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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:18 PM

Pelosi: if I were president, I would use the 14th Amendment "in a second"

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday amplified her support for a constitutional solution to the debt-ceiling increase.

The California Democrat said that, given the opportunity if she were president, she would not hesitate to invoke the 14th Amendment in order to hike the debt ceiling without congressional support a move the Obama administration has rejected outright.

"I've made my view very clear on that subject: I would do it in a second," Pelosi said Friday during her weekly press briefing in the Capitol. "But I'm not the president of the United States."

(...)

The White House has already ruled out invoking the 14th Amendment.

"This administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling period," White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Dec. 6.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/275663-pelosi-urges-use-of-14th-amendment-to-avoid-debt-ceiling-crisis#ixzz2H2INqn4K

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Reply Pelosi: if I were president, I would use the 14th Amendment "in a second" (Original post)
Enrique Jan 2013 OP
JoeBlowToo Jan 2013 #1
unblock Jan 2013 #2
Poll_Blind Jan 2013 #5
DCBob Jan 2013 #3
Igel Jan 2013 #7
DCBob Jan 2013 #9
JustABozoOnThisBus Jan 2013 #4
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #6
DearAbby Jan 2013 #8

Response to Enrique (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:19 PM

1. Yes, the Obama administration needs to take dramatic countermeasures...

 

otherwise they are playing the right wingers' game.

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Response to Enrique (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:20 PM

2. personally i prefer the trillion-dollar coin idea.

i don't think there's any real legal controversy on that one.

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Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:51 PM

5. AFAIK (because this has come up in the past), there isn't. nt

PB

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Response to Enrique (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:29 PM

3. Interesting wording from the WH..

"does not believe".. seems they could come back in a couple of months and say.. "after further review by our legal advisors and constitutional experts we now do believe.."

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Response to DCBob (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:06 PM

7. He backtracked yesterday.

It "is necessary to cover debts that the government has already incurred."

But nobody's arguing that there's not enough money to pay the interest on the debt that's been issued. Usually debt as it comes due is just rolled over, and as debt comes due and rolled over there's no increase in the total amount of debt. So the "public debt"--debt securities issued by the Treasury dept. or other authorized agencies--isn't at issue.

There are three other ways of interpreting what Obama said.

1. That the money that's been spent is to be considered debt and that must be paid. That would mean that all the money that's already been spent, with goods and services received or checks written out for it has to be recouped by issuing debt. That's in the billions of dollars, but less than $50 billion at this point. That's not a big deal.

2. Everything in (1) plus a claim that any money that's somehow "obligated" has to be expensed. This includes revocable obligations to OASDI and Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries, that includes money allocated under signed defense contractors and a lot of other kinds of money. Yeah, it's not strictly speaking part of the "public debt" but by linguistic sleight of hand since it's debt of some kind owed by the government then it is public debt.

3. Everything in (2) plus money that's not been expensed but has been authorized. So if an agency's been approved to publish some sort of public-information material but hasn't started the process, well, the money's been authorized. A lot of people assume that since the idea of spending approved money is utterly unthinkable such money is already spent.

(1) is under the control of the executive now and could be minimized; steps are being taken to not minimize it. It's the usual mindset--"If money's allocated and I don't spend it, it means next year's allocation will be smaller."

(2) could be reduced even further, but if no steps are being taken in (1) I won't hold my breath. Reduction in spending is something that gets lip service in DC.

(3) is ludicrous, but often said. It again goes back to the idea of self-discipline in budgetary matters isn't just unlikely, but so impossible as to make suggeting it sound evil.

It doesn't matter which of these 4 options Obama has in mind. He's unlikely to act on what Pelosi, who has the position of a bystander and has nothing to do with the decision, says.

The 14th amendment says that public debt authorized by Congress shall not be questioned. The Constitution reserves to Congress the power to authorize debt. If there's implicit authorization and explicit denial of the authorization, it's a stretch to argue that what's implicit can't be overruled by what's explicit.

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Response to Igel (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:55 PM

9. that sums it up nicely.

thanks!

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Response to Enrique (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:44 PM

4. Every debt ceiling debate makes the Republicans look like idiots and thugs

Why would Prez Obama want to avoid that circus? The periodic bruhaha doesn't seem to reflect badly on Democrats.

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:01 PM

6. Because the point of government is to serve the people, not to make the opposition look like

idiots, which is after all a job that does not need doing, they already look like idiots.

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Response to Enrique (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:07 PM

8. Obama's past behavior

I don't expect he will do anything different this time either. He will play their game of chicken so far, then he will make the best deal possible. What he has always done. I just hope this time he is out front in messaging. He needs us, backing him up.

GOP has to convince US they will really kill the hostage, to get Medicare and Social Security cuts, otherwise the bluff doesn't work. Once the idea of what they are doing, and why they are doing it sinks in... They blinked once...what do you think, from past behavior, they will do?

They dropped CPI like a fucking hot potato, because it was a PR Nightmare...they blinked once already.

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