Democrats Increasing Pressure On Obama To Raise The Debt Ceiling On His Own

The Constitution gives Congress the proverbial “power of the purse,” but Democrats want to settle this battle over the debt cap by having President Obama seize that power for himself by suggesting that the 14th amendment, somehow, gives him authority to ignore Congressional spending limits.

As fears intensify that Congress will not pass a debt limit increase in time to avoid default, some Democrats are pulling out their pocket Constitutions to find a back-up plan.

Assistant Minority Leader Rep. James Clyburn, R-S.C., said today that if a long-term deal is not struck by Aug. 2, President Obama should sign an executive order raising the debt ceiling without Congressional approval. He said this action would be justified because of a section in the 14th Amendment that states that “the validity of the public debt … shall not be questioned.”

“I am convinced that whatever discussions about the legality of that can continue,” Clyburn said. “But I believe that something like this will bring calm to the American people, and will bring needed stability to our financial markets.”

But President Obama is saying he won’t go it alone:

A rising number of Democrats are asking President Obama to take executive action and raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling on his own, but Obama aides continue to say he lacks the authority and that Congress has the exclusive responsibility.

“There are no off-ramps,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “There’s no way around this. There’s no escape.”

That sounds…apocalyptic.

I’m convinced that the folks in the Obama administration want to go past the deadline without a debt ceiling hike. Congress won’t pass a bill prioritizing spending, so that will be left up to Obama’s Treasury Department which will be sure to make it as painful as possible, blaming Republicans all the way.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Bat One

    The Democrats’ 14th Amendment argument is an intellectual and constitutional fraud.  There is nothing in the 14th that even suggests that the president has the authority to raise the debt limit on his own volition.  If Obama does as Clyburn and others suggest he should be impeached.

    • Neiman

      You are right legally, by the Constitution, but the Democrats and especially Obama have already shown they have no respect for the Constitution and “may” get away with this overthrow of the Law. The Congress is paralyzed and I think Obama may succeed in convincing the people he had no choice and that the Constitution being unclear he did not break the law.

  • JackButler

    If the debt ceiling isn’t raised the chaos, will be used to full advantage by Obama to further his socialist agenda. If this happens Obama will bypass the constitution and do it himself securing even more power for the executive branch.  Then he will sit back and dare someone to sue him and demonize them for trying to harm the American people.  We will get a watered down debt deal will no real cuts, just reductions in the increased.  We’re screwed unless the conservatives get the message out.

    • Neiman

      That is what I have been complaining about for many months, the conservatives better get their message out or else. I offered this story in another post YESTERDAY, wherein Obama talked about how tempted he was on this issue, immigration and others to just rule by executive order, he wants to by-pass congress.

      You are also right that he’ll dare Congress to do anything and despite a lot of crying and hand wringing they will do nothing at all and allow him to rule by decree (Chavez of America). Barry will tell the people how he saved them from defaulting on our debts, from another depression and all because of a feckless, paralyzed Congress it may sound as if he had no choice, becoming a dictator by reluctance.

  • Cherz1967

    If Berg votes with Boehner I’ll do everything I can to keep him from being our next Senator.

  • VocalYokel

    Why is it that the DC mega-spenders have been allowed to flaunt Public Law 95-435 enacted by Congress and signed into law by the Peanut Farmer in 1977?

    This law requires the Federal government to balance it’s budget every year.

    Of course, since Gaylord and his ilk haven’t seen fit to actually produce a budget lately, perhaps that is take by some to mean there are no such constraints.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    can you say: ” D I C T A T O R S H I P ”

    Just try it jackass. You’ll be known as the commie that started the second American Revolution