House Dems say president can raise debt ceiling

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Associated Press

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 12:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats say President Barack Obama should consider invoking a little-known constitutional provision to sidestep Republican demands for major spending cuts as a condition to raising the debt ceiling.

Twenty-one Democrats say in a letter that they would support the use of any authority, including the 14th Amendment, to prevent the nation from going into default, an event that some economists predict could trigger a global recession.

That post-Civil War amendment states that "the validity of the public debt of the United States...shall not be questioned."

Raising the federal borrowing limit is now subject to congressional approval, which traditionally has come with relatively little resistance. But a 2011 confrontation sparked by Republican opposition to raising the debt ceiling without spending cuts resulted in the nation's first-ever credit rating downgrade.

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