The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., confirms that the House will hold a "straight" vote on increasing the debt ceiling next week by $2.4 trillion.
This ceiling is not expected to pass as there are almost no Republicans who would vote for this, without requisite cuts. So in a way, this is a moot vote to show a group of 100 Democrats who keep calling for a "clean" debt ceiling increase that there aren't the votes to do so.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is unhappy with the Republican tactic.
"I will not vote for a clean debt limit extension if no Republicans vote for it and instead use it just to demagogue," Hoyer responded Tuesday. "We need to pursue a responsible course to pay our bills and set forward a plan to reduce our deficits. I hope Republicans will work with us toward those goals, rather than making this a partisan issue used for political gain."
The vote is expected to hit next Tuesday or Wednesday. In addition, while campaigning last fall for Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Va., Cantor said he "would advocate" a clean, up or down vote on the debt ceiling.
This year, Republicans have said repeatedly that they would only vote for hiking the debt ceiling if there is a framework for substantial cuts.
Over the past decade, Congress has used a variety of parliamentary gambits and "chicanery" to approve debt ceiling increases. Voting to increase the debt ceiling is toxic in Congress, which is why this issue is so big now.
In the past, both Democratic and Republican Congresses have upped the debt limit by hooking the increase to another "must pass" bill (usually something defense oriented) or have made the debt ceiling hike conditional. In other words, once Congress passes something else (often completely unrelated), they have simultaneously increased the debt ceiling -- all without the fingerprints of increasing the debt ceiling.
Fox has obtained talking points and "suggested responses" offered up the House Republican Conference to its rank and file members, giving them guidance on how to explain next week's "clean" debt ceiling vote. The list highlights arguments like the increase would burden the country's children, the country is in this position because Democrats went on a spending spree, and it's bad for the market. The GOP also notes there have been nine clean debt ceiling votes in the House and Senate that have failed since the mid-1970s.
In an effort to tamp down criticism that Republicans are playing "chicken" with the debt ceiling, the GOP notes that this vote (which no one fully expects to pass) is taking place two months before the August 2 deadline set by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. That way, if there is no agreement, the GOP can say they voted well in advance of the deadline.
In addition, note some parliamentary gimmickry of sorts by the GOP. Republicans are bringing this bill up under the procedure called "suspension of the rules. This requires a two-thirds threshold to approve the bill. In other words, with 432 members now in the House, 288 would have to vote yes. That is a high bar. That pretty much assures the GOP that it won't pass. If they left it to a simple majority (meaning 217, under these circumstances, there's a chance) it could pass.
Senior Senate Producer Trish Turner contributed to this report.