Today at 7:00 pm the House will hold a very symbolic vote on a $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase. Symbolic because it is doomed from the beginning as every single republican will vote no. So why is it held? Supposedly it is to rekindle popular interest in the debt ceiling drama following several weeks of commercial interruptions (i.e., heavy lobbying), and to remind the public that America is still a "democracy." Below is Goldman's Alec Phillips with more:
7:00 pm - House votes on raising debt limit by $2.4 trillion. This will be a purely symbolic vote, intended to fail. It is meant to demonstrate to the administration and the public that a "clean" increase lacking any accompanying fiscal restraint lacks the votes to pass, and to give members of Congress a chance to vote against it before many of them are eventually obliged to vote for it. To reduce the likelihood of passage even further, House leadership will bring the bill up for a vote under a process requiring a 2/3 vote to pass (known as "suspension of the rules"). The expected outcome is that every Republican will vote against the increase, and that some Democrats will vote against it as well. The vote is being held tonight to set the stage for talks tomorrow, when President Obama meets with the entire House Republican caucus. With the Senate out this week, there will be no fiscal talks led by Vice President Biden until next week, so this vote along with tomorrow's meeting with the president will be the key fiscal events for the week.