By Molly K. Hooper - 04/12/11 08:00 PM EDT
House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorJohn Feehery: GOP: Listen to Reince The Trail 2016: Dems struggle for unity Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court rejects GOP redistricting challenge MORE (R-Va.) predicted Tuesday the House will pass the 2011 spending bill on Thursday with “strong Republican support.”
At a pen-and-pad briefing, Cantor noted his frustration with the accord reached last Friday to cut $39.9 billion in spending from current levels, but characterized it as the “best deal” Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return GOP senator: Reid's 'ramblings' are 'bitter, vulgar, incoherent' Reid: We're not breaking the budget deal MORE (R-Ohio) could get.
Jordan was a strong proponent of language to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a provision stripped from the bill in a last-minute deal between Boehner and the White House and Senate Democrats.
Jordan also said the $39.9 billion in spending cuts is too small. The House earlier this year approved a bill to cut $61 billion from current spending.
Cantor said that he understood the frustration of Jordan and other conservatives.
“I know that Jim Jordan and others are frustrated; I’m frustrated too,” he said.
“The House position was $61 billion. This is the best deal we could have gotten, given the situation we were served up by the Democrats being in charge of the Senate and the White House,” Cantor explained to reporters in his Capitol office.
Jordan was among the 54 defectors who opposed a second stopgap spending bill approved in March. The GOP potentially could lose at least that many Republicans in Thursday’s vote.
But some conservatives may hold their noses and vote for the bill.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a former RSC chief who is now GOP Conference policy chairman, said he believes he’ll support the long-term bill, though he said he hasn’t ruled out opposing the measure.
Cantor said that, based on indications from Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the measure will pass.
“From the discussions I’ve had with him, he’s indicated that there’s strong Republican support and we’re going to pass this bill with Republicans,” Cantor said.
Republican defections could force the GOP to depend on Democratic votes, but they won’t come easy given cuts in the measure to education, healthcare and other programs traditionally cherished by the party.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday said he was unsure whether he’ll support the deal, which has the backing of the White House.
“Certainly, we’ll always ask for them,” Cantor said referring to Democratic votes.
This story was initially published at 2:40 p.m.