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Hoyer: Democratic Support Remains Steady

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that he’s confident that Democrats won’t lose any votes on the bailout bill, adding that he hoped for “significantly” more Republican votes.

“On our side, I think we’re not losing potential votes,” he said.

The bailout failed by 12 votes Monday, and Hoyer’s comments suggested that Republicans are expected to come up with the bulk of the vote-switchers.

Hoyer also said Democrats would meet Thursday evening to discuss the bill and the Senate’s additions.

“Changes are possible,” he said, “but I don’t think probable because if you make changes, you’re going to slow this process down.”

Hoyer also expressed confidence that the Blue Dog Democrats would still vote for the package, despite the Senate’s inclusion of language to extend tax breaks. The Blue Dogs have insisted on offsets to pay for the extenders, but the Senate did not include offsets. In the long run, Hoyer said, voting for the bailout is the fiscally responsible choice.

“They don’t like the fact — I don’t like the fact — that the Senate jammed on us the tax extension,” he said, but the loss of Blue Dog votes is “going to be minimal.”

After the morning pen-and-pad session, Hoyer headed to House Minority Whip Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) office.

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