sábado, 30 de julio de 2011

Can the President raise the US debt ceiling?

A sentence in Section Four of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution states: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion shall not be questioned.”

Legal scholars are debating whether the President can invoke Section Four to unilaterally authorize an increase in the debt ceiling. Former President Clinton has stated he would. President Obama has voiced reservations over the applicability of an amendment to the Constitution written to deal with debt obligations stemming from the Civil War to the present situation. As August 3 looms and the debt ceiling stays at US$14.3 trillion, we'll see whether his doubts about Section Four dissipate.

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