White House says 'no backup plan' to debt ceiling

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm •  Published: January 9, 2013

The Democrats, in their letter, said they fully supported Obama's position that raising the debt ceiling will not be subject to negotiation. "Threatening default on our nation's debt is an economic weapon of mass destruction that will have immediate and catastrophic consequences for the economy as well as America's standing in the world," they said.

Welch, in an interview, told The Associated Press said he understood that the president might not want to embrace the 14th Amendment alternative at this point, when it might appear to be a power grab. But "if there is the ultimate act of congressional irresponsibility by having the United States default on its obligations, we encourage the president to rescue the country." He said ultimately the courts would have to decide what authority the amendment confers on the president.

The coin idea has been mentioned by such economists as Paul Krugman, a columnist at The New York Times, and Donald Marron, the director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Carney, reiterating a position the White House has taken for some time on the use of the 14th amendment, said Wednesday: "We just don't believe that it provides the authority that some believe it does."

He did not explicitly reject the trillion dollar coin idea and directed reporters to ask Treasury about the idea. But when pressed he insisted that insisted that "Congress needs to pay the bills that Congress racked up."

And as he left the White House briefing room, he added: "I answered it thoroughly, at length, with great detail. And I have no coins in my pocket, nothing."


Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.