Tate Zeigler (202-224-5972)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) today introduced a Sense of the Senate resolution making clear President Obama does not have the authority to ignore the statutory debt limit.
Some elected officials recently floated the controversial idea that congressional approval of a debt-limit increase is unnecessary. They suggested the 14th Amendment gives the President the ability to unilaterally order the Treasury Secretary to continue issuing debt on the full faith and credit of the United States.
“I strongly disagree with those who suggest the President has the unilateral authority to put the American people in even great levels of debt,” said Graham. “Every time the debt ceiling has been raised it has been through an act of collaboration between the President and Congress. That is not only the right policy decision to make, but the correct political decision as well. We have a President, not a King. Our resolution puts the Senate on record that any debt-limit increase, today or in the future, should be passed by the Congress and signed by the President.”
“Unfortunately this is the latest attempt by big-spending Democrats to short-circuit the Constitution in order to avoid making tough budget choices,” said Cornyn. “It is unacceptable for Congress and the President to continue to abdicate their responsibility and fail to acknowledge that Washington has a spending problem.”
In support of their resolution, the Senators noted:
The Constitution gives Congress the power “to borrow Money on the credit of the United States."
The statutory debt-limit was established by an act of Congress and signed into law by the President in 1982. In the nearly three decades since the limit was enacted, it has been increased 38 times by congressional action and presidential approval.
Congress has historically limited the federal debt, either by specifically authorizing the issuance of new debt instruments or through imposing an aggregate limit on federal debt.