Lawmakers who signed 'cut' pledge will decide fate of Boehner bill

House Republicans who signed a "cut, cap and balance" pledge are expected to decide the fate of Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE's (R-Ohio) new debt and deficit-reduction bill.

Thirty-nine House Republicans embraced the pledge, which vows to oppose any bill that raises the debt ceiling unless it calls for major cuts, spending caps and a balanced-budget amendment.


Nineteen of those 39 have said they will oppose, or will likely oppose, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE's bill. Only six of them have publicly committed to backing the bill, or are leaning toward supporting it.

Then there are 14 others who have not said how they will vote. Republican leaders must convince most of these members to vote yes, or the bill will die on the House floor Thursday, according to an analysis by The Hill.

If every Democrat votes against the Boehner legislation, Republican leaders need to minimize defections to 23 in order to pass it.

The vote is, without doubt, the most important roll call of Boehner's reign as Speaker. Passage would boost Boehner and his colleagues. A defeat would represent a devastating blow to the Ohio Republican.

According to The Hill's whip list, there are now 22 Republicans who are planning to vote no, or are leaning no on the bill. Boehner and his lieutenants have little wiggle room because many of those 22 members are firm "nos."

Boehner has made the case that his new bill adheres to the "cut, cap and balance" bill that passed the House last week. But others disagree strongly.

FreedomWorks, a Tea Party group headed by former Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), is lobbying against the Boehner bill, arguing it violates the pledge "because it neither cuts nor caps nor balances federal spending."

The 14 GOP members who have signed the pledge and are publicly undecided on the bill that will hit the floor Thursday are:

Joe Barton (Texas)
Dan BenishekDaniel (Dan) Joseph BenishekFormer Republican Rep. Dan Benishek dies at 69 Republican groups launch final ad blitz in key House battlegrounds Tea Party class reassesses record MORE (Mich.)
Dan Burton (Ind.)
Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Arizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems MORE (Ariz.)
Randy Hultgren (Ill.)
Raúl Labrador (Idaho)
Jeff Landry (La.)
Tom Latham (Iowa)
Tom Marino (Pa.)
Jeff Miller (Fla.)
Jean Schmidt (Ohio)
David SchweikertDavid SchweikertDemocrat says 'temporary' inflation will have lasting impact on small businesses Lawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection We must address the declining rate of startup business launches MORE (Ariz.)
Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Supreme Court allows lawsuits against Texas abortion ban Rapper French Montana talks opioid epidemic, immigration on Capitol Hill MORE (S.C.)
Joe WilsonAddison (Joe) Graves WilsonLast living Nuremberg Trials prosecutor deserves Congressional Gold Medal Gallego leads congressional delegation to Ukraine Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan MORE (S.C.)

Seven of these members are freshmen, and at least one of them (Scott) has inched closer to a yes vote. Hultgren, Landry and Latham are expected to face incumbents in 2012 because of redistricting — that doesn't help GOP leaders.

There is more bad news for Boehner: Four of the 14 defected on a high-profile continuing resolution in March and again on the final 2011 fiscal budget deal. The four are Barton, Labrador, Schmidt and Wilson.

Barton ran briefly against Boehner for minority leader following the 2006 elections. Schmidt hails from Boehner's home state.