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Senate Democrats Privately Raising Issue Of Whether Defaulting On Debt Ceiling Is Unconstitutional

As Keith Olbermann and the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim discussed on Countdown, it's rather ironic that after all the talk from the "tea party" types out there with their so-called love of the Constitution, Senate Democrats are now looking at whether
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As Keith Olbermann and the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim discussed on Countdown, it's rather ironic that after all the talk from the "tea party" types out there with their so-called love of the Constitution, Senate Democrats are now looking at whether they might be able to put an end to this hostage taking and kabuki theater on raising the debt ceiling by using the 14th Amendment to declare that not raising it is unconstitutional.

Anyone want to take bets on whether they would be screaming to the hills if Democrats actually did this?

Here's Grim's article at the HuffPo -- 14th Amendment: Democratic Senators See Debt Ceiling As Unconstitutional :

Growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling, Democratic senators are revisiting a solution to the crisis that rests on a simple proposition: The debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law... shall not be questioned," reads the 14th Amendment.

"This is an issue that's been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default," Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), an attorney, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. "I don't think, as of a couple weeks ago, when this was first raised, it was seen as a pressing option. But I'll tell you that it's going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, 'Is there some way to save us from ourselves?'"

By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution. Bipartisan negotiators are debating the size of the cuts, now in the trillions, that will come along with raising the debt ceiling.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said that the constitutional solution puts the question in its proper context -- that the debate is over paying past debts, not over future spending.

"The way everybody talks about this is that we need to raise the debt ceiling. What we're really saying is, 'We have to pay our bills,'" Murray said. The 14th Amendment approach is "fascinating," she added.

The White House referred questions on the constitutionality of the debt ceiling to the Treasury Department. Treasury declined to comment.

Go read the rest since there's more there. I'd be happy if they started making this argument in public and put an end to the hostage taking we've seen over the last few months.

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