Boehner Searches for Debt Ceiling Votes

Photograph by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, in Washington, D.C.

Speaker John Boehner is left searching for Republican support ahead of this evening’s planned House vote on a debt-ceiling increase.

After considering a bill that would tie the debt-ceiling increase to increased benefits for military retirees, Boehner abandoned the proposal, fearing he wouldn’t have the votes to pass the bill.

Now, after moving forward in favor of a “clean,” amendment-free bill, the Ohio Republican  is faced with the same predicament: not enough votes to pass the bill.

“We’re going to have to find them. I’m going to be one of them,” said Boehner, when asked about Republican votes. “If we went this route, I would expect every Democrat to vote for it.”

Getting the 18 Republican votes needed to pass the bill may more difficult than Boehner expected. Bloomberg Television’s Chief Washington Correspondent Peter Cook reports that number could be anywhere from “20-40 Republican votes needed,” with not all Democrats voting for the bill.

The debt-ceiling increases vote was scheduled for 6:15pm EST. The Senate was expected to take up the bill Wednesday.


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