The vote on increasing the debt will come just as Congress tries to put the finishing touches on a trillion-dollar plan to overhaul the nation's health care system and President Barack Obama considers a possible escalation in the war in Afghanistan that could cost another trillion dollars over the next 10 years.
A bipartisan group of more than a dozen senators is threatening to vote against an increase in the debt limit unless Congress passes a new deficit-fighting plan.
"I will not vote for raising the debt limit without a vehicle to handle this. ... This is our moment," California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said.
She and nine other senators wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., asking that Congress create a special commission to make recommendations that then could be decided by an up-or-down vote.