House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday to a group of reporters that in her opinion, President Barack Obama should declare that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional in order to avoid another debate about the country’s debt limit.
Pelosi said to the reporters,
“I’m a big fan of the Constitution. The credit validity of the United States shall not be in question. You cannot put the country through the uncertainty. We lifted the debt ceiling, right? We still got the credit rating taken down because of the uncertainty of it all. You cannot flirt with this. This is really dangerous. I would like to see the Constitution used to protect the country’s full faith and credit, as the Constitution does.”
Pelosi was asked if she thought the President should have invoked the 14th amendment last year during the debt ceiling debate or if he should do it in the future she said,
“I don’t have any idea. But I think he should. I think he should… Again, that’s my opinion. I’m in a different branch of government. In the minority, in the House. What do I know about what the president’s going to do?”
Pelosi endorsed a tactic that was spoken about by the most progressive members of Congress during the debt debate. They said that as Congress got closer to a default the President should have used the power of the Constitution to declare the debt ceiling illegal. In the end the President chose not to do it.
The section of the Constitution that Pelosi is referring is Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which 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.”
Democrats said that the term, “shall not be questioned”, means that there can’t be a limit on the debt the country incurs.