With the deadline to raise the debt ceiling just two weeks away, former President Bill Clinton said that if he were in President Obama’s shoes, he would use the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling “without hesitation.”
Clinton told The National Memo’s Joe Conason that he would invoke the constitutional option and “force the courts to stop me” if “it came to that” and a deal could not be reached with Congress.
“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.
The Obama White House, however, has adamantly denied that the 14th amendment is an option.
“It's pretty categorical. We're not exploring this. That's not an option,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. “There is no mechanism that allows us to get around the fact that on August 2nd, if the measures haven't been taken, we go into default.”
Clinton said lifting the debt ceiling “is necessary to pay for appropriations already made” by Congress. “You can’t say, ‘Well, we won the last election and we didn’t vote for some of that stuff, so we’re going to throw the whole country’s credit into arrears,” he added.
Despite saying he would raise the debt ceiling without congressional legislation, Clinton thinks the issue will be resolved by the August 2 deadline. “It looks to me like they’re going to make an agreement, and that’s smart,” he said.