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14th Amendment, Can Obama Ignore Congress, raise the Deb anyway?

  1. dutchman1951 profile image59
    dutchman1951posted 5 years ago

    ...Title should say Raise the Debt, not Deb..   sorry.



    A facinating Article below. From Huffington Post. Is it a real possibility that President Obama could, or should Bypass and Ignore Congress, If Negotiations fail?



    Could Obama ignore Congress if they refuse to raise the debt ceiling? Yes, and he should, some experts say. Read below, all comments appreciated.
    .


    .By Chris Moody
    Political Reporter
    .PostsEmailRSS .By Chris Moody | The Ticket – 2 hrs 59 mins ago
    ....tweet20EmailPrint.....

    Obama brushed off question about whether the debt limit is constitutional at Wednesday press conference (Carolyn …
    As both major parties debate their conditions for raising the nation's debt ceiling, some Senate Democrats and constitutional scholars are questioning whether the limit is constitutional in the first place.

    Delaware Sen. Chris Coons told The Huffington Post this week that he's part of a group of lawmakers now examining whether, in the case that debt negotiations fail, the Treasury could ignore Congress and continue paying its bills on time.

    "This is an issue that's been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default," Coons told Huffington Post reporters Ryan Grim and Samuel Haass. "[i]t's going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, 'Is there some way to save us from ourselves?' "

    Critics of the debt limit cite the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which states: "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." (Emphasis ours)

    Of course, the Fourteenth Amendment is open to wide, and varying, interpretation and debate. The most basic question here is, does a limit on debt "question" the "validity" of the debt?

    Legal scholar Garrett Epps, writing in The Atlantic in April, said that a case could easily made for simply ignoring the congressionally mandated debt limit.

    "This provision makes clear that both the monies our nation owes to bondholders, and the sums promised in legislation to those receiving pensions set by law from the federal government, must be paid regardless of the political whims of the current congressional majority," Epps wrote.

    In essence, Epps argues that Obama should stand before Congress and say, Tough luck--the Constitution says we can't default. Epps argued that in the event that Congress does not act, Obama should (and could) instruct the Treasury Department to issue "binding debt instruments on the world market sufficient to cover all the current obligations of the United States government, even in default of Congressional action to meet those obligations."

    President Obama's own views on the subject, however, are unclear. During his press conference Wednesday, Obama dodged a question about the debt limit's constitutionality, telling NBC's Chuck Todd: "I'm not a Supreme Court justice, so I'm not going to put my constitutional law professor hat on."

    Obama understandably didn't want to show his cards by hashing out a plan for how he would act in the event Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. But some observers have already outlined how he could--and still get away with it.

    Writing in the Financial Times in April, Former Reagan adviser and Treasury official Bruce Bartlett said the Obama administration could justify ignoring Congress to ensure the nation pays its debts.

    "The president would be justified in taking extreme actions to protect against a debt default. In the event that congressional irresponsibility makes default impossible to avoid, he should order the secretary of the Treasury to simply disregard the debt limit and sell whatever securities are necessary to raise cash to pay the nation's debts. They are protected by the full faith and credit of the United States and preventing default is no less justified than using American military power to protect against an armed invasion without a congressional declaration of war," Bartlett wrote. "Under those circumstances, when default is the only possible alternative, I believe that the president and the Treasury secretary would be justified in taking extraordinary action to prevent it, even if it means violating the debt limit."

    However, if Obama were to follow that route, it's still unclear how the courts would rule.


    Grim and Saass point to the 1935 Perry v. U.S Supreme Court ruling, which determined that the language in the Fourteenth Amendment does apply to the national debt. What's more, they observe, according to the majority opinion on the case, no act of Congress can undermine promises of debt payment from the federal government.

    "To say that the Congress may withdraw or ignore that pledge is to assume that the Constitution contemplates a vain promise; a pledge having no other sanction than the pleasure and convenience of the pledgor," wrote Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, who presided over the case.

    Even with that precedent, however, the specific debt limit as we know it today has not yet seen its day in court. Should the White House's negotiations with Congress on the debt ceiling fail, it will be up to Obama to decide whether he wants to start that fight, which would no doubt require years-long court battles to settle.

    ..

    1. lovemychris profile image80
      lovemychrisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      He should ignore them altogether...as the R's did when they were in charge.

