If the bill hits the House floor Wednesday afternoon, and Democrats withhold their votes (or register an initial 'no' vote), Republican leaders will have to find 217 members within their own ranks to pass the bill. If they do, then Democrats can vote however they wish. If they don't, Democrats will have to decide whether to bail out the GOP -- accept their largely innocuous debt limit offer as is -- or take a risk and vote the bill down. That would put them in a position once again of forcing Boehner to abandon the Hastert rule, and pass a longer-term debt limit increase, stripped of legislative riders.
We'll let you know if and when Democrats signal their intent. But the Senate and White House have essentially signaled that they're fine with either course of action. In the Senate, budget committee chair Patty Murray (D-WA )announced that she'll put a budget on the floor later this year -- complying, in effect, with the GOP's demands. And the White House has indicated that President Obama would sign the bill if it passes both chambers.