As Fred Barnes writes, it's not clear that there are enough Republican votes for John Boehner's new debt ceiling plan. But the speaker got a big boost on his right flank today from Congressman Allen West (R, Fla.). Jamie Dupree reports that West, an outspoken conservative and Tea Party favorite, is supporting Boehner's plan.
So far Jim Jordan, the leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee, has come out against the plan, saying anything less than "cut, cap, and balance" (which requires 2/3 of both houses of Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment) is insufficient. But West's backing seems to indicate that Boehner may be able to hold together the caucus enough to secure passage of the new bill. Boehner can afford to lose 23 Republicans and still pass the bill with just Republican votes. (There are 240 Republicans in the House, and due to two vacancies, a majority is 217 votes.)