Members of Congress are furiously arguing over two provisions of the U.S. Constitution: the Second Amendment's right to bear arms and the 14th Amendment's statement that "the validity of the public debt ... shall not be questioned."
They're at the heart of two of the most heated current debates now before Congress — on restricting gun ownership and raising the government's borrowing ceiling to pay current bills.
President Barack Obama is considering ways to circumvent Congress on one — but not the other.
He is expected to unveil a comprehensive gun-control package as early as Wednesday. It's expected to include controversial proposals to ban assault weapons, increase background checks and limit the capacity of ammunition magazines.
But he's also expected to outline 19 other steps on guns he plans to take by executive action alone, bypassing Congress.
The Second Amendment protecting an individual's right to possess and carry firearms was adopted on December 15, 1791.
Meanwhile, Obama is resisting suggestions by many Democrats and some constitutional scholars to act on his own to bypass and challenge the present, congressionally set limit on the government's borrowing authority.