Boehner plan squeaks through House

House Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the debt limit squeaked through the House of Representatives by a 218 to 210 margin, with 22 Republicans joining every Democrat in opposing the measure.

The fact that the vote was so close, even after Boehner added a Balanced Budget Amendment component, suggests he was many votes short last night, when he attempted to pass an earlier version, but instead spent hours arm-twisting holdouts. (You can view a list of the 22 “no” votes here.)

But that's all in the past. Now, the bill will progress to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is expected to kill it tonight and then unveil an alternative, which he needs to file cloture on before midnight to stay on track to pass a final bill before next Tuesday's deadline to raise the debt limit.

A lot has to happen before then. At some point, the leaders in both chambers will have to find a bill capable of getting through the House and Senate. The closeness of tonight's vote suggests that once Boehner reaches a compromise with Reid, he'll lose a large chunk of the Republican caucus and thus will have to rely on House Democrats to put it over the top.

Rules Committee Chairman Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., said before the vote, that the House needed to pass the bill to keep the process moving forward so a final deal could be struck prior to Aug. 2.

“I want the Speaker to sit down with Harry Reid as soon as possible,” he said.

UPDATE: Here's the full roll call for the vote.

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