Democrats want $1.8 trillion in debt - about twice what they had planned for the budget in the 2010 fiscal year. They're upping the ante now, instead of when re-elections get closer, so they don't get slammed - as badly. Here's Politico:
The leadership is betting that it’s better for the party to take its lumps now rather than risk further votes over the coming year. But the enormity of the number could create its own dynamic, much as another debt ceiling fight in 1985 gave rise to the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction act mandating across-the-board spending cuts nearly 25 years ago.