An Obama-backed deal presumably would draw the overwhelming support of House and Senate Democrats. But even if every House Democrat backed it, it would need another 25 votes in that chamber. Some Democrats say Boehner should let a few dozen willing Republicans provide those votes by putting an Obama-blessed bill on the floor.
“If Speaker Boehner is willing to bring to the floor of the House a bill, and just let this House work its will, Democrats and Republicans voting as their conscience determines, then I believe we can get something done,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., told Bloomberg TV.
He noted that Pelosi, as House speaker in 2006, violated the “majority of the majority” rule by letting Republicans provide most of the votes for an Iraq war funding measure she disliked.
Hastert, the Republican speaker from 1999 to 2007, overrode the rule at least twice. In one case, he let Democratic votes carry the load on a stem cell research bill everyone knew President George W. Bush would veto. Hastert also yielded to pressure to let the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill pass even though most House Republicans opposed it.