that abandoned when their was a more than plausible chance to defund/cut ObamaCare.
Though many Republicans remain resistant to the plan, which places Boehner into a risky position and possibly lose his Speakership
Asked if he’d let the House vote, even if a majority of Republicans wouldn’t support it, he said: “Oh, absolutely.”
But Boehner added he’ll encourage Republicans to support it.
“We fought the good fight. There’s no reason for our members to vote no today,” he said. Boehner said he anticipates the partial shutdown, which started Oct. 1, will be over by Thursday.
Thursday was also the deadline to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
Boehner met with his rank-and-file members Wednesday afternoon ahead of a Senate vote. The House is planning to take up the measure shortly afterward. One House GOP leadership aide said it appears there’s enough support to pass the bill.
Boehner, in deciding to let the Senate bill come to the floor, had been left with few options.
The night before, Boehner had been forced to shelve his chamber’s alternative bill amid resistance from conservatives, and just about every Democrat. Conservatives complained it didn’t go far enough in eroding ObamaCare. Already Wednesday, those same lawmakers were being pressured by conservative groups to vote “no” on the emerging deal.
Boehner could have tried to put forward a new proposal, which would easily put the government past Thursday’s deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
The other option was simply bringing the Senate bill to the floor, relying on some Republicans and a lot of Democrats to pass it. Despite pressure to oppose the bill from groups like the Club for Growth, moderate Republicans disenchanted with the Tea Party’s confrontational approach could peel off and join their Democratic colleagues.
House Democrats were already planning for that possibility. Senior House Democratic sources told Fox News that the party is confident they can deliver most of their caucus on the vote.
The current House breakdown is 232 Republicans and 200 Democrats. That means Republicans need help from Democrats if they lose just 16 members.
House Democrats held a formal meeting Wednesday afternoon, as Senate leaders charged ahead with votes expected later in the day. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, helped clear the way for that vote when he announced he would not filibuster, though he opposes the deal itself.
The Senate proposal would end the partial government shutdown by funding the government through Jan. 15, and raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, indicating President Obama would support the plan, said the president believes it “achieves what’s necessary.”
The model for a bill being passed largely by Democrats is the vote in January on aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. The House approved it 241-180 — but with only 49 Republican yeas and a robust 192 Democratic yeas.
The move would be risky for Boehner, and could potentially trigger another effort down the road, from the right, to challenge his speakership. Letting a bill pass on the backs of votes from the minority party would violate what is loosely known as the “Hastert Rule” — named after former Speaker Dennis Hastert, and referring to the principle that the party in control of the House should make sure that party is mostly on board with any bill coming to the floor.
But would Boehner really be in trouble by relying on Democrats?
One senior House Republican said it’s “highly unlikely” that a new leader would emerge “that can raise money, message” and corral the warring factions of the party.
“Boehner takes the high road,” the aide predicted. “He tried to do the right thing. It’s not like he hasn’t been warning us.”
Since initially demanding that ObamaCare be defunded as part of any budget deal, Republican leaders have scaled back those demands considerably. The boldest provision in the most recent House bill would have forced top government officials and lawmakers onto ObamaCare, without subsidies.
But the latest version was still too heavy-handed for Democrats, and too weak for conservatives.