Ben Johnson,The White House Watch
Barack Obama has made it a purpose of his presidency to bypass Congress and implement his agenda through executive powers. Yesterday,Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell proposed giving him a helping hand.
Just last week,administration officials floated the idea of (mis)using the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling apart from Congress. McConnell,visibly nervous after Obama threatened to withhold Social Security checks and military pay if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling,concocted a convoluted compromise that would give Obama precisely the power to ignore Congress under most circumstances.
McConnell’s backup plan would have Obama tell Congress when he would add to public indebtedness,and only a veto-proof majority of both houses of Congress could tell him no. Obama would split his nearly $2.5 trillion debt request into three parts,which he would propose separately between now and next June. Each time,his request would become law unless Congress denied the authorization by a super-majority of more than two-thirds.
Incredibly,an opposition leader in the legislative branch has introduced a bill that allows a president to appropriate funds automatically unless Congress vetoes him.
Although McConnell publicly…