House Dems urge 'no' vote on debt limit but won't crack whip

House Democratic leaders are urging their troops to vote against the GOP's short-term debt-ceiling fix — but they aren't twisting any arms to make them do so.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is voting against the measure when it hits the floor Wednesday, according to an aide, and Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said he's also a no. 

But party leaders are allowing rank-and-file members to vote their conscience on the bill, which the White House said it will not oppose. 

"I know of no formal whipping of votes, and certainly members expressed their views in our Caucus meeting. Again, we're just trying to get past this," Becerra said Wednesday morning after a Caucus meeting in the Capitol. 


"A lot of members are trying to figure out how is it that we can continue the economic progress but at the same time not participate in the shenanigans that are going on," he added. "Some members are truly torn, because they want to do the right thing but this is not the way to do the right thing."

Scheduled for a floor vote Wednesday, the Republican bill would suspend the debt limit by three months, allowing the Treasury to pay its obligations and avoid a government default.

To attract wary conservatives, Republican leaders attached a provision withholding congressional salaries if members of the House and Senate fail to pass a budget resolution through their respective chambers by April 15.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that President Obama “welcomes” the GOP package and “would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law.”