(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that Republicans would have the 218 votes needed to pass the budget of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
“We’ll be fine,” Boehner said when asked if the GOP would have enough votes to pass the bill.
Ryan’s budget was met with some conservative opposition last week, barely passing out of the Budget Committee after two conservative Republicans voted against it. Conservative members were skeptical of the budget, because it did not balance until 2040, a timeframe conservatives thought was far too long.
The Republican-controlled House has had problems passing party-line bills before, most recently a five-year extension of federal transportation funding, because of deficit-hawk conservatives who say the bills either spend too much or cut too little.
It was concern over balancing the budget that drove initial opposition to the Ryan plan, which cuts $5.3 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years.
Last year, a similar plan Ryan drafted saw only four Republican defections. This time, however, Tea Party-backed Republicans could be more rebellious as they face reelection in November. Many of these House members won their seats by promising to repeal the Obamacare health reform law and get Washington spending under control.
That task has proved far harder than expected, as the Democrat-controlled Senate has simply refused to take up many House-passed bills or defeated others – like the repeal of Obamacare – outright.
Frustrated by the lack of progress, conservative House members have rebelled against their leadership several times, most notably on the debt ceiling compromise in August and on the payroll tax cut extension passed in January.
On both measures, conservative members jumped ship, breaking with Boehner and his leadership team over what the conservatives saw as unacceptably weak bills that did not fit with the commitment to fiscal discipline they had promised constituents.
Ryan’s budget is expected to come to the floor for a vote sometime Thursday afternoon.