Amid lingering questions about whether Congress will raise the debt ceiling in time to avoid default, House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn is recommending that President Obama invoke a section of the 14th Amendment which states that the validity of the public debt “shall not be questioned.” Obama, however, has indicated that he would not consider that option.
“If the president were to get a bill that he finds objectionable—something that extends this thing for three days or 30 days or even six months—I do believe we’ll be postponing the inevitable, that we will find ourselves right back in this quagmire down the road,” Clyburn said Wednesday on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. “So I believe that if he were to get a bill like that, he ought to sit right alongside the veto message an executive order. And he should take the pen that he uses to veto that legislation to sign an executive order doing this under the 14th Amendment.”
At a University of Maryland town hall last Friday, Obama said he has sought legal counsel about using the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling if no agreement is reached by Aug. 2.
"I have talked to my lawyers. They are not persuaded that that is a winning argument," he said. But during remarks made earlier this week at the National Council of La Raza’s annual meeting, Obama acknowledged that he was “tempted.”
A clearly frustrated House Speaker John Boehner is still trying to get the 217 votes he needs to get his debt ceiling proposal through the House on Thursday. During a closed door meeting with members of his fractured Republican conference, he told them, “Get your ass in line. This is the bill.”
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(Photo: AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)