House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday morning he believes he has enough votes in the House to pass the bipartisan spending deal reached in the Senate that would significantly raise domestic and defense spending and avert a government shutdown.
“I think we will. I feel good,” Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said in an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, ahead of the vote on the bill in the Senate and the House.
The Senate is expected to pass the deal later Thursday, sending it back to the House. As of Thursday afternoon, it’s not clear if there are enough Republican votes to pass it in the House, meaning some Democrats would have to vote for it to reach a simple majority, a fact Ryan alluded to.
“Part of it depends on the Democrats. This is a bipartisan bill. It’s going to need bipartisan support,” Ryan said. “We are going to deliver our share of support. I feel very good about Republicans.”
The Senate must take a procedural step to vote down a bill the House passed earlier this week, before it sends the deal back to the House, a step the Senate was taking around noon Thursday.
Some House Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, plan to vote no on the bill because it doesn’t include a permanent solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program.
“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share,” Ryan said during a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill. “To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill: do not.”
But the House speaker argued that Congress must first pass the budget agreement to shift their focus to immigration reform as a separate legislative fight.
Ryan committed to bringing a DACA solution to the House floor, “one that the President will sign.”
Pelosi for her part is not whipping her fellow Democrats in the House to vote against the bill, saying at her own news conference earlier, “I am just telling people why I am voting the way I am voting.”
The massive two-year budget deal proposed by Senate leaders Wednesday would boost military and non-defense spending by $300 billion over the next two years as well as add more than $80 billion in disaster relief.
“Our members who are focused on the military are very happy where we landed with that,” Ryan told Hewitt on his radio show.
Funding for the federal government is set to run out Thursday night at midnight, though congressional leaders in both parties have said they don’t expect a shutdown.