Clinton: I’d Use 14th Amendment ‘Without Hesitation’
Bill Clinton has come out in favor of the 14th Amendment option for lifting the debt ceiling, telling Joe Conason he’d raise it “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me.”
“I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy,” Clinton said.
Clinton’s position relies on a constitutional interpretation that came in vogue after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner seemed to imply the amendment gave the president unilateral authority to raise new debt. But the Treasury Department has hedged on this point, and its general counsel says that “Secretary Geithner has never argued that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows the President to disregard the statutory debt limit,” but rather “the Constitution explicitly places the borrowing authority with Congress, not the President.”