July 26th, 2011
By: Stephen C. Webster
A Republican member of the House of Representatives declared today that President Barack Obama could be impeached if the U.S. defaults on its debts.
The comment is from Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who told his followers on Twitter that they should “stop talking about” a potential U.S. default.
“The 1st dime of each $1 of revenue services debt,” he wrote. “Obama would be impeached if he blocked debt payments.”
The comment is ironic in that Republicans have played the largest role in pushing the U.S. government to the brink of defaulting on some debts by refusing to lift the nation’s debt ceiling.
Congressional Republicans raised the ceiling nine times during the Bush administration, adding over $4 trillion to the nation’s debts. President Obama, as a freshman Senator from Illinois, voted in 2006 against raising the debt ceiling, but has since called his decision a mistake of inexperience.
Today the president and Treasury are warning that if the debt limit is not raised before August 2, the government will be forced to default on some of its debts. President Obama even warned that Social Security checks might not arrive on time, or at all, if Congress cannot secure a deal.
Republicans have repeatedly sidelined talks, insisting that tax increases for the wealthiest Americans and corporations are unacceptable, as are cuts to national defense. They’ve instead focused on plans that would eliminate Medicare, dip into the Social Security fund and dramatically reduce the government’s workforce.
With his remarks Monday, King became the second House Republican to suggest the president could be impeached over the debt ceiling debacle. Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) previously claimed that if President Obama simply declared the debt ceiling to be unconstitutional based upon a provision of the 14th Amendment that validates the nation’s debts, he’d be impeached for it.
That’s precisely the route former President Bill Clinton said he’d take, were he in President Obama’s shoes. Clinton told The National Memo in an interview earlier this month that he’d override the debt limit based upon the 14th Amendment and “force the courts to stop me.”
President Obama has said that is not an option for his administration.