Updated: October 7, 2013 12:46PM
WASHINGTON–Democrats, up to President Barack Obama, Monday are stepping up pressure on House Speaker John Boehner for up-or-down House votes on “clean” measures to reopen partially closed federal government and to raise the debt limit. They do so knowing they have the votes to win–if only Boehner would allow a roll call.
A White House official just passed along the news that Obama will be calling on the Republican Leadership to bring the clean Continuing Resolution up for a vote today.”
On Sunday, Boehner made a tactical error–he said in an ABC “This Week” interview he did not have the votes to pass a “clean” bill to raise the debt limit. As I wrote in my Monday column, Boehner’s conclusion was at the least premature.
Here’s the math. There are 200 Democrats in the House and almost all of them would vote to raise the debt ceiling. It takes 218 votes to pass a bill. There are 232 Republicans. Rather than risk sending the nation into economic turmoil, it is highly likely that enough votes could be found to avoid a default.
The White House official said, “the administration and Democrats in Congress are asking the Speaker to prove that a majority in the House would not vote for the Senate-passed bill to reopen the government by holding an up-or-down vote on the clean Continuing Resolution to end this impasse that is impacting vital services provided by agencies across government, including FEMA. The President will also urge Congress to act to raise the debt limit and avoid a default that would have catastrophic impacts on our economy, our businesses, and families across the country.