House Rules Committee ranking member Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) says Speaker John Boehner isn’t going to get the Democratic votes–apparently at least 50–that he’d need to get his $1.1 trillion 1,774-page omnibus spending bill passed.
“Rep Louise Slaughter: They tell me they need about 50 votes. I don’t think they’re going to get them,” Fox News’ Chad Pergram Tweeted.
The government will shut down at midnight tonight if a deal isn’t reached and passed by both the House and Senate, then signed by the president. Current funding levels run out at 11:59:59 Thursday.
While Nancy Pelosi is working against the current package, the White House and President Obama are working for it. Obama’s aides are lobbying House Democrats to try to make up the difference, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer–who’s working with the White House–is telling Democrats “that this omni is the best deal they could ever get because they still control half of Congress,” a source on the Hill with knowledge of discussions says.
Hoyer is warning Democrats that “defeating it means they won’t get anything from the new GOP Congress.” But that, this source says, “raises the question: why on Earth are Republicans voting for it then?” More and more high-profile Republicans keep coming out against the deal, however. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced she’s publicly against it on Thursday, as did Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA).
After the debate on the bill, since leadership didn’t have the votes necessary to pass it right away, leadership put the House in recess subject to the call of the chair while officials twisted members’ arms to try to get more support for the omnibus bill.
On Sean Hannity’s radio program on Thursday afternoon, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) compared this omnibus failure by House GOP leadership to the disaster before the August recess this summer–when the House GOP leadership didn’t have the votes to pass a border crisis spending package but then held Congress in an extra day. Then the leadership turned to conservatives to pass a bill that blocked Obama’s amnesty and made key policy changes to end the border crisis.
But this time around Boehner is not turning to conservatives–he’s looking to liberal Democrats for help.
“Right now we’re being told they don’t want to come to us conservatives to fix this so we can deal with it,” Gohmert said.
Gohmert also said he told GOP Whip Steve Scalise and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy conservatives would get on board with a bill if it’s a short-term CR, but the leadership is not turning to conservatives to get help.
“We would vote for a very short term Continuing Resolution,” one that would go until Jan. 15 or early February, Gohmert said on Hannity’s program.
“Where we stand now is from information some of us are getting is they’ve got Obama lobbying Democrats” and Pelosi trying to couple things taken out so then she’ll back the bill, but Gohmert said Boehner is not turning against conservatives.
“There are many, many more than 16 [the number who opposed the rule earlier in the day] who have said they don’t want to vote for this bill,” Gohmert added.
“This is a moment of truth for Boehner,” Hannity said, adding that “he doesn’t deserve that job” of Speaker if he doesn’t abandon the omnibus for a short-term CR.
While Nancy Pelosi is pushing for the House to remove a couple provisions she doesn’t like from the omnibus package, Politico’s Jake Sherman reports that the House Republicans will do no such thing.
“Rs have told House Ds they are not renegotiating the omni. It’s either this package, or a 3 month CR,” Sherman said via Twitter.
The other package is ready to go, and if all the different camps hold the line for another couple hours, the House will likely abandon the omnibus bill in favor of a short-term CR.