As shutdown clock ticks down, Paul Ryan thinks the House won't sink major budget deal

Key Points
  • "I think we will get this done. I feel good about it," Ryan said of a budget deal.
  • The speaker's remarks come after the Senate forged a bipartisan agreement to boost spending caps and keep the government open.
  • The deadline for a deal to avoid a government shutdown is midnight.

House Speaker Paul Ryan thinks his chamber will not be the one to cause a government shutdown.

The Wisconsin Republican said Thursday he believes the House will have the votes to pass a massive bipartisan budget deal announced by Senate leaders on Wednesday. Opposition quickly mounted to the plan in the House on both sides of the aisle.

"I think we will get this done. I feel good about it," Ryan said in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Government funding will lapse for the second time in less than a month if Congress cannot pass a funding bill by midnight Thursday. The Senate is expected to take the first step toward avoiding a shutdown in the afternoon, then send legislation to the House.

The budget deal would boost spending on military and domestic programs by roughly $300 billion over two years. It would also extend the debt ceiling and authorize about $70 billion in aid for last year's string of natural disasters.

Entering Thursday, opposition on both sides of the aisle threatened to sink the budget agreement in the House. Some conservatives railed against the spending increases. Some Democrats, meanwhile, said they would oppose the bill unless Ryan committed to an open floor debate on legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

"Part of it depends on the Democrats, this is a bipartisan bill," Ryan told Hewitt about getting the support needed to pass it. "It's going to need bipartisan support. We are going to deliver our share of support. I feel very good about Republicans."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke for more than eight hours on the House floor Wednesday in support of the young immigrants. The Senate will have an open amendment process on an immigration bill next week, and she sought a similar assurance.

Ryan said he wants to bring up a bill to put the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program into law after the budget gets passed.

"To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill: do not," he told reporters later Thursday.

However, he did not yield to Pelosi's demand.

"We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign, we must pass this budget agreement first though so that we can get onto that," he said.

President Donald Trump tweeted praise for the budget deal on Wednesday.

Trump tweet

Earlier this week, Trump said he would "love" to see a shutdown if Democrats do not get behind his immigration demands, which include major restrictions on legal immigration.

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