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View Diary: Nancy Pelosi & House Dems Just Filed The Discharge Petition (215 comments)

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  •  President Obama is not running for (18+ / 0-)

    term 3.  He has stated emphatically that he will not allow the House GOP to hold the debt ceiling hostage.  I put money on it that he will invoke the 14th amendment:

    “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion,” the critical sentence says, “shall not be questioned.”
    •  You think the President will unilaterally raise (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, Senor Unoball, VClib

      the debt ceiling?  You are counting on that?  

      I kind of doubt it.  Not after he put in his offer that Congress should authorize an unlimited debt ceiling, and not after he's made clear over and over that the debt ceiling has to be part of his deal with Congress.  That's an indication over and over that Congress has to authorize incurring more debt.  

      Article I, Section 8:  "The Congress shall have the power . . . to borrow money on the credit of the United States."

      The 14th Amendment says it refers to debt "authorized by law."  The debt heretofore "authorized by law" has a limit on it, and debt above that limited has not been "authorized by law." That's why the President is negotiating with Congress to "authorize by law" more debt.  

      I know some scholars have mused as to whether the President can unilaterally do this.  Scholarly arguments are easily made, but it is a mistake to assume that, because someone makes a scholarly argument, that settles things.  I wouldn't count on this President to be the first in history to try to unilaterally authorize more debt on behalf of the United States.  Doing so just might cause what other scholars refer to as a "constitutional crisis" over whether he's exceeded his constitutional authority and whether he's usurped the constitutional power of Congress.  And scholarly arguments one way or the other don't tell you how that would turn out.  

      I don't think the President wants that battle as part of his legacy, whether he ultimately wins it or not.

      •  Of course he did that...he is laying the ground (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Senor Unoball, blueoasis, ColoTim

        work for having to invoke the 14th but only if it is absolutely necessary.  

      •  I think you're missing something a little subtle (7+ / 0-)

        here.

        Getting an extension of the lower tax rates on incomes under $250,000 now, changes the dynamic of a later engagement involving the statutory debt limit contingent on spending cuts.

        With the extension of the under $250,000 tax rates out of the way, how do the Republicans negotiate the debt ceiling.  They can't make themselves appear benevolent with it like they could with the tax cuts. If they think they can, I'd like to see them try it.

        When Republicans offer the debt ceiling and their asking price is entitlement cuts, it's an ultimatum, not a negotiation.  How exactly would the Republicans even announce their terms.  The Democrats can remain silent and they can expect a rise in the debt ceiling because anything else is unthinkable.  Let the Republicans threaten to harm this country's financial position to achieve their unpopular goal.  And then let them face the consequences.

        "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

        by leftreborn on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:00:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You forget that Nancy is unlikely (5+ / 0-)

        to be doing anything without talking to Obama first.  We have to stop thinking in pre-2008 terms.  He's got the message, he has the backup, he's got a lot of people working with him.  Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi aren't outsiders inventing things to do, they're part of the new Team Democratic, the one that fights back.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 12:23:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Congress authorizes the debt w/ appropriations (0+ / 0-)

        At least how I understand the argument is that Congress passes bills with monetary obligations so the debt is already "authorized by law", and the President is obligated by the 14th Amendment to pay that debt.

        Wherever you come down in the scholarly debate on the text, this is essentially and very practically a political question -- can the President rally decisive political support for ordering Treasury to sell bonds sufficient to cover debt already voted by Congress, and thereby maintain the U.S.'s good credit OR can the Congressional Republican Leadership turn opinion against the President while destroying our nation's good faith & credit?  That's the question.

        And, if memory serves, after the 2011 brouhaha over the debt ceiling, there were leaks and trial balloons coming out of the White House that the "lessons learned" included an acceptance of going to the 14th Amendment solution rather than caving in to extortion if there was a repeat of the hostage-taking.

        I think the New Obama will call Boehner & McConnell out with the Constitution as a trump card -- explicitly -- if they force a showdown on the debt ceiling again.

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