Carney: The president is “drawing a line” on debt-limit negotation until the government reopens

posted at 7:21 pm on October 3, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Another day without any apparent movement in either direction on reversing the government shutdown, with President Obama coming on strong with his “there will be no negotiations” stance this morning. As Ed already pointed out earlier, even if the GOP can scrape together a new “grand bargain” scheme that brings together a conglomerated shutdown-debt ceiling deal, the Democrats aren’t likely to let up on the intransigence — and I would merely like to point out the facepalm-worthy turn of phrase used by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in reiterating said political intransigence this afternoon. Time to retire the “line drawing” imagery in reference to presidential fortitude, no? Via NRO:

We’re talking about turning the full faith and credit of the United States into something that’s an open question every year, every quarter, it could be every week, and that’s just unacceptable, so, the president is drawing a line here. He cannot do it, he will not do it.

…Yes. Anyhow. In case anybody was concerned that the White House might turn to any extraordinary powers to avert hitting the debt ceiling, they’re putting the word out that there will be no 14th-Amendment or trillion dollar coin shenanigans — just to be clear:

But Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, rejected the idea outright. Under the Constitution’s Article I, Section 8, Congress is granted the power “to pay the debts … of the United States” and “to borrow money on the credit of the United States.” The administration’s lawyers have concluded this means the president can’t issue government debt on his own authority, said Mr. Furman in an interview with Wall Street Journal reporters and editors. …

Another idea some have discussed is having the U.S. Treasury mint a $1 trillion platinum coin, under a federal law that envisioned commemorative coins, and deposit that at the Federal Reserve. Mr. Furman, repeating statements from early this year, said that’s also a no-go.

Apart from congressional action, he said, “there isn’t an out here.”


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