Rep. Eliot Engel Calls On President Obama To Invoke 14th Amendment To Raise Debt Ceiling

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — With Washington seemingly barreling towards failure to pass a compromise on the debt ceiling, a New York congressman is calling on the president to act unilaterally.

House Republicans are rushing to push through their version of deficit reduction, but US Representative and Democrat Eliot Engel says compromise may not be achievable.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s John Metaxas reports

“If they do pass the bill in the House, I can tell you that it’s not automatically going to be passed in the Senate and the president will not necessarily sign it,” said Engel.

So he’s calling on the president to invoke the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling on his own.

“The 14th amendment clearly says that the public debt shall not be questioned,” explained Engel.

It’s a controversial move that would be challenged in court and could even reach the Supreme Court.

“Let the Supreme Court look at it. Let it go to court and let’s see what happens,” said Engel.

He says that would be better than a default.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney With Chris Christie In Newark

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says enough with partisan bickering over the debt ceiling.

He says people just want his fellow Republicans, Democrats and President Obama to get it done, and says the President should take the lead and put out a plan.

“…and then they’ll come to compromise, but you can’t lead from behind,” Christie said today.

The governor says he took the lead in proposing health and pension reform measures last year, which he says started the debate, leading to last month’s bipartisan deal.

“In an issue that is exactly analogous to what they’re dealing with in Washington, entitlement programs are leading to debt and deficit,” said Christie.

So, he says he cannot imagine the parties would be that irresponsible to not make a deal to avoid a downgraded federal credit rating and higher interest rates.

Should Obama follow Engel’s advice and bypass congress to raise the debt ceiling? Who’s at fault in the current debt debate? Sound off in our comments section.

More from John Metaxas
  • Dakotahgeo

    This sounds good to me, but the little TEA-piggies are gonna squeal all the way home to their repossessed pig stys. Meanwhile, at the US Supreme Court’s Counrtside Mansions…..

    • Dakotahgeo

      Correction: “CountrysidMansions….” Keyboard fail.

  • Perdition 101

    Obama is to chicken to take Engel’s advice. He’s not a leader but a follower of which way the political winds are blowning.. I wish he would raise it himself..
    If was really serious about the debt ceiling not being raised sufficiently so he can continue spending he would. He wants the GOP to be forced to do it so he can spend like a wildman and then blame them for raising it to where he wants it.
    If it wasn’t for this fake leader, the Congress would have worked out something long ago and have passed it.
    I imagine Obama will blink first and take the GOP’s bill. He’ll instruct the do nothing Senate Dems to pass it and he will sign it. at this late date or he will take the brunt of the anger if he vetos it.

  • chrissygnj

    I am ashamed of the members of Congress and the Senate on BOTH SIDES of the aisle. If it were up to me – they’d be in a locked room with no “potty breaks” until a resolution has been reached. As a mother – I would LOVE to stand before them, reach up, and slap each of them for behaving like two year olds who won’t share their toys. What a poor example to give to the young people in our country who are consistently told by their parents to behave, share, and not have temper trantrums in public places! Makes me wonder what kind of mirrors they stand in front of each morning….cause what reflects back is NOT what anyone wants to see.

    • Perdition 101

      I’m more ashamed of Obama and the Senate Democrats. They had two years to start addressing these problems since they were in control of Congress and the presidency but only added to the debt with the failed pork filled stimulus and ObamaCare that the majority of Americans didn’t need or want. Now they are trying to blame the newly elected House Dems they have been obstructing from the things the American people elected them to do last Nov.
      That was to cut the Democrats spending and get rid of ObamaCare.

      • Perdition 101

        Correction: ‘To blame the newly Hous Republicans’

  • FactCheck

    Representative Engel is NOT “a New York Congressman”. He and his family live in a fancy Maryland neighborhood. He maintains an unoccupied apartment in the Bronx and the folks up there are stupid enough to reelect him.

    • CTNative

      I’ve known Eliot Engelsince 1970. We went too college together. ZHe grew up in the Bronx, and knows his constituents well. He understands their problems and constantly works hard for them. Like most Congressmen, he retains a residence near DC in order to close to work. So what I he lives in a fancy neighborhood.Do you want him to live in a run-down DC neighborhood? Cut him some slack. Judge him by his accomplishments.

  • Monex scam

    says if he were president he would not hesitate to raise the debt-ceiling himself under authority he argues is granted by the U.S.

    • lydia

      Obama should do everything in his power, including invoking the 14th Amendment, and stop pandering to the rich republicans. Democrats used to have a saying: a chicken in every pot.
      I am a 28 years old doctor, mature and beautiful.and now I am seeking a good man who can give me real love , so i got a username Andromeda2002 on–s’e’ek’c’ou’ga’r.c óm–.it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and old’er men, or older women and y’ounger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck ‘it out or tell your friends!

  • Perdition 101

    The GOP are going to wait until the very last minute and submit their final plan and dare Obama to veto it or force him to try and raise the debt ceiling higher than their’s allows. The Republicans are holding the good hand on this one and need to sit pat and hang tough for a few more days and Obama will probably sing what they submit.

    If he doesn’t , he will take the brunt of the blame and he can kiss his re-election dream goodbye.

  • Perdition 101

    Only communists and other socialists love to quote from Karl Marxists, Das Kapital and rag on the rich so they can try and vote and steal their wealth for themselves.
    The left has brainwashed our youth on this for the last 30 or more years in the indoctronation centers we call the Public Schools.
    The all come out of them parroting Marxist ideology.

