In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Steny Hoyer Slams GOP's 'Political Charade,' Urges Dems To Vote Down 'Clean' Debt Limit Increase

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Hoyer is warning his colleagues not to be "politically gamed" by Republicans and instead to either vote "no" or "present" to deprive the vote of any legitimacy. He told reporters in a briefing on Tuesday that if the bill is "simply a political charade in which the overwhelmingly majority or all Republicans are going to vote no, I'm going to advise my members that they should not subject themselves to the demagoguery that would surely follow."

Hoyer and other Democrats have complained that the bill is being debated under rules generally reserved for noncontroversial items that require a two-thirds majority to pass legislation and do not allow for any amendments. Hoyer reiterated to reporters his support for a debt limit increase, but indicated Democrats should only support a final deal with Republicans that is expected to pass.

"There's not an option here," he said. "You're going to have to increase the debt limit. Every responsible leader in this Congress and this economy agrees with that."

Some Democrats may still back today's bill, however. Rep. Pete Welch (D-VT), who secured 114 Democratic signatures in support of a clean debt ceiling vote, told TPM that he would vote "yes" on Tuesday if only as a symbolic act.

"I'm going to vote for it, but I'm not advising anybody one way or the other," he said. "This is a meaningless maneuver -- the choice is do you want to vote a meaningless 'yes' or a meaningless 'no.'"