Paul Ryan says he has the votes for budget deal

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcMorris Rodgers seeks to tamp down unrest Conservative group unveils plan to slash spending by trillion Arizona GOP winner to join Freedom Caucus MORE (R-Wis.) said on Thursday that he believes he has the votes needed to pass a massive budget deal and avoid a government shutdown, despite pushback from both the left and right over the bipartisan deal.

“I think we will,” Ryan told radio show host Hugh Hewitt when pressed on whether he will have the votes. “I feel good. Part of it depends on the Democrats. This is a bipartisan bill. It’s going to need bipartisan support.”

The package to bust spending caps and raise the debt ceiling is expected to easily pass the Senate on Thursday and be sent over to the House, where it could be a tougher lift. Passing the measure would keep the government open for another six weeks and avoid a shutdown set for midnight Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Ryan pointed out that the bill includes a number of other GOP priorities, including an increase in military funding, disaster aid and the repeal of an ObamaCare advisory board.

But the House Freedom Caucus, a band of roughly 30 conservative hard-liners, took an official position against the package on Wednesday evening after revolting against the measure earlier in the day over fiscal concerns.

That means Ryan and his leadership team will need to rely on dozens of Democratic votes to help get the spending deal through the lower chamber to avert a government shutdown.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiHoyer declines to endorse call for leadership shake-up if Dems lose House Pelosi urges Dems to vote against trucking amendments in FAA bill GOP anxiety grows over Trump’s Iran decision MORE (D-Calif.), who was intimately involved in the high-level budget caps negotiation, is vowing to oppose the deal unless she gets a commitment to consider legislation in the House to protect young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, popularly known as “Dreamers.”

But it’s unclear how many other Democrats will also vote against the legislation without concessions on immigration.

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanPelosi needs big cushion to return as Speaker Senior Dem on leadership shake-up: ‘All of us have got to go’ if GOP holds House Hoyer’s spot as Pelosi heir challenged by younger reps MORE (D-Ohio) said Wednesday night that Democratic leaders were not whipping their members on the budget deal. He expressed openness to supporting the agreement, which includes a number of other Democratic priorities, and said he does not feel pressure to oppose to it.

“I’m going to look at it, and we’ll see what happens, but what I’ve seen so far, it looks like it’s moving in the right direction,” Ryan said on Thursday.

The deal, announced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP moves to cut debate time for Trump nominees McConnell hits back at 'ridiculous' Chinaperson remark GOP senator: 'We were there' on immigration before talks got derailed MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCan Mueller be more honest than his colleagues? Throwing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism House Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds MORE (D-N.Y.), calls for raising the debt ceiling through March 2019 and busting budget caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. It would boost funding for the Pentagon and domestic programs by about $300 billion over current levels over the next two fiscal years, but lawmakers said that only about $100 billion of that would be offset.

The framework has the backing of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Watergate prosecutor: Trump taking the fifth would be political suicide Comey: I’m ‘embarrassed and ashamed’ by Republican party Comey, Anderson Cooper clash over whether memo release violated FBI rules MORE, who on Twitter called it "so important for our great Military."

It also calls for an additional four years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, $90 billion in additional disaster aid for hurricane-ravaged Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas, billions more to fight the opioid epidemic, and funding for community health centers that serve the poor and uninsured.

The legislation would keep the government funded for another six weeks, through March 23. That would give lawmakers enough time to write an omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and break the pattern of passing continuing resolutions.