In it, but not of it. TPM DC

House Dems Press Leadership To Insist On Clean Debt Limit Hike

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The debt ceiling vote is about one thing: affirming that America pays its bills. It does not authorize new taxpayer obligations; it affirms to the world our commitment to pay obligations already incurred.

To do otherwise, or to threaten to do so, or to leverage our duty to pay our bills to achieve a partisan advantage in budget disputes, jeopardizes the full faith and credit of the United States of America.

Welch has over two dozen signatories thus far. The question is whether vulnerable and conservative Dems will side rhetorically with Republicans on the need to use the impending default to slash federal spending. But if a large block of Democrats refuses to vote to hike the debt ceiling in absence of a clean bill, Republicans will have to make good on an increasingly severe threat -- one that could backfire.

You can read the entire letter below.

Dear Democratic Leaders:

Congress will soon be required to vote on whether to extend the debt limit which, according to Secretary Geithner, will be breached by mid-May.

We ask you to convene a caucus to discuss and establish a Democratic position in favor of a clean extension of the debt ceiling.

The debt ceiling vote is about one thing: affirming that America pays its bills. It does not authorize new taxpayer obligations; it affirms to the world our commitment to pay obligations already incurred.

To do otherwise, or to threaten to do so, or to leverage our duty to pay our bills to achieve a partisan advantage in budget disputes, jeopardizes the full faith and credit of the United States of America.

Sincerely