Updated, 12:35 p.m.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday predicted that the House will pass the budget deal agreed to late last week by the White House and congressional leaders, which would fund the government through late September while cutting $38 billion in spending.
“I believe that it will pass with a bipartisan majority today,” Boehner said at a Capitol news conference.
Boehner’s emphasis on a “bipartisan majority” was a suggestion that Republicans do not expect to garner the 218 Republican votes necessary to pass the funding bill without Democratic support.
The House is expected to vote on the budget deal later Thursday afternoon.
Earlier Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was repeatedly asked whether she would vote for the deal. Pelosi, who along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was not involved in the negotiations on the deal, declined to say.
“I feel no ownership of that or any responsibility to it,” Pelosi said of the spending-cut deal, adding that she assumed Republicans already had enough votes on their side to pass it.
Meanwhile, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the number-two Democrat in the House, announced via Twitter that he will support the spending-cut deal.
“I will vote yes on the compromise CR because we need to keep government open, move on to other business,” Hoyer wrote.
The agreement had initially been viewed by many as a victory for Boehner and House Republican leaders. But in the days since its announcement, House Republicans leaders’ job rounding up votes appears to have gotten more difficult: a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday indicated that the measure would cut only $352 million from this fiscal year’s deficit, not the $38 billion originally projected by congressional leaders and the White House.
Boehner’s office issued a memo Wednesday evening dismissing the $352 million figure as spin. On Thursday, Boehner said the deal was “no cause for celebration” and acknowledged that the report had caused confusion but stood by the larger number.
“Well certainly, this caused some confusion, but let’s understand we’re cutting $38.5 billion of money that has already been authorized and appropriated,” Boehner said. “And anybody that doesn’t believe this money wouldn’t be spent if we don’t act is kidding themselves.”
Thursday also marks Boehner’s 100th day as Speaker of the House. Asked what he views as his biggest accomplishment thus far, Boehner pointed to the “shift in the debate” over spending.
“Listen, I think we’ve done fine,” Boehner said. “But I think the biggest accomplishment of the first 100 days of our majority is this: the spending debate in Washington has turned 180 degrees. When we started this year, the president wanted no spending cuts. The president didn’t want a deal, with a long-term fiscal crisis that’s affecting employers in America and those who would create jobs. And look at where the debate is today. We’re going to take a step today to cut $78.5 billion worth of spending below what the president would have spent. We’re going to save $315 billion over the next ten years. The largest spending cut in the history of our country.”