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.
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., left, David Goldman, center, and Arvind Chawdra right, attend a news conference in the Rayburn House Office Building on international child abduction. Goldman and Chawdra are fathers whose children were abducted by their mothers and taken abroad.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.