Is the debt ceiling unconstitutional?
June 30th, 2011
10:15 AM ET
3 years ago

Is the debt ceiling unconstitutional?

New York (CNNMoney) - Amid fears the United States risks default if lawmakers don't raise the debt ceiling on time, some are suggesting President Obama could save the day by big-footing Congress.

How? By invoking the Constitution and directing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to keep borrowing even if it means going past the statutory borrowing limit.

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Filed under: Debt
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    Leave it up to Obama to claim that he is constitutionally allowed to spend as much as he can borrow.
    Here is your first hint to buy gold. He will be driving the price up to $5,000 an ounce by making the dollar worthless.
    Look for $10 a gallon gas by 2013 when we finally dump this irresponsible fool.

    June 30, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS

    The question whether raising the debt ceiling is unconstitutional is irrelevant. It needs to be done. This questioned wasn't raised when Bush raised 7+ times.

    June 30, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I pointed out the 14th Amendment a few weeks ago on these blogs. The members of Congress are obligated to act whether they like it or not. Republicans need to "man up" to the fact that this is the path they set forth when they rammed the "temporary" Bush Tax Cuts down the country's throat.

    Despite warnings of trillion dollar deficits in a few years from GWB's own economist (whom they fired for making such a statement) the Republicans applauded VP Cheney for saying that "deficits don't matter" when it comes to jobs creation. Republicans are in strong denial over that fact that as long as we still the "temporary" Bush Tax Cuts, that we are still on that same path.

    June 30, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Ray E. Georgia

    The U.S Constutition never gave the Congress the power to take money from one person and hand it to another. Invoke the Constutition to rip more money out of the Taxpayers? Or rather raise the Federal Debt even more? Ok but raise the taxes of the common man more to pay it. How many will approve their taxes being raised? The bill is over due.

    June 30, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Why everything unconstitutional when Obama is president

    Libyan war, debt
    we went to war with Iraq fake document we borrow money for that

    June 30, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Steve

    It's disgusting our public SERVANTS pay themselves salaries in the top 1% range of all American wage earners, pay only 10% federal income tax, and live a life of luxury on the tax payer dime. It's time to knock their salaries in half, make them pay the same 28-31% payroll taxes like the rest of us, and end their jet setting all over the world on our dime. If this doesn't change, then the debt ceiling isn't going to matter because these idiots are going to continue their spending habits to buy votes and enjoy their lavish lifestyles.

    June 30, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. A Kickin` Donkey

    It would seem from the language that anyone [elected official] that makes the debt of the United States "INVALID" has violated the Constitution and therefore can be impeached / removed. The primary defendants on this point would seem to be members of Congress. The HOuse GOP mmust have skipped over the 14th Ammendment when they read the constitution at the start of this year`s session.

    Either Congress has to send a purely "clean" debt-ceiling-only bill to the President or if they try to load in spending cuts, they have to include revenue sources to get agreement so that a bill can be sent to the Executive branch.

    I think the GOP may have out-smarted itself.

    June 30, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. GI Joe

    I'm with you Steve, but THEY have to vote on it to make it law. Nice thought, but won't happen.

    Ray E - how is canada treating you?

    June 30, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Not only do we need to raise the debt ceiling to pay for existing obligations, not future ones, we need to implement Reagan's solutions to his self-inflicted recessions, which was to raise taxes. Time and time again, voodoo economics has stalled the country into a recession. Repealing most of those tax cuts is what got us out of those same recessions.

    Bush43 implemented his tax cuts to stimulate an economy that was in recession because of overmanipulation of the interest rates by Greenspan. Republicans had promised the American people that the cuts were temporary. Democrats warned of exploding deficits and pointed out the fact that once interest rates were lowered to sensible levels, the economy had already recovered.

    Then Bush made history by becoming the first president to start a war and not pay for it by raising taxes. Republicans doubled down on dumb by starting a second war and implementing a second round of cuts. This is the path that we have been on for the past decade, and is the same path that Republicans wish to keep us on.

    June 30, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    The Republicans have been hot to *correct* the 14th Amendment. It contains language that does not conform to their current ideology. Here's where it conflicts.

    Immigration. Debt Ceiling. Affordable Care Act. Union Busting.

    June 30, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Four and The Door:

    Did you even bother to read the article? It said , " Amid fears the United States risks default if lawmakers don't raise the debt ceiling on time, some are suggesting President Obama could save the day by big-footing Congress.

    How? By invoking the Constitution and directing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to keep borrowing even if it means going past the statutory borrowing limit."

    Some are SUGGESTING it. The president has not embraced it, nor is there the slightest indication he has considered it or will enact it. Before you leap to conclusions like the irresponsible fool you accuse the president of being, READ and COMPREHEND!

    June 30, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Four and The Door

    Rudy NYC
    ... Republicans had promised the American people that the cuts were temporary.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    ...so in your world, taxes are good and people want to hand over their paycheck to the government ? My guess is your world is being turned upside down by the Democratic Spin Machine. These guys are masters of their art.

    June 30, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Four and The Door

    The Real Tom Paine
    ...Some are SUGGESTING it. The president has not embraced it, nor is there the slightest indication he has considered it or will enact it.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    So you are saying that if Obama does use this to keep spending you agree with me that this is irresponsible? But you are convinced right now that Obama is above this kind of trickery?

    Let me remind you that Obama said he would not go along with using a Reconciliation manuever in the Senate to pass ObamaCare. ( ...until he needed to ... )

    June 30, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Fair is Fair

    How? By invoking the Constitution and directing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to keep borrowing even if it means going past the statutory borrowing limit."

    Some are SUGGESTING it. The president has not embraced it, nor is there the slightest indication he has considered it or will enact it. Before you leap to conclusions like the irresponsible fool you accuse the president of being, READ and COMPREHEND
    __________________

    Obama will never do it. It would require him to take ownership of something. Next.

    June 30, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Sniffit

    It's what the GOP wants out of this...BIG TIME. Force a Dem POTUS to make the hard choice and do what's right by citing the 14th Amendments prohibition on failing to pay our debts and then challenge the constitutionality of the debt ceiling. Why? So they can, they hope, enjoy the lack of any debt ceiling battles when they, they hope, take over the WH in 2013. All the benefit with none of the blame. They had to raise the debt ceiling under Bush more than once a year and it cost them. They don't want to deal with that next time.

    June 30, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |