Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor predicted Tuesday that despite opposition from some key House conservatives, the government spending deal would pass with "strong Republican support" in the House on Thursday.
But when pressed if Republican leaders would need help from House Democrats to pass the bill, Cantor deflected the question, saying "we will always ask for them." The majority leader punted the issue to House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-California, saying "I'm not close enough to the vote count to know so you'll have to ask Mr. McCarthy."
Asked about Cantor's comments, McCarthy spokeswoman Erica Elliott agreed the compromise bill would get strong GOP support, but wouldn't directly answer if Republicans needed Democrats on the vote, telling CNN, "we would expect Democrats to support the bipartisan deal that President Obama and Senator Reid negotiated with Speaker Boehner."
Earlier on Tuesday Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, who leads a large group of fiscal conservatives in the House, publicly came out against the deal, citing that it fell short of the $100 billion in spending cuts he wanted from President Obama's proposed budget. Jordan said in a written statement, "I believe voters are asking us to set our sights higher."
Cantor defended the deal, telling reporters, "I think this spending bill this week reflects the best deal we could have got. Speaker Boehner went in against all odds and actually got the President, the Vice President and Harry Reid in the Senate to go along with spending cuts."
Acknowledging unrest among some House Republicans, Cantor noted the GOP-led House only controls one chamber of Congress, "I know that Jim Jordan and others are frustrated. I'm frustrated too. The House position was $61 billion. But this is the best deal we could have gotten given the situation we were served up by the Democrats being charge of the Senate and the White House."