The U.S. House is expected to vote Thursday on a modified plan to be introduced by House Speaker John Boehner. Boehner is believed to have the votes in the GOP-controlled House he needs to pass the measure. However, the third ranking Democrat in the chamber– Sixth District Congressman Jim Clyburn– says the measure will not make it through the Senate where Democrats hold the advantage.
“Our constituents are not interested in any of us voting to cut Social Security or cap it, to cut Medicare in order to balance the budget on the backs of Medicaid recipients,” he told MSNBC Wednesday, “That’s what’s in the Boehner bill.”
53 Democrats and 4 GOP senators have indicated they will not vote for the latest Boehner bill if it passes the House.
With the good faith and credit of the United States hanging in the balance, Clyburn says a short-term fix that is contained in the Boehner bill should be out of the question.
“A six month extension; what does that do to calm the markets? What does that do for state governments around the country that would have to look forward to going through this (debt debate) six months from now?”
On the chance that the Boehner measure passes the House and squeaks through the Senate, Clyburn says President Obama will veto it. In the event that no deal is reached before the August 2 deadline, Clyburn says the president should take control and unilaterally raise the debt ceiling by invoking the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
“I believe if he were to get a bill like that, he ought to sit right alongside a veto message, an executive order; and he should take the pen that he uses to veto that legislation to sign an executive order doing this (raising the debt ceiling) under the 14th amendment. That is an option I believe should be a last resort.”
Republicans have indicated that they would challenge the President in court if he attempts to invoke the 14th amendment because they believe he would be overstepping his authority.
A number of House Republicans. Including first District Congressman Tim Scott, have threatened to move for impeachment of the president if he attempts to invoke the 14th amendment. Clyburn says if the president takes the action as a last resort to make sure the federal government meets its obligations, he sees the threat of impeachment as hollow.
“For all my Tea party friends talking about impeaching the president if he were to do this, I want to see that speech on the floor of the House, that I want you to vote for the impeachment of this president because he refused to let this country go into default. I would sure love to see that speech.”
It’s not known if the president would choose that option, although his spokesman has dismissed it in the past.