It is being reported today that the Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus, two of the most extreme left-wing factions within the Democrat party, will go to the White House tomorrow to demand that the President use a flawed interpretation of the 14th amendment to raise the debt limit without Congressional approval.
This move is in response to both of the caucuses disdain for the compromise bill that is coming from bicameral negotiations. It would seem that the progressives are now the ones causing dismay and delay in the debt ceiling talks.
In what could only be called a dereliction of duty and perhaps a violation of their oath of office, the left-most elements of the Democrat party would have the President do what only Congress was given the power to do – borrow money.
Specifically, the far left will instruct the President to use section 4 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution:
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. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
The most serious problem with the 14th amendment argument is that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, there would be no challenge to the validity of the current publicly-held debt. What would happen is that no more debt could be added to that amount.
Bonds would be serviced and could continue to be serviced for the foreseeable future. Those bonds represent the publicly held debt.
What the progressives want to do is get future spending categorized as debt. That would include paychecks for Department of Energy employees, federal regulators, etc. If those workers are furloughed, they are not working and are therefore owed nothing. No further debt is accrued.
Members of Congress, albeit extremists, would prefer to cede their power to the executive branch rather than perform their Constitutional duty.