Obama Gets Support from Senate Democrats on Ceiling Increase
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other members of Senate Democratic leadership sent a letter to President Barack Obama Friday that urged the White House to bypass Congress on increasing the debt ceiling. The letter was sign by Reid and Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Patty Murray of Washington, and Chuck Schumer of New York.
The letter is the strongest show of support from Senate Democrats that they would back President Obama if he were to use his executive authority to unilaterally increase the nation’s borrowing limit if the House Republicans continue to oppose it. The letter states that if the Republicans make good on their threat not to act in passing a debt limit increase or pass one as part of unreasonable legislation, then the president should take lawful steps to ensure that America doesn’t default on its obligations and trigger a global economic crisis.
It was reported last week that Reid offered President Obama his support for a unilateral option even though the White House said that the administration doesn’t believe the 14th amendment gives the president the authority to ignore the debt ceiling.
In the letter, the senators urged President Obama to ignore claims that increasing the debt ceiling is part of a concession by Republicans to Democrats. The president maintained that he would not negotiate with Republicans over the country’s ability to continue to pay off its obligations.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed the letter. He described the action to bypass Congress on the debt ceiling as the height of irresponsibility. He added that the Democrat leadership are hiding under their desks and hoping t the president will find a way around the law with regards to the nation’s credit limit.
Increasing the nation’s borrowing limit doesn’t authorize new spending by the federal government. It would enable the government to continue to pay for obligations to which Congress has already approved.