Friday, April 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Stick with the Constitution

By
From page A4 | January 21, 2013 | 7 Comments

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.

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.

Mountain Democrat

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Discussion | 7 comments

  • kggJanuary 21, 2013 - 10:35 am

    "The rumors out of our nation’s capital...." rumors are not facts. the fact is that the house will vote on the debt ceiling on wednesday.

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  • Dink LaneJanuary 21, 2013 - 12:21 pm

    Hey Editor..... Pres. Obama NEVER said he would use the 14th Amendment.... That was the FOX NEWS nuts ..... you really should switch the channel.

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  • Randy MohamitzJanuary 21, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    The debt ceiling applies to debt that we have ALREADY incurred. In accordance with the constitution, Congress has borrowed the money. Now they must honor that debt. If the debt ceiling is not raised, Congress is refusing to honor its own debt.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Jack MartinJanuary 22, 2013 - 10:23 am

    Dink, you're misinformed as ever. Many political pundits and even some so-called media sources were encouraging the President to invoke the 14th Amendment and he floated some "trial balloons" to that effect. MSNBC practically advocated for him to do it: "But if Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling, as some have suggested doing, Obama may have to act unilaterally if he wants to avoid a government shutdown." He did ultimately pronounce that he would not attempt it, but not after making a couple head fakes in that direction and it was widely reported, even by such right wing bastions as MSNBC. :) http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/01/14/president-obama-backs-away-from-invoking-14th-amendment-on-debt-ceiling/

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  • James E.January 22, 2013 - 10:44 am

    Mr. Martin, head fakes about the 14th Amendment? Dink is correct, the president did not say he would the use the 14th Amendment. There was lots of discussion by others, but not by him. Let's be specific and give us the link for the video or press release of him saying so. You could be right -- surprise us. Actually, you may find some of him saying he wouldn't use the 14th Amendment.

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  • Jack MartinJanuary 22, 2013 - 5:59 pm

    Of course, James, there are numerous videos of him saying that he would not use it. But you yourself are familiar with the term and the use of "trial balloons", yes? Politicians on both sides use them all the time. The mere fact that any elected official or senior appointee at the federal level would mention the President using it, is often a trial balloon. The quote I referenced from MSNBC, where they act as thought the president may "have" to do it, is a means of testing the water. Apparently in this case, the water was a bit too hot.

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  • James E.January 22, 2013 - 6:36 pm

    Mr. Martin, yes, both sides do it. In the Army, we would say, well, run it up the flag pole to see who salutes. But, as to the debt ceiling it appears it will be resolved as the Tea/Republicans now recognize that if the nation goes into default it will be seen as their fault. Tomorrow, they vote for a three month extension and in three months they will fold again. Their blackmail time has passed. And it must cause them great angst as to their political future.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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