Senate GOP predicts it'll have 10 votes for debt deal

Top Senate Republicans are predicting that they'll get enough GOP support to help advance a deal on the debt ceiling as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Mellman: Voting rights or the filibuster?  Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate MORE (R-Ky.) pitches his caucus on the agreement.

Under the deal, the House and Senate will first need to pass a bill that sets up a subsequent one-time simple majority vote to raise the debt ceiling.

Though Democrats would then be able to raise the debt ceiling on their own, they would need 10 GOP votes to advance the initial legislation that lays out how the debt ceiling vote will work.


The House introduced the bill Wednesday that sets up and lays out the instructions for the debt ceiling vote and could vote to approve it as soon as Wednesday.

"The majority party has to raise the votes to raise the debt limit, and the Democrats know that, and they're willing to do it. ... We think that's a perfectly appropriate way to handle this," said Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform How a nice-guy South Dakota senator fell into a Trump storm MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican.

Thune added that he believed they would be able to get 10 GOP votes for the deal.

Asked if he expected 10 Republicans would support the deal, Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntJohnson, Thune signal GOP's rising confidence Senate Minority Whip Thune, close McConnell ally, to run for reelection The end of orphanages starts with family strengthening programs MORE (Mo.), the No. 4 Senate Republican, said, "I would expect that's what happens. It happened last time and maybe more."

GOP leaders view the agreement as a win for them because it's expedited, which is what they want, and forces Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own to a specific number. A quicker process also lets them spend more time attacking Democrats over their climate and social spending plan.


An aide predicted that a "vast majority" of Republicans would be supportive of the agreement, though they acknowledged that it didn't mean that many would vote for the agreement setting up the debt ceiling vote on the Senate floor. That vote, according to aides, could happen in the Senate as soon as this week.

The deal comes after weeks of negotiations over the debt ceiling between McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown DACA highlights pitfalls of legalization schemes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (D-N.Y.). Republicans had offered to speed up Democrats' passage of the debt ceiling on their own under reconciliation, a budget process, but aides argued that the deal rolled out on Tuesday accomplishes the same goal.

Senate leaders had discussed tying the debt hike to a sweeping defense bill but dropped that plan amid pushback from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Republicans.

Instead, the deal to set up a separate debt ceiling vote is expected to be folded into legislation on preventing Medicare cuts.

Schumer indicated earlier this week that talks with McConnell were going well.

"We will also work to address the debt limit and preserve the full faith and credit of the United States, and I want to thank Leader McConnell for his cooperation in that regard," he said.