White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday did not specifically rule out the possibility of minting a $1 trillion coin, even as he told reporters that the White House has no backup plan for dealing with the debt ceiling if Congress refuses to act.
“There is no plan B. There is no backup plan. ... The only option is for Congress to do its job,” Carney said after being asked about the coin idea, which has been promoted by a number of bloggers, former officials and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., as a solution to the debt ceiling crisis. But the idea has also been panned, and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., plans to introduce a measure to prohibit the minting of such a coin.
Carney did not, however, specifically rule out the coin itself. Under the law, the secretary of the Treasury has the authority to mint platinum coins of any denomination, which could give the administration a chance to continue spending without floating more debt.
Carney also said the administration stands by its opinion that the 14th Amendment does not give the president the authority to ignore the debt limit.
“Our position on the 14th Amendment has not changed. Congress has the responsibility and the sole authority to raise the debt ceiling,” he said.
Carney said House Republicans seem to be saying that either Medicare and Social Security get cut or they tank the economy. He said Congress, not the president, racked up the nation’s bills and it’s Congress’ responsibility to pay them.
He also spoke ill of the proposals of some Republicans for a series of short-term increases in the debt ceiling. That “would be extremely harmful to the economy,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.