Washington (CNN)–Advising fellow House Democrats not to take the political bait, the number two House Democrat, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, is urging his colleagues to join with House Republicans and oppose a bill to raise the debt limit when the House votes Tuesday night.
House Republican leaders scheduled a vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion. The measure, which doesn’t include any spending reductions or budget reforms, is expected to fail in the GOP-controlled House. Republican aides say they don’t anticipate any Republicans will vote for it. But GOP leaders want to show that a bill without significant spending cuts cannot pass in the House and use the vote to demonstrate that Democrats are not serious about cutting spending. While many Democrats agree Congress needs to reduce the deficit by cutting spending, they don't favor tying the issue to the debt vote.
House Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly insisted that any vote to give the Treasury department additional borrowing authority must be linked to major cuts in federal spending greater than the amount the debt limit is raised.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who has previously said he supports a so-called “clean” extension of the debt limit, told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday that supporting the bill would open Democrats up to partisan attacks.
"I don't intend to advise my members to subject themselves to a political 30 second ad and attack," Hoyer said, adding, "my advice to them is not to play this political charade."
While Hoyer criticized Republicans for moving ahead with the vote, he admitted that members of both political parties, including him, have used previous votes to increase the debt limit to make political points.
"That's not adult behavior and we've all pursued it and we ought to get beyond it," Hoyer said.