As our story on the homepage details, House Republicans are poised to vote on Speaker Boehner's recalibrated debt plan later today. I've been told the vote will come after US markets close at 4pm ET, presumably to mitigate any immediate panic if the vote fails. Despite professions of confidence from GOP leadership and a number of defections from 'no' to 'yes,' The Hill reports the whip count is still razor thin, and tonight's outcome is far from certain:
House Republicans are scrambling to come up with the votes to pass Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) new plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. While they have some work ahead of them, House GOP leaders are starting to pick up more yes votes. On Wednesday, several Republican members who had been undecided earlier in the week said they are leaning toward yes, including Reps. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Bob Goodlatte (Va.), Rob Woodall (Ga.) and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.).
Since Nancy Pelosi says her caucus will tally a lock-step 'no' vote (a likely, but not assured scenario), Republicans' margin for error is fairly narrow:
It appears that the vote will be a nail-biter as a slew of Republican members are firmly opposed to the bill. If all Democrats vote no, Republican leaders will have to minimize defections to about two dozen members. Five centrist Democrats last week voted for the GOP’s “cut, cap and balance” plan, which the Senate quickly rejected. It is unclear whether most of those Democrats will vote for the Speaker’s plan. But one of them, Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), said Tuesday he will reject Boehner’s new bill.
How much wiggle room does the GOP leadership team have? Not much at all, according to the latest whip count:
House Republicans against/leaning no on Boehner plan (22)
Todd Akin (Mo.) — Senate hopeful is a no
Justin Amash (Mich.) — Not shy about breaking from GOP leaders
Michele Bachmann (Minn.) — Against raising debt ceiling; voted against CCB*
Paul Broun (Ga.) — Against raising debt ceiling; voted against CCB*
Jason Chaffetz (Utah) — Possible Senate candidate is a no
Jeff Duncan (S.C.) Told thestate.com, a South Caroline media outlet, that he is a no
Jeff Flake (Ariz.) — Senate hopeful “can’t support the current bill”
Phil Gingrey (Ga.) — A definite no
Louie Gohmert (Texas) — Planning to vote no
Paul Gosar (Ariz.) — Leaning no
Trey Gowdy (S.C.) — Leaning no
Tom Graves (Ga.) — Firm no
Andy Harris (Md.) — Strong proponent of BBA**; Indicated to Baltimore Sun he is a no
Tim Huelskamp (Kan.) — Firm no
Jim Jordan (Ohio) — RSC chairman is strongly opposed
Steve King (Iowa) — Firm no
Connie Mack (Fla.) — Voted against CCB*; firm no
Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) — A no vote
Ron Paul (Texas) — Against raising debt ceiling; voted against CCB*
Dennis Ross (Fla.) — Leaning no, according to National Journal Daily
Steve Southerland (Fla.) — Lawmaker told AP he is a no
Joe Walsh (Ill.) — Said on MSNBC he is a no
Senate Democrats' totally reasonable, non-ideological, "adult" reaction to all of this drama: Yawn. Sense of urgency? What sense of urgency? Sure, the economy could crash and our national credit rating could take a bruising hit for the first time in history -- but there's a Democratic president who needs to be re-elected. Priorities, people.
UPDATE - The Hill confirms that today's vote will occur in the evening, well after US markets close. Expect a vote after 5pm:
A vote on Boehner's plan has been scheduled between 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., well after the U.S. stock market closes at 4. The decision means lawmakers won't be casting their votes with plunging or rising markets as a backdrop. In the fall of 2008, the House rejected a financial bailout, and the Dow Jones Industrial lost hundreds of points.
UPDATE II - A senior GOP House aide tells me leadership is "confident to quite confident" they'll have the votes when push comes to shove tonight.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography