Photo: White House
NBC’s Chuck Todd asked White House press secretary Jay Carney today about the platinum coin option to avoid the debt ceiling, and Carney did not completely rule it out.Carney laughed and sidestepped the question, repeating that it is Congress’ job to raise the debt ceiling and that President Barack Obama would not negotiate with Republicans.
“Nothing needs to come to these kinds of speculative notions” like the trillion-dollar coin, Carney said.
Nevertheless, Todd continued to press Carney multiple times about the trillion-dollar coin option. Carney did not explicitly rule it out, but he said there was “no backup plan” if Congress didn’t do its job.
“There is no Plan B. There is no backup plan,” he said.
In the last question of the press conference, ABC reporter Jon Karl asked Carney for an explicit “yes or no” on the coin option.
“I would refer you to the Treasury,” Carney said.
The “Mint the Coin” movement has gained traction in the past week as an option to circumvent the debt ceiling if Congress does not raise it by the expected “X date” that could come as soon as Feb. 15.
It would allow the Treasury to temporarily print money to pay the country’s bills and work around the debt ceiling. It has turned into a Twitter campaign (#MintTheCoin), and supporters have created a petition urging the White House to mint it.
Incidentally, Carney was much more definitive in his position on whether Obama would consider the option of the 14th Amendment to work around the debt ceiling. The amendment states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.”
Carney’s answer on the 14th Amendment was a firm “no.”
“Our position on the 14th Amendment has not changed,” Carney said. “Congress has the responsibility and the sole authority to raise the debt ceiling.”
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