Boehner's been on a PR offensive all day, to stanch the bleeding after new CBO numbers suggest his compromise with the White House will only reduce direct payments by about one percent of the $38 billion in cuts he advertised.
If Republicans defect in larger-than-expected numbers, Democrats will be called upon to ride to the rescue, to avoid a government shutdown.
That will give Pelosi some behind-the-scenes leverage with Boehner -- after all, passing this bill is not her responsibility. "I feel no ownership of that or any responsibility to it," she said.
But she suggested strongly that Democratic votes will be there if needed. "This is about keeping government open," she said.