Democrats have been hammering Republicans for months about the need to raise the debt ceiling. They've insisted that the debt ceiling should be handled on its own, in an up or down (but hopefully up) vote, without being tied to Medicare reform or other spending cuts. And yet, tonight, when the House holds such a vote on a "clean" bill to raise the debt ceiling, many Democrats will vote "no" or "present." Why? Because Republicans are trying to set a trap. Everyone knows that tonight's vote will fail, because Republicans hold the majority in the chamber, and every one of them plans to vote "no." The GOP wants to use the vote to demonstrate that a bill without spending cuts can't pass the House. Democrats don't want to give them the satisfaction, so with the encouragement of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, many of them will vote "no" as well, in order to delegitimize the vote and avoid "subject[ing] themselves to a political 30-second ad attack," as Hoyer says. Adult moment, here we come!
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