Sens. Harry Reid and other Democrat Senate leaders issued a public letter to Obama on Friday urging him to ignore the Congress if the Republicans demand spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, and to simply raise the ceiling by decree. "We believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis - without Congressional approval, if necessary," the letter states, signed by Reid, Dick Schumer, Patty Murray and Dick Durban. Last week, Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Tom Udall and other House Democrats called for the same action, claiming that the 14th Amendment, which states that 'the validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned,' justifies such a unilateral presidential action. Some Republicans have threatened impeachment if Obama attempts to bypass the Congress on this.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, asked about the 14th Amendment issue on Dec. 6, said: "This administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling - period." But that was the last term —-