FEATURED:

Paul Ryan says he has the votes for budget deal

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel Ryan signals support for sanctions if Saudis killed Khashoggi 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 PelosiElection Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel Pelosi calls Trump’s desire for border wall a ‘manhood issue’ 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 RyanSenior Dem says Pelosi will be Speaker for as long as she wants House Dems punt action on rule change for Speaker nominee Hoyer questions feasibility of new threshold for Speaker nomination 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 leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump officials ratchet up fight over drug pricing | McConnell says Republicans could try again on ObamaCare repeal | Dems go on offense against GOP lawsuit Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers Senate Dems race to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey 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 TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing 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.