McConnell’s Proposal

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s much discussed proposal to temporarily grant President Obama power to raise the federal debt limit raises serious questions. At first it appears to be a clever way to break the present impasse. As I have heard it described, it would enable the President to borrow money as long as he made commensurate cuts in Federal spending. In addition, Congress by a large vote could deny the request(s) to force changes. Under the Constitution, however, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 2, the power to borrow money against the credit of the United States resides with Congress. That raises the question whether it’s Constitutional for one branch of the government to cede its power to another… even temporarily and even with strings attached. Each of the three branches of government is separate from and equal to, the others. Their powers are and were meant to be permanent, not bargained away.

(Side note: I once saw a young guy on You Tube chastising a Republican legislator for criticising Obama by asking, “Doesn’t he know he works for the President?” but I digress.)

If Congress cedes to the President its power to borrow money, what kind of precedent would that action set for future Presidents? If it can be done temporarily, couldn’t it be renewed? If that happened enough times it might become a customary practice. Custom would set in and nobody would question the practice any longer. It puts the nation on a dangerously slippery slope.

There are ways to Amend the Constitution. It shouldn’t be changed by simple legislative action. What other inconvenient articles would someone like to change “temporarily”? The President already has a pretty long list of objections to what he sees as a “Charter of negative liberties.”

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Vince Natale on August 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Nice assessment!!!

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