White House: no constitutional workaround for debt ceiling

WASHINGTON Thu Dec 6, 2012 12:53pm EST

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WASHINGTON Dec 6 (Reuters) - The Obama administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution allows the president to ignore the debt ceiling, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The statutory ceiling on U.S. Treasury borrowing is $16.4 trillion, and the nation is expected to hit the legal limit near the year's end.

Congress must raise the borrowing cap, and Carney's comments dismissed the possibility that President Barack Obama could have a constitutional option to get around Congress if lawmakers failed to do so.

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