Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), one of the leading hardliners on the right in the debt ceiling fight, is predicting Speaker Boehner (R-OH) will not be able to pass his new plan for a two-tier deficit reduction package without help from Democrats.
“I’m getting mixed e-mails now form the House on whether they have the votes. I don’t think they’re going to have 218 Republicans,” he said. DeMint added that he thinks there’s a possibility some Democrats could cross party lines to ensure its passage, perhaps in exchange for a concession like eliminating the proposed bipartisan committee that would come up with more cuts later on down the line.
“I think it’s all in play right now,” he said.
Democratic leaders have said they will urge members to vote against Boehner’s proposal and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) believes few, if any, Democrats will jump ship. On the House side, influential conservative Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said earlier today that he doesn’t believe Boehner can pass his current plan with only Republican votes.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.