Cornyn: Constitutional argument for raising debt ceiling is ‘crazy talk’

By David Edwards
Sunday, July 3, 2011 11:47 EDT
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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said Sunday that it was a mistake to argue that it is unconstitutional not to raise the debt ceiling.

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment reads: “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.”

On a conference call last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told reporters that the idea that the 14th Amendment requires the debt ceiling to be raised was “certainly worth exploring.”

“That’s crazy talk,” Cornyn told Fox News’ Shannon Bream. “It’s not acceptable for Congress and the president not to do their job and the say somehow the president has the authority to then basically do this by himself.”

“We ought to sit down and work together, and it shouldn’t take the form of press conferences like the president gave last week, where he was essentially the schoolmarm, scolding Congress for not getting its job done when, in fact, he is the one who has not stepped up and given us a proposal,” he continued.

In May, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner pulled out a copy of the Constitution and read the 14th Amendment during a discussion with Politico about raising the debt ceiling.

“This is the important thing -’shall not be questioned,’” Geithner said.

For his part, President Barack Obama has sidestepped the question.

“I’m not a Supreme Court justice so I’m not going to put my constitutional law professor hat on,” the president told NBC’s Chuck Todd at a press conference last week.

Watch this video from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast July 3, 2011.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

[H/T: Huffington Post]

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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