With Congress possibly unable to pass a debt ceiling increase by August 2nd, the push for President Obama to use the 14th amendment grew significantly today. From The Hill:
Addressing the Democratic Caucus Wednesday morning, Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) the third-ranking House Democrat, told members that Obama should veto any short-term debt-limit increase that lands on his desk and use the 14th Amendment to hike the debt ceiling unilaterally.
“With the same pen that he vetoes that short-term debt-ceiling extension, he should sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment” to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally, Clyburn told reporters in the Capitol after the caucus meeting.
Until now the most prominent voice in support of the 14th amendment solution was former President Bill Clinton. Actually having members of the House Democratic leadership out there calling the 14th amendment a viable way out of this bind is a huge development.
For weeks the White House has downplayed this as an option, but it is hard to believe Clyburn would make a public statement like this without the tacit approval of President Obama.
This could be a move to try to convince conservative House Republicans that they risk getting no cuts at all if they don’t agree to a deal soon, or an attempt to reassure the markets and/or simply laying the groundwork for Obama to actually use the 14th amendment.