Just moments ago, House Minority Leader John Boehner offered this explanation for the plans failure to passage:
I do believe that we could have gotten there today, had it not been for this partisan speech that the Speaker gave on the floor of the House. I mean, we were—we put everything we had into getting the votes to get there today, but the speaker had to give a partisan voice that poisoned our conference, caused a number of members who we thought we could get to go south
House Minority Whip Roy Blunt chimed in a moment later:
We thought we had a dozen more votes going to the floor than we had, no more than that, but we thought we had a dozen more. I think unfortunately, too many of our members were already on the floor when they heard that late speech by the Speaker.
And then Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican who has been frequently quoted on the bill, brandished a copy of Pelosi’s speech and summed up.
Right here is the reason I believe why this vote failed, and this is Speaker Pelosi’s speech that frankly struck the tone of partisanship that frankly was inappropriate in this discussion.
Ok, so if that’s true, it’s time for reporters to start calling through the 133 Republicans who voted against the package, and see if they can find any representatives willing to say that they were ready to vote for the package—that is, until they heard Speaker Pelosi’s “late” and “partisan” speech.
If they can’t be found, well, Boehner will need to find a new explanation.