Clinton: Obama Can Just Raise Debt Ceiling Himself

I'd 'force the courts to stop me,' he says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2011 8:07 AM CDT
Clinton: Obama Can Just Raise Debt Ceiling Himself
Former US President Bill Clinton speaks during the 2011 Fiscal Summit by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, May 25, 2011.   (Getty Images)

Bill Clinton sees a really easy way out of the debt ceiling crisis: He thinks President Obama has the constitutional power to just raise the darn thing if he wants. The 14th Amendment states that “the validity of the US public debt shall not be questioned.” In an interview with National Memo, Clinton said that if he couldn’t strike a deal, he’d invoke that clause “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me.”

He added that he thought the whole idea that “Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy.” Clinton said Newt Gingrich’s Congress contemplated a debt ceiling holdout, too, but thought better of it. They “figured I’d be smart enough to explain to the American people that they were refusing to pay for the expenses they had voted for when Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush were president.” (Read more Bill Clinton stories.)

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