  • DC

    I am so tired of this rich against poor debate. This is all about the middle class. We can no longer surviive in today’s economy. The middle class are what this country is all about. The rich have enough…and the poor get assistance. its time the rich stop thinking about themselves and help our country. I’m sure they don’t worry about how they are going to keep their home or feed their family. They already live the good life. I think Obama is doing the best he can with what Bush left him with. He didn’t have many options when he took office. The economy was a DISASTER. What the heck is going on. THE MIDDLE CLASS NEED HELP OR WE WILL NO LONGER HAVE A MIDDLE CLASS. I thought this country was founded on compromise. Isn’t that what makes us so great? The middle class are drowning. When is everyone going to realize the trouble the middle class is in. If we continue on this path, the middle class will become extinct. Then heaven help us all.

  • SmarterThanMost

    Engel is just another dictatorial member of the Socialist Party who doesn’t know (or care?) what he is talking about. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, the section that deals with the public debt, says in relevant part: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” Note the very important clause that defines the public debt, “authorized by law.” It doesn’t say “authorized by edict of the (CIC) commisar in chief.”

  • Linda

    This is exactly why the worst president in history has been dragging his feet in not coming up with a budget plan that should have been done two (2) years ago. Hope someone has the impeachment paperwork ready as this would totally be illegal.

    • Tom Wyckoff

      You should do a little research. It certainly would NOT be illegal. In fact, the debt-ceiling bills that the Congress has passed dozens of times over the last several decades is probably unconstitutional.

  • Rick

    This should be an act of last resort but if necessary I agree that it should be done. The consequences of doing nothing are not an acceptable solution. Anyone with money invested in the markets will suffer the consequences of letting a minorty of individuals control the fate of our country. It might already be too late regarding our credit rating.

  • AJ

    Yes, go ahead and raise the ceiling on your own, Obama. That way you will own it all by yourself. And when your counterfeiter bernanke prints up another $ trillion+ Stimulus 3 to give to your crony corporations and unions, the Independent voters will finally see you for the crook your are.

    • Dakotahgeo

      Ahhhhhh, but by then, it will all be over but the crying. And we’re all to blame!

  • Flo Dari

    If idiot Bush were still in office (God forbid) raising the debt ceiling would have been passed without question. Since Bush and Cheney are part of the republican ‘olde boy’ cronyism, this would have been rushed through by the (don’t tax the rich, i.e. me) republicans.
    Obama should do everything in his power, including invoking the 14th Amendment, and stop pandering to the rich republicans. Democrats used to have a saying: a chicken in every pot. Republicans not only have stolen the chicken from the American people, they now even want to take the pot.

    • K

      1. Without the rich the country wouldn’t have tax revenue and the ability to be the great nation it is today.
      2. Without the rich you would not have a job.
      3. All politicians are in the rich category…republicans and democrats alike.
      4. The “rich” as you so call them are stupid enough to disproportionately vote for democrats.
      5. The republicans led by the tea party are doing their best to save this country and I thank them!

    • DoubleEdge

      I agree Flo. George Bush’s tax cut for the wealthy led to the current crisis. We went from RECORD SURPLUSES during the Clinton years to a huge budget deficit in Bush’s FIRST YEAR after he passed that darn windfall to the rich. When is enough money enough?

      As for AJ – he’s clearly uneducated when it comes to politics. Probably among the upper lower class – lower middle class. Still drinking the republican nonsense for some unknown reason. Will never see who’s out fighting for the American people as a whole (Dems) instead of the top one percent of Americans that line their pockets (repubs.)

    • Ann Marie Kellett

      Actually Presdient Bush had some difficulty in raising the debt ceiling. In fact one Senator, famous for voting Present said this:

      The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

      And that was none other than Senator Obama, perhaps you heard of him the man in charge now who has offered no plan, who has scoffed at any Republican plan presented to him and who controlled both houses with a veto proof majority for two years and did nothing about this.

    • AJ

      Still blaming Bush? Obama has borrowed $4 trillion over 2.5 years vs Bush’s $1.9 trillion over 8 years. You are ignorant of the triuth Flo. You will be a good minimum wage worker for the Slavery Party, formerly known as the Democrat Party until the leftists stole it, if Obama wins another term..

  • geo mar

    The face of a communist !

    • pat hinson

      cap,cut and budget is the best thing to will stop dems from over spending,wasteful spending and budget the balance by not going over the way if i don’t get my check on the 3rd. i will never vote for another democrat for the rest of my life. impesch obama he is not a leader.

  • Rob

    This makes no sense whatsoever. First they want a resolution, then they don’t want a resolution??? The only ones here wasting anytime are the pandering democrats with their magnifying glass hovered over house Republicans! These democrats really don’t care, or else they would have passed last years budget….. Almost obviously more spending and no cuts! What a waste! We do need to get our troops home though and stop playing policeman to countries that were, are and will for ever be 3rd world. Close the lottery to countries who migrate here who give you that “well in my country we do things this way” get rid of the ones that say it. Better yet export border crossers to china or some other nation that doesn’t seem to understand what the US is going through right now! lastly an incentive and tax break to invite prior MFG US companies back to the states. Drill and conduct renewable energy resources in our own backyard! Remember ‘DRILL BABY DRILL’ ! Rid this nation of the worst president in history!!!! 18k jobs last month??? What kind of jobs can private sector create when we have truculent presidential policy choking ‘We the People” for something government themselves created…. which is a disastrous cataclysmic mess!

    • iggy

      sig heil

  • Christopher Jones

    Section 5 of the very same 14th Amendmant staes clearly that the Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Not the President. Not the courts. Congress.

    • Tom Wyckoff

      This is not an appropriation. It is the borrowing power of the US. The appropriations WERE made by Congress (mostly in the days of G W Bush)

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