The Debt Ceiling Is Unconstitutional, but Not for the Reason You Think

Source: The American Prospect
by Anna Gelpern, Adam J Levitin & Stephen Lubben

“Does the president have authority to borrow beyond the statutory debt limit? The answer is clearly yes — and, moreover, the Constitution requires him to borrow enough to pay for what has been appropriated. Congress’s failure to raise the debt limit to pay its bills undercuts its own constitutional power to make binding commitments for the United States (including commitments to pay its debts) that the president must perform. The Constitution gives Congress the power to make contracts. It does not give Congress the power to renege on these contracts. Once Congress has committed the United States to perform a promise, the president’s duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed’ requires the executive branch to perform.” [editor’s note: The power to borrow money for federal government purposes is reserved exclusively to Congress. Period – TLK] (05/22/23)