With the Republican induced stalemate going down in Washington about whether or not to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, Democrat are slowly beginning to familiarize themselves with the Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment. And although President Obama and his White House lawyers seem to think that option is off the table, even former president Bill Clinton has weighed in, advising Mr. Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment and worry about the consequences later.
And now, other congressional Democrats are making their voices heard. John Larson, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters, “We’re getting down to decision time. We have to have a fail-safe mechanism. We believe that fail-safe mechanism is the 14th Amendment and the president of the United States.”
Larson and others explained that they only think Obama should invoke the 14th Amendment if he’s presented with an unacceptable debt-ceiling plan–one that includes a short-term hike in the debt ceiling and that will extend the economic uncertainty now hanging over the country.
“The Republicans have taken us into the twilight zone,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif, the caucus vice chairman. “We’ve never been here before.
“What we’re saying to the president is… ‘The Republicans, through their failure, have given you license to do whatever it takes to not let the American family go down into that abyss,” he added.
The House Democrats’ decision to highlight the constitutional option comes as the gridlock in Congress seemed to intensify over the last 24 hours.
The 14th amendment states that “validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”
With the present gridlock in Washington between Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats trying to raise the debt ceiling to pay the nation’s debts and Republicans apparently pretending that there is no debt, the choice seems clear – if we claim to follow the Constitution, then we must realize that it states that Congress is required to authorize the public debt. Why then, do we question its validity?
Pay the bills, and move on something more important, like job creation for the millions of unemployed!0