Congress will vote one final time to fund the government through the fiscal year Thursday afternoon, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was not involved in negotiations leading up to this day, is washing her hands clean from it.
The former Speaker said Thursday morning that no matter what happens — pass or fail — she takes no “responsibility” for the deal that cuts about $38 billion from last year’s spending deal.
“As is pretty evident House Democrats were not part of that agreement — I’d rather call it an agreement than a deal,” Pelosi said. “I feel no ownership of that or any responsibility to it.”
Although the most recent whip counts indicate that the deal will pass through the House, some key conservative defections in the days leading up to the vote have some wondering if House Speaker John Boehner will need Democratic votes to push the deal through. Pelosi suggested that they would, but when asked if there were enough Democrats to push the deal through if enough Republicans cast a nay vote, Pelosi merely said, “we’ll see.”
“We have not whipped it. We have not encouraged one way or another,” she said. “People are just making their own judgment about it.”
However, she added, Democrats would be there to stave off a government shutdown, which would occur at midnight Thursday if no deal reaches the president’s desk.
“I don’t want the Republicans to think that we’re not serious about keeping government open. It’s very important. There’s a big price to pay for our country not to do that. And I think they’re more likely to vote for it if we’re having our concerns about it,” she said.
Pelosi would not let on about how she would vote personally.
“I’m studying it and I will make an evaluation.”