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View Diary: GOP congressman: Failing to raise debt limit wouldn't be big deal (79 comments)

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  •  I think you're referring to the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ARS, HylasBrook

    constitution's mandate that the government's debts be honored, 14th Amendment:

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.
    That "authorized by law" part is a bit tricky, though, since congress makes the laws.  And Article 1, Section 9 states:
    No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law
    but once again depends on congress's power to make law.  This one is better left to the constitutional lawyers.  Luckily, the president is one, and none of the legislators is.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Sat May 14, 2011 at 10:39:48 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  No, he's referring to the innate power of the... (0+ / 0-)

      Treasury Department to manage the finances of the US Government.

      There is No Spoon wrote a diary called "Shoot the Hostage" about it.

      On the 14th and 1st Amendment issue, it will hinge on what word "appropriations" means. One could argue that the spending appropriations that created the debt were already "approved by law" every time the Congress approved the budget. And therefore, the US has an obligation to honor them.

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