Garrett is absolutely correct. As this American Action Forum table going back to 1993 shows, the debt limit is almost always raised in the context of some other deficit reduction/budget process legislation. No one likes to sign off on borrowing more money without getting at least some measure of fiscal responsibility in return. In 2010, for example, Blue Dog Democrats forced then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass PAYGO rules in exchange for their votes to raise the debt limit. Demanding a price for a debt limit hike vote is absolutely business as normal in Washington. …
If voting to raise the debt were easy, Majority Leader Harry Reid would have already passed a clean debt limit hike through the Senate. He hasn’t. And there are six reasons why he will not be passing a clean debt limit hike anytime soon. Those reasons are:
1. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
2. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska
3. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.
4. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.
5. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.
6. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.
The six Democratic Senators listed above are all up for reelection in 2014 and they all hail from states that Mitt Romney won.