Could President Obama ignore the federal debt limit?
Law professors, Democratic senators and liberal commentators have recently raised a tantalizing possibility for ending the congressional wrangling over raising the federal limit on borrowing: President Obama could simply declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional and be done with it.
Advocates of this approach cite the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that the “validity of the public debt of the United States . . . shall not be questioned.”
The response from Senate Republicans: no way.
Later today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) will introduce a “sense of the Senate” resolution that says the president does not have the authority to sidestep the debt ceiling, which is set to expire in August.
“I strongly disagree with those who suggest the president has the unilateral authority to put the American people in even greater levels of debt,” Graham says in a statement. “Every time the debt ceiling has been raised it has been through an act of collaboration between the president and Congress. That is not only the right policy decision to make, but the correct political decision as well. We have a president, not a king. Our resolution puts the Senate on record that any debt-limit increase, today or in the future, should be passed by the Congress and signed by the President.”