(The Hill) — As a budget compromise between the parties remains elusive, Democrats are turning to a conservative icon to guide the way to a debt-ceiling increase.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress have begun pointing out that President Ronald Reagan pushed to raise the debt ceiling nearly twenty times during his presidency.

“Ronald Reagan worked with [Democratic Speaker] Tip O’Neill and Democrats to cut spending, raise revenues and reform Social Security,” Obama said Saturday in his weekly address, noting that “that kind of cooperation should be the least you expect from us.”

In press conferences, floor speeches, and interviews recently, Democrats have cited Reagan’s support for raising the debt ceiling in arguing to raise the debt ceiling now.

As the Aug. 2 deadline nears, after which the Treasury Department projects the U.S. economy will default, both sides have dug in to their negotiating positions. Republicans say they will not raise taxes, and Democrats say they will not slash benefits for the neediest Americans.

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