WASHINGTON -- The White House routinely rules out the idea of President Barack Obama invoking the Constitution to raise the debt ceiling in the event that Congress fails to do so. But minting a $1 trillion coin to avoid a debt default? Maybe.
White House press secretary Jay Carney didn't explicitly rule out that option during his Wednesday briefing. The idea, which has gained traction in recent days despite its absurdity, is that the government could mint a $1 trillion platinum coin and the Treasury Department could use it to cover the nation's debt obligations. The debt ceiling would no longer be an issue.
Carney was asked about the prospect of Obama using the accounting gimmick if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling by its mid-February deadline. While Carney certainly didn't endorse it, he didn't dismiss it with the same clarity that the White House does every time the 14th Amendment option comes up as a possible nuclear option.
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