Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has reportedly told President Barack Obama that he would back the president overriding congressional authority and unilaterally raising the debt ceiling.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was more forceful: “I’ve made my view very clear on that subject: I would do it in a second. But I’m not the president of the United States.”
Such a move would spark a constitutional crisis by running roughshod over the 14th Amendment, which states that “the validity of the public debt…shall not be questioned.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has already taken the 14th Amendment option off the table; the Obama Administration, says Mr. Carney, “does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling—period.”
But on Tuesday, Mr. Obama said, “I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed.”
On Monday, the United States hit the $16.4 trillion debt limit.