Former President Bill Clinton contends that raising the debt ceiling to avoid a U.S. default on its bills is so essential that he would invoke the 14th Amendment to do so — “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me.”
During an exclusive interview with The National Memo
Monday night, Clinton declared: “I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy.”
Raising the ceiling “is necessary to pay for appropriations already made,” he told The National Memo, “so you can’t say, ‘Well, we won the last election and we didn’t vote for some of that stuff, so we’re going to throw the whole country’s credit into arrears.”
Clinton, who battled Republican House leadership during two government shutdowns when he was president, sharply criticized Republicans in the debt debate racking Washington.
Recalling his own presidency, he said he didn’t invoke the 14th Amendment, which states that “the validity of the U.S. public debt shall not be questioned,” because Republicans then didn’t threaten to use the debt ceiling as a weapon in their budget fights with him.
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