"In the past, I've opposed efforts to increase the country's debt because the proposals lacked a strong enough plan to improve our country's fiscal and economic future," said McNerney in an e-mail to the Hotline. "In the coming weeks, I'll be reviewing what plans are offered to see if these proposals have a responsible approach to the debt and will help in our country's economic recovery."
Garnering enough Republican support may be difficult. Republicans will have to answer to a potentially angry base if the debt ceiling is raised without also cutting billions of dollars from federal programs and departments. That may also dissuade Democrats to support the ceiling raise as they'll likely label such cuts "draconian."
And some Democrats who did vote to raise the ceiling in 2010 are signaling they may oppose the measure this year. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), for example, made the case for Democrats voting against it this time around during a Jan. 6 appearance on Fox News.
Weiner told host Sean Hannity that he conditioned his vote on "what the bill looks like," adding that he is "not inclined to do it if the Republicans say, they're going to use the extra money, they give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, they're going to repeal the health care bill which will cost the treasury $1.2 trillion."
Weiner then laid the new onus of responsibility squarely on the GOP.
"They're in charge. They're going to get to decide the bill we vote on," said Weiner. "If it is a responsible bill that makes sense, that shows a real plan to try to get things under control, then I'll certainly consider voting for it. If it's the same kind of policies they've had recently ... then I'm a no."