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Bill Clinton urges Obama to raise ceiling

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Bill Clinton urges Obama to raise ceiling
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (L) and Former U.S. President Bill Clinton discuss issues relating to the economic recovery during the closing session of the CGI America meeting on June 30, 2011 in Chicago. More than 700 business, government and non-profit leaders participated in the two-day meeting, which is the first Clinton Global Initiative event to focus exclusively on driving job