      "You don't have a say!": Kasich to the Dems after Toot-the Fruit-Newt's Contract on America.

      They have spit on Obama enough; The hell with them.
      We elected Obama to implement his policies....too bad if the R's have a crap in their pants.

      Drop it, wipe and get over your spoiled-baby selves.

      1. TMMason profile image71
        TMMasonposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” Obama said on March 16, 2006. “Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.”

        Barrack Husian Obama, 2006, lol

        1. lovemychris profile image80
          lovemychrisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, and they did it 7 times under Bush,...with nary a squeak from the now outraged Republifarts.

          Same as jobs jobs jobs.
          errrr, AND? They have the House now.....AND?

          gasbags.

    2. OpinionDuck profile image61
      OpinionDuckposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Notwithstanding any laws, the Congress needs to be reeled in on spending. With tens of trillions of dollars in debt and the economy of the country tanking, and millions of people losing their houses and their jobs, Congress needs to be controlled by the voters.

      Congress is a system that went out of control because the voters let the political parties choose their representation.

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    I would suggest posting a shorter excerpt and link not pasting the full article here. Huff posts are under copyright.

    1. dutchman1951 profile image59
      dutchman1951posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      ok, will change it

  3. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    There is no law they don't break these days.

  4. TMMason profile image71
    TMMasonposted 5 years ago

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” Obama said on March 16, 2006. “Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.”

    Barrack Husian Obama, 2006

  5. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    Is there anything that Obama has said, that he didn't do exactly the opposite?

  6. TMMason profile image71
    TMMasonposted 5 years ago

    No knol, there is not.

  7. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    "Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit" The US dollar is the
    world's reserve currency. Default means world depression. They have to raise the dept limit - they have no choice. The whole debate is all for show.

    1. TMMason profile image71
      TMMasonposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      No they do not. We can pay our bills, just not all their lil stimuluses and 99week welfare hand outs and all the union serving handouts.

      Don't be fooled by the myth of it all collapsing if we do not raise it.

      1. lovemychris profile image80
        lovemychrisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        We could pay our bills if the rich paid their fair share of what it takes to run this country.

        I heard this discussion about Greece today....do you know, there is 6o billion in uncollected taxes there? The man speaking said with just half of that, their problems would be solved.

        ALL problems stem from Greed at the top. ALL.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
          Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          "We could pay our bills if the rich paid their fair share of what it takes to run this country."

          No we couldn't.

          LMC, i don't know if you've noticed this, but no matter HOW much money is collected, we'll spend more money than we have. This trend has been going on since WWI, and it won't stop by making "Richy Rich" pay 2 million more dollars a year.

  8. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    "I heard this discussion about Greece today" Sell off the country to protect the banks who make their money on dept.

    1. lovemychris profile image80
      lovemychrisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      YES! And sell off their state run companies for pennies on the dollar to private interests...then watch the quality decline and decline and decline.
      Making a sow out of a silk purse.

      although he did say Greece was very corrupt. Family lines for generations, and in ALL walks of life.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
        Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Actually, almost all privately run businesses have MUCH better quality than publicly run ones.

        In fact, Greece is a perfect example: they were so socialist that their government went bankrupt. Now people are pissed off because they aren't getting what they paid for (through government), that they're rioting in the streets.

        1. John Holden profile image59
          John Holdenposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          You've no experience of British companies then Evan. In every case we've seen higher prices and worse service.

          Greece going broke is much more complex than being socialist, a long tradition of tax evasion is one factor.

          1. dutchman1951 profile image59
            dutchman1951posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            agree with John here. Greece has no real economy, and taxes are very high for a minimal of services. But Many more reasons underneath.


            But another side I do see,  kind of disagrees, in that social welfare spends more than it takes in.   You  have to have business and Markets Open. Reguardless of the types of Goverment controls in place. No sales no income. No Taxes to sustain the Goverment.

  9. Evan G Rogers profile image83
    Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago

    The President can't do 95% of the crap he's done so far. Here's an ENTIRE list of federal executive powers:

    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A2Sec2

    And then, on top of that, there is another part of the same document that outlaws standing armies:

    "[Congress shall have power] To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years"

    So... That's it. Our President swore to uphold the Constitution, and all he's done is put it through a weed-whacker.

 
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