Speaker John Boehner maintained Thursday that a compromise 2011 spending bill would pass the House, but the Ohio Republican was unwilling to say that House Republicans could do it without Democratic support.
“I expect this first step will pass,” Boehner said at a press conference on his 100th day as Speaker. “[This is a] bipartisan agreement to cut this spending, and while we had to drag [Democrats] kicking and screaming to the table, we finally secured these budget cuts from them, and I believe it will pass with a bipartisan majority today.”
While he remains confident that the bill will pass, House Democratic leaders have been largely standing on the sidelines, not whipping the vote and not suggesting which way Members should vote.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Democrats want to stave off a government shutdown, but she personally felt “no ownership” in helping pass the bill.
Pelosi has largely been shutout during the recent government funding debate while Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Barack Obama have been party to the negotiations.
Boehner dismissed recent concern following a Congressional Budget Office analysis that showed the deal would have almost no effect on this year’s deficit, despite making $38 billion in spending cuts. As Republicans have learned more about the details of the deal, many have become less enthusiastic about supporting it.
“Certainly it has caused some confusion,” Boehner acknowledged, when asked whether the report would cost votes on the spending bill. “Let’s understand that we’re cutting $38.5 billion in money that has already been authorized and appropriated, and anybody that doesn’t believe that money would be spent if we don’t act is kidding themselves.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.