Democrats 14th Amendment
July 28, 2011 by USA Post
Democrats 14th Amendment, Amy Bingham ABC News reports: As intensify fears that Congress will increase the debt limit in time to avoid default, some Democrats are pulling out their pocket Constitutions to find a backup plan. Assistant Minority Leader Rep. James Clyburn, RS.C. said that if a long term contract is not reached by August 2, President Obama would sign an executive order to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval. He said this action would be justified because a section in the 14 Th Amendment states that “the validity of the debt … shall not be questioned.”
“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 American people and bring stability to our financial markets.”
The argument is that by default it puts the “validity of the debt” in jeopardy, in violation of Amendment 14. And since the president vowed to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” which would later become his responsibility to ensure that the country will not default.
However, scholars of the Constitution are divided over whether the amendment, in fact, justifies the president to take unilateral measures in the debt ceiling.
Laurence Tribe, a constitutional scholar at Harvard University and one of the former teachers of President Obama, told ABC News earlier this month that the 14th Amendment must be confirmed by Congress, not the president.
Read more about the debate Amendment 14 here.
“It’s a temptation [argument], but I think it is fundamentally flawed because it assumes that the Executive is the governing body that has the ability to enforce the 14th Amendment. Section 5 makes clear that Congress has the power,” said Tribe.
Obama seems to agree. In his University of Maryland, the City Council July 22, the president said he does not think he could use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling, even if no agreement on 3 August.
“I talked to my lawyers,” he said. “They are not convinced that this is a winning argument.”
However, both the president and the Treasury Department have stopped short of saying that Obama will not invoke the 14th Amendment, if worst. The idea is tempting, at least the president.
“Believe me, the idea of?? Doing things on my own is very tempting,” Obama said Monday at the annual meeting of the National Council of La Raza.
The Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, said Christiane Amanpour ABC News on Sunday “is not a viable option to limit the damage to Americans who come from Congress to avert a crisis by default.”
If the president decides to use the amendment, the Chairman of the House Democrat John Larson, said, “the Assembly is willing to stand behind him.”
“We must have a safety mechanism,” said Larson, D-Conn. “We believe that the security mechanism is the 14th Amendment and the President of the United States.”
Some argue that increasing the debt ceiling, without deficit reduction deputy approved by Congress would not be enough to avoid financial calamity.
In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee today, the president of the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, Deven Sharma said: “The most important is the growth rate of long-term debt.”
Tribe also argued that if Obama was just, “No one can guess the amount of creditor confidence in the whole world would have to pay these debts.”
“I think it’s something to be avoided at all costs,” said Tribe. “The idea of?? Violating the constitution without the guarantee that would solve the economic crisis seems very unwise.”
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