The White House insists President Barack Obama can’t — and won’t — use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.
But a growing number of his congressional allies are urging Obama not to abandon a potentially powerful weapon before negotiations even begin.
With Republicans promising another climactic fight over the $16.4 trillion debt limit in two months, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday that if she were president, she would invoke the Constitution to raise the ceiling on her own — with or without permission from the GOP.
“I would do it, in a second, but I’m not the president of the United States,” Pelosi said.
Like many other Democrats, Pelosi is eyeing the language in the 14th Amendment stating that the validity of U.S. public debts “shall not be questioned.” Prominent Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, have argued that language — added in the aftermath of the Civil War — gives Obama all the authority he needs to break the ceiling.