"This was designed to fail," Welch (D-VT) told TPM before voting for the measure. "This is exhibit A in how we come up with political maneuvers that avoid addressing the issue in a serious way. The sponsors of this legislation introduced it with a speech about how they were going to oppose it."
In floor speeches, Democrats accused the majority of threatening the nation's credit and risking an economic catastrophe by refusing to pay for past debt carried over from the Bush administration.
"This vote is about one and one thing only: paying your bills," Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) said in a speech. "They ran up the debt and now they don't want to pay their bills."
"I'm certainly concerned about the last eight years, but I'm more concerned about the last two," Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the sponsor of the debt limit bill, said before voting against his own legislation.
Democrats' motives in supporting or opposing Tuesdays' bill differed broadly, as some voted against it from the left to protest Republican political tacitcs while others explicitly sided with Republicans against passing a bill without making additional cuts.
"I intend to vote against raising the debt limit today because this legislation fails to make the real and immediate spending cuts needed to get our fiscal house in order," Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), a conservative Democrat, said in a statement before voting.
If you still think the Dems aren't going to cave on the debt ceiling and give the Republicans trillions in cuts in spending, you haven't been paying attention. Republican voted seven times during the eight years of the Bush administration to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts. Seven times. But put Obama in the White House and it's trillions of cuts or default the country and ruin America's credit rating for good.
Dems are looking like they are about to pitch the big El Foldo here, and if they do, it's going to be a long, long recession, folks.