NYT reporter Jonathan Weisman boils down Democratic leaders request to The White House:
#MintTheCoin v 14th amendment. 1 way or other, Dem leaders want Obama to use “any lawful steps” available to defuse the debt ceiling bomb
— Jonathan Weisman (@jonathanweisman) January 11, 2013
So, which to choose?
Here’s how folks think about it.
From a political standpoint, invoking the 14th Amendment and ignoring the debt ceiling is more palatable.
…top Senate Democrats see the 14th amendment option as far preferable politically to the coin. “Of the available options, the coin, on its face, is politically much worse than the others,” he said. “Whatever the legal arguments for and against it, the imagery will be difficult to combat. What better symbol of out-of-control government spending could you have than a trillion dollar coin?”
However, from a legal standpoint, White House spokesman Jay Carney has said that they don’t believe the 14th Amendment gives them that possibility. When asked about the coin, he said nothing.
So basically it goes like this. From a political standpoint, Amendment beats Coin. From a legal standpoint, Coin beats Amendment.
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