Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would grant President Barack Obama, and subsequent presidents, the authority to increase the legal limit on the federal government’s debt unless Congress subsequently voted to disapprove the increase.
The bill would effectively take elected members of Congress off the hook for approving an increase in the debt. If the president certified that he was going to increase the debt limit, Congress could simply let him do it without taking a vote–and putting members on the record.
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 2 of the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to borrow money. It says: “Congress shall have power … to borrow money on the credit of the United States.”