“We’re working to keep that number as low as we possibly can,” he said.
A few House Republicans who are members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus have announced their support for the measure, including Representatives Tom Reed of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Don Bacon of Nebraska.
On Monday, Representative Don Young, Republican of Alaska and the longest-serving member of the House, announced his support with an impassioned speech on the House floor.
Another member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, Representative John Katko, Republican of New York, said on Wednesday that he, too, would vote for the bill.
“To me, it’s inherently bipartisan, it’s good policy, and we should all vote for it,” he said.
But so far, such declarations are few. On Wednesday, Third Way, a centrist Democratic group with corporate backing, released a testy letter its president had written to 26 Republican “Problem Solvers” demanding they live up to their name.
“You have run for office and raised campaign funds on the promise that you are there to solve the nation’s problems and put country over party,” wrote Third Way’s president, Jonathan Cowan. “Anything other than declaring your support now and voting for the bill, in turn, would signal clearly to your constituents that you support nothing more than faux bipartisanship.”
Representative Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat who is part of the Problem Solvers Caucus, has pressured her leadership to trim back the social policy bill. She was fuming on Wednesday over how the Republicans in the caucus were not similarly bucking their leaders. Asked about where those Republicans were on the bill, she responded, “That is an excellent question.”
Moderate Democrats say as many as 20 Republican votes could materialize if Ms. Pelosi can win over enough liberals to keep it close. But Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a leader of the effort to keep liberals from voting for the bill, said Wednesday that would not happen.