But with conservative Republicans denouncing the plan as an affront to free-market capitalism and some liberal Democrats criticizing it as a giveaway to Wall Street, both parties were anxiously starting to court votes, particularly in the House, where angry Republicans nearly scotched a deal that had been in the works for days.
House Republicans, under pressure from Democrats to deliver 70 to 100 votes, were scouring the ranks and focusing on the two dozen Republicans who are retiring this year.
Both parties also were scouring the political map to identify lawmakers who face little or no opposition for re-election in November, knowing they would be more willing to vote yes.
Democratic officials said that despite having control of both chambers in Congress, they were far from having a majority sufficient to pass the measure just from their ranks. And they also warned that Demo-crats in potentially tough races could not be counted on to provide the votes to put the package over the top when it reaches the floor.
They’re not under any illusion the country wants this. So we know who’s pulling the strings here.