House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told GOP members on a conference call Sunday evening that he had reached a deal with congressional leaders and the White House, but that it wouldn’t happen “unless we have membership on board.” It remains to be seen how many House Republicans will end up supporting the final package, but members on the call told National Review Online they thought it would ultimately pass with bipartisan support. “I’m not sure I’m going to support it but I think it will probably pass,” said freshman Rep. Dennis Ross (R., Fla.). Members described the tone of the call as overwhelmingly positive, with many praising Boehner’s efforts in the negotiations. Despite his concerns about the final deal, Ross said “leadership has done a very good job of getting it to this point,” and described a sense of relief among members, many of whom may not love the deal, but are nonetheless happy to be moving on to the next fight.
According to sources, Boehner said the deal was “the best that we could get.” In particular, he thanked the 87 freshman members for their input, without which “we wouldn’t have gotten this far.” Ross concurred. “I think the freshman class has been very valuable to this process,” he said. “Without them, without us, I don’t believe we’d be where we are today.” Freshman Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R., Ind.) told NRO that with “the most liberal president we’ve ever had” occupying the White House, the Tea Party and the conservative movement have done all right for themselves. “I think the Tea Party needs to take credit for changing the dialogue in Washington to be about cutting spending,” he said. “But whether I vote for this plan or not, it’s not enough. This isn’t the end of the fight.”
Stutzman said he is still reviewing the details of the plan, and is skeptical as to which elements may have finally convinced President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to sign on. “I’m definitely open-minded about it,” he said. “But I approach Washington very skeptically, and try to avoid getting the wool pulled over my eyes.”
Boehner told members he would like to vote on the plan as early as Monday night, and apologized for the short notice. Leaders will meet with the entire conference Monday to further discuss the details of the plan.