At a press conference Wednesday, Senate Democratic leaders, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (far right), argued that any deal to raise the debt limit and reduce the deficit should include provisions intended to stimulate job growth.
There's ample precedent for big debt deals including policy sweeteners to get votes. The big 1997 balanced budget agreement, for example, created the State Children's Health Insurance Program alongside cuts to Medicare and other programs. And the 2006 deficit reduction package passed by Republicans included a variety of incentives, including a milk subsidy and a spectrum auction.
Must-pass bills also tend to attract miscellaneous policy riders, and with so few bills making it to the president's desk, a debt limit package makes an attractive target.
Democrats, meanwhile, plan to continue the drumbeat for jobs bills this fall.
Reid said he is instructing his committee chairmen to present bipartisan jobs proposals to him by Aug. 1.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.