I'm glad that White House Press Secretary declined to rule out the platinum coin solution today. Just leaving open a slight possibility provides leverage, and the way the Village and Republicans are freaking out about the platinum coin, along with Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe's endorsement of its legality today, provides some leverage. Better to have it as a possibility, at least, if Wall Street cannot control its Frankenstein monster of House and Senate Republicans.
But when asked whether the administration would rule out minting a coin, Carney didn't outright deny the option. "You can speculate a lot of things, [but] nothing needs to come to these speculative notions" so long as Congress does its job, he said.Politico: White House won't rule out $1 trillion coin
And the White House expects Congress to follow through, Carney said. "The option here is for Congress to do its job and pay its bills, bills that have already been racked up."
Later on in his briefing, Carney was pushed again to rule out the option of minting the coin. He referred the question to the Treasury Department and again repeated that the president does not see a back-up plan for raising the debt ceiling.
Asked if anyone in the administration is trying to figure out whether using the coin is a viable option, Carney responded: "Not that I know of."
It's far from an endorsement, but it has not been ruled out. I think that's good.
Update I: Another report on this:
NBC's Chuck Todd asked White House press secretary Jay Carney today about the platinum coin option to avoid the debt ceiling, and Carney did not completely rule it out.Business Insider: BREAKING: White House Spokesman Jay Carney Finally Asked About Mint The Coin — Doesn't Flatly Rule It Out
Carney laughed and sidestepped the question, repeating that it is Congress' job to raise the debt ceiling and that President Barack Obama would not negotiate with Republicans.
"Nothing needs to come to these kinds of speculative notions" like the trillion-dollar coin, Carney said.
Nevertheless, Todd continued to press Carney multiple times about the trillion-dollar coin option. Carney did not explicitly rule it out, but he said there was "no backup plan" if Congress didn't do its job.
"There is no Plan B. There is no backup plan," he said.
In the last question of the press conference, ABC reporter Jon Karl asked Carney for an explicit "yes or no" on the coin option.
"I would refer you to the Treasury," Carney said.