The large group of freshman House Republicans is facing tremendous pressure over an impending vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling, according to libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
Paul — who opposes raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling — predicted that the majority of new Republicans would be convinced to vote to lift it when it comes up this spring.
"It won't take them very long to be unhappy. That's why the real test is going to be those 80-some new members and how they are going to vote," he said during an interview on Fox Business Network posted Monday. "And I [expect] they're going to be talked into it — the majority will be talked into it — because they are going to get some promise they are going to cut back."
The debt ceiling vote is expected to be one of the first major tests of the relationship between Republican leaders who control the House and a large swath of new members who helped them obtain the majority in the November midterm elections.
With 84 of the 242-member House GOP conference being freshmen, the bloc could wield considerable influence over the direction of the 112th Congress.
While riding a wave of Tea Party support to victory, several members of the freshman class have said they oppose raising the debt ceiling over concerns about high spending and the national debt.
But leaders in Congress and the Obama White House have said that raising the ceiling is a must, arguing it will signal to foreign creditors that the U.S. can meet its obligations.
The House has suspended votes this week in the aftermath of the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).