White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has declined to rule out creating a $1 trillion coin to cover an increase in the debt ceiling if President Barack Obama and Congress can’t agree on the issue.
“The option here is for Congress to pay its bills,” Carney said when reporters pressed him on the issue. “There is no Plan B. There is no backup plan. There is Congress’ responsibility to pay the bills of the United States.”
The Treasury Department is said to have the authority to issue the coin because, by law, it can issue platinum coins of any amount, the idea being that these coins would ultimately go to collectors.
So some commentators have suggested that the Treasury issue a $1 trillion platinum coin and deposit it at the Federal Reserve. That would, they say, create an effective $1 trillion increase in the $16.4 trillion debt limit that the government has already reached.
Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon is planning to introduce legislation which would bar the president issuing the coin. He said the idea is "absurd and dangerous."
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