Obama: White House lawyers unconvinced on 14th Amendment

WASHINGTON, July 22 Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:39am EDT

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday he discussed with White House counsel whether the 14th Amendment offered an alternative to raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit, and they concluded it did not.

"There is a provision in our Constitution that speaks to making sure that the United States meets its obligations and there have been some suggestions that a president could use that language to basically ignore that debt ceiling rule, which is a statutory rule," Obama told a town hall meeting.

"I have talked to my lawyers, they are not persuaded that that is a winning argument," he said. (Reporting by Steve Holland, Alister Bull, Matt Spetalnick)

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