Geithner: Fourteenth Amendment Is Not an Option

On ABC’s This Week, Treasury secretary Tim Geithner demurred when host Christiane Amanpour suggested that President Obama lift the debt ceiling unilaterally.

Citing the Fourteenth Amendment, which some interpret to give the president authority to raise the debt limit on his own, Amanpour asked Geithner if Obama would avail himself of this dubious constitutional power.

“It is not a workable option,” Geithner replied.

“But President Clinton says it can be done,” Amanpour contested.

Geithner insisted, “We’ve looked at this very carefully — as had President Clinton and his lawyers when he was president — and this is not a workable option to limit the damage to the American people that would come from Congress not acting to avoid a default crisis.”

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