Thursday, July 28, 2011

[news] The House Democratic leadership to Obama: Use the 14 th Amendment

WASHINGTON - House Democratic leaders emerged from a caucus meeting on Wednesday with a message for President Barack Obama: Invoking the Constitution to resolve the debt crisis.

If Congress can not reach agreement on an increase in long-term debt limit on 2 August, Obama must "sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment," said Assistant Minority Leader James Cyburn (DS. C.).

"I am convinced that all the discussions about the legality of it can continue," Clyburn said. "But I think something like this will bring calm to the Americans and bring stability to our financial markets."

House Democratic Committee Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) acknowledged that Obama has expressed doubts about its legal authority to unilaterally raise the debt limit. But circumstances have changed, the book says, and "we just want to let you know that your committee is willing to stand behind him" if Congress does not approve a long-term.

"We must have a safety mechanism," said Larson. "We believe that the security mechanism is the 14th Amendment and the President of the United States."

Section 4 of the 14 th Amendment: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." Essentially, Democrats argue that since the "debt" can not be questioned, the debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

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