By Russell Berman - 04/15/11 04:26 PM EDT
House Republican leaders predicted a “resounding vote” in support of the party’s 2012 budget Friday, a day after nearly a quarter of the conference abandoned Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on the 2011 spending-cut deal.
“I can tell you, our conference is united,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters after a closed-door meeting aimed at rallying the fractured conference. “The budget is typically the toughest vote of any Congress. We will have today, because of the hard work of Chairman Ryan and his committee as well as the whip, a resounding vote on this budget of support. We are united in cutting spending, we are united in promoting growth, and we are united in the fact that we don’t believe we should be raising taxes in this tough economy.”
The House is voting Friday on five separate budget proposals — the Ryan plan is the only one expected to pass.
“Yesterday, we cut billions. Today we cut trillions,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the GOP whip.
Meanwhile, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), the Democratic Caucus chairman, said he expects nearly all — if not all — Democrats to oppose the budget, despite the fact that 108 of them defected a day earlier to back the 2011 spending agreement.
"You never can tell, of course, but I think there will be near unanimity, if not unanimity," Larson told MSNBC.
Democrats have spent the better part of the week blasting Ryan’s plan. At a private fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, audio of which was posted Friday by CBS News, the president took Ryan and Republicans to task, saying the 2012 budget was "not on the level."
"Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure he's just being America's accountant," Obama told supporters. "This is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my healthcare bill — but wasn't paid for."
In a major policy address this week, Obama also derided Ryan's plan, saying its vision “is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America."
“Ronald Reagan's own budget director said, there's nothing ‘serious’ or ‘courageous’ about this plan," Obama said. "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don't think there's anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don't have any clout on Capitol Hill. That's not a vision of the America I know.”
—Jordan Fabian and Michael O'Brien contributed.
This post was initially published at 11:37 a.m.