Bastardization of the 14th Amendment

Kimberly DvorakKimberly Dvorak Leave a Comment


The arrogance of Democrats’ calls for the president to invoke the 14th Amendment to by-pass Congress to raise the debt ceiling demonstrates their lack of Constitutional knowledge, but also their ignorance of the basic checks and balances between the three branches of government.

The third-ranking House Democrat, James Clyburn, said if Congress delivers a short-term debt deal, the president should veto it. The Southern Democrat pointed to the Constitution that says “the validity of the public debt of the United States… shall not be questioned.” Therefore, Clyburn says, the President “should sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment” to end the debt ceiling issue.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said the 14th Amendment should be the President’s last resort, “As far as the 14th Amendment is concerned, I urge everybody to get their Constitution and read it. It says the debts of the United States shall not be questioned.”

Even the mention of invoking the 14th Amendment sent some Republicans into a tizzy.

“Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes. It’s Congress that does the spending,” said Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann (R-MN) during a CNN appearance. “The president is prohibited to do that (unilaterally raise America’s borrowing power). If he had the power to do that (borrow and spend), he would effectively be a dictator.” She is right.

All spending bills must originate in the House (bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other bills.” Art I, Sec 7).  So, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s claims that the President can pick and choose what debts the U.S. will pay are disingenuous. If a credit obligation is authorized by Congress, it must be paid.

The misunderstanding also extends to those GOP lawmakers who wished to invoke the 14th Amendment to un-anchor “illegal alien anchor babies” – this is a 14th Amendment history lesson.

GOP Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sought to revise the 14th Amendment, which currently grants citizenship to those born on America soil (this provision does not to extend to foreign diplomats).

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