GOP May Allow ‘Clean’ Debt Limit Vote

by Andrew Stiles

The White House says they want a “clean” vote to raise the federal debt limit, and House Republicans may be happy to oblige them, if only to prove that such a proposal will never make it past the lower chamber, and even lacks the full support of Democrats.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suggested Tuesday that Republicans may allow a clean vote on raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling in order to demonstrate that it lacks the votes to advance through Congress absent reforms.

“If it is necessary for us to tell the president that it is dead on arrival in the House, I believe that we can do that,” Cantor said following a Republican conference meeting.

According to a letter authored by Rep. Peter Welch (D., Vt.), at least 117 Democrats (of 193) are on board with a “clean” increase and would also like to see a vote on this to “establish a Democratic position in favor of a clean extension of the debt ceiling.”

Meanwhile, that “position” is flatly rejected by a significant majority of Americans, according to polls like this one.

In the Senate, at least four Democrats (including Joe Lieberman) have indicated they would not support an increase to the debt limit without meaningful, long-term measures to limit spending.

In other words, Democrats should be careful what they wish for.