The Boehner Plan: Can It Pass?

by Andrew Stiles

At a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning, House Republicans leaders urged members to rally behind a recently-unveiled GOP deficit plan, which they plan to vote on later this week. According to a source in the room, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) told members he was “150 percent” behind House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and urged them to “stop whining” and support the plan, despite acknowledging that “the debt limit vote sucks.”

In terms of the path forward on raising the debt ceiling, a lot is hinging on whether or not the GOP can get the 217 votes needed for passage. If it does, that will increase pressure on the Senate to bring it to a vote and pass it before the August 2 deadline. A senior GOP aide told reporters Monday that he thought the Senate “would have a very hard time rejecting [Boehner's plan].” If the plan does not pass, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) could have sufficient leverage to move forward with his own plan. “The Boehner bill can’t pass the Senate,” asserted White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday.

Boehner, at a press conference following the meeting, stopped short of saying he had the votes to pass his plan, telling reporters: “I do think we’re going to have some work to do to get it passed, but I think we can do it.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, who announced Monday he would oppose Boehner’s plan, said at a separate press conference he was “confident, as of this morning, that there were not 218 Republicans to support the bill.” However, a House leadership aide points outs that “Jim Jordan is not a whip.”

Adding their heft to the debate are conservative groups Heritage Action and Club for Growth, both of which have announced “key votes” against the Boehner plan.

On the Democratic side, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) told reporters Tuesday that Boehner’s plan would receive “very few” Democrats votes, and when asked if he though the plan could pass without Democratic support, Hoyer grinned and said, “We’ll see.”

In order to pass the plan without any Democratic support, the House Republicans can only afford to lose 25 members. Here’s a breakdown of the opposition:

(Note: “*” denotes members who have signed a pledge promising not to support an increase to the debt ceiling absent the full enactment of “Cut, Cap and Balance.” A total of 39 have signed the pledge. That said, NRO spoke with a number of pledge signers — Reps. Allen West (R., Fla.), Bill Flores (R., Texas), James Lankford (R., Okla.), Tim Scott (R., S.C.) — who all expressed various degrees of satisfaction with the Boehner plan, suggesting that there could be some leeway, so long as the plan is viewed to “reflect the principles” of CC&B)

Confirmed NO:

  • Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), RSC chair*
  • Rep. Tom Graves (R., Ga.)*
  • Rep. Louis Gohmert (R., Texas)
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah)*
  • Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.)*
  • Rep. Jeff Landry (R., La.)*
  • Rep. Dennis Ross (R., Fla.)*
  • Rep. Joe Walsh (R., Ill.)*
  • Rep. Phil Gingrey (R., Ga.)*

Leaning NO:

  • Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.)*
  • Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa)*

Presumed NO (voted against “Cut, Cap and Balance”):

  • Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas)*
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.)*
  • Rep. Paul Broun (R., Ga.)*
  • Rep. Francisco Canseco (R., Texas)
  • Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R., Tenn.)
  • Rep. Morgan Griffith (R., Va.)
  • Rep. Walter Jones (R., N.C.)
  • Rep. Connie Mack (R., Fla.)*
  • Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.)

Total NO count: 20

Confirmed YES (notable):

  • Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.)*
  • Rep. James Lankford (R., Okla.)*
  • Rep. Bill Flores (R., Texas)*
  • Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.)*

Members who are “still considering”:

  • Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.), member of RSC leadership
  • Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.)*
  • Rep. Mike Pence (R., Ind.)
  • Rep. Bill Huizenga (R., Mich.)

Presumed YES Democrats (supported “Cut, Cap and Balance”):

  • Rep. Dan Boren (D., Okla.)
  • Rep. Jim Cooper (D., Tenn.)
  • Rep. Jim Matheson (D., Utah)
  • Rep. Mike McIntyre (D., N.C.)
  • Rep. Heath Shuler (D., N.C.)

I’ll keep this updated throughout the day. So stay tuned . . .

The Corner

The one and only.