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Jul 20 2011

Congressional Game of Chicken: Invoke the 14th Amendment Option

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I have no idea what President Obama is thinking. What I do know is that he is partly responsible for the brinkmanship that is being played out as the debt ceiling looms putting the US credit rating on the line and many Americans at dire financial risk. Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars says she thinks  former President Bill Clinton may know what Obama is thinking as the deadline to raise the debt ceiling nears. What ever Obama is thinking, Pres. Clinton offers some very audacious advice. In an interview with columnist Joe Conason, he said:

{} he would invoke the so-called constitutional option to raise the nation’s debt ceiling “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me” in order to prevent a default, should Congress and the President fail to achieve agreement before the August 2 deadline.

Sharply criticizing Congressional Republicans in an exclusive Monday evening interview with The National Memo, Clinton said, “I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy.”

Lifting the debt ceiling “is necessary to pay for appropriations already made,” he added, “so you can’t say, ‘Well, we won the last election and we didn’t vote for some of that stuff, so we’re going to throw the whole country’s credit into arrears.”

Having faced down the Republican House leadership during two government shutdowns when he was president — and having brought the country’s budget from the deep deficits left by Republican presidents to a projected surplus — Clinton is unimpressed by the GOP’s sudden enthusiasm for balanced budgets. But he never considered invoking the Fourteenth Amendment — which says “the validity of the US public debt shall not be questioned” – because the Republicans led by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich didn’t threaten to use the debt ceiling as a weapon in their budget struggles with him.

I am fairly certain that Clinton would do just that. Would that President Obama had that courage.

1 comment

  1. TMC

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