The rumors out of our nation’s capital are that the smart alecks in the White House think the president doesn’t need Congress’ permission to raise the debt ceiling. The basis for this assertion is the 14th Amendment.
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What does the 14th Amendment say about the debt ceiling? Not much.
Here is the passage:
“Section 4. The validity of public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”
Take out the clauses and the White House wise men and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seem to be relying on the phrase “The validity of public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.”
Well, good luck with that, because the very next Section 5 says, “The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
Only Congress, in accordance with Article 8 of the Constitution, “shall have power to” “borrow money on the credit of the United States.”
End of story. This is a nation of co-equal branches of government and a nation of laws. Our president taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Stick to the Constitution, Mr. President.