Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Tuesday warned that he is confident Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) does not have enough Republicans to pass his debt limit bill.
“I am confident, as of this morning, that there were not 218 Republicans in support” of Boehner’s proposal, he told reporters.
Jordan, who is rallying opposition against the bill, said that while he appreciates Boehner’s efforts on the debt limit, “we just think there’s a better way.”
Jordan’s comments are remarkable, given the fact that they came nearly 24 hours into an aggressive lobbying effort by GOP leaders to bring their divided conference into line, including a prime-time address by Boehner to discuss his proposal. And earlier in the day Tuesday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) admonished his colleagues to stop “whining” about the debt limit and fall in line behind their leader.
On the Democratic side, Boehner was not getting any good news, either.
On Tuesday, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said he would vote against the Boehner plan. The Maryland Democrat, who reached out to Boehner to work together on a debt solution earlier this year, blasted Congressional Republicans for a “politicized hostage-taking” of the economy and predicted that “very few” of his Democratic colleagues would support the GOP debt limit proposal.
“I don’t want to give a number on it, but very few,” Hoyer told reporters when asked how many Democrats might vote in favor.
When asked whether he thought Boehner could collect 218 votes to pass the bill, Hoyer said: “We’ll see. I don’t know, but we’ll see.”
Boehner’s plan has the support of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but he won’t be able to guarantee unified support from his Conference should the House pass the measure. Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Rand Paul (Ky.), David Vitter (La.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) have already announced their opposition.
“Unfortunately, I cannot in good conscience support the Boehner proposal in its current construct,” Graham said in a statement Tuesday. “The Boehner proposal, no matter how well-intentioned, will be a straight-jacket on real spending reform.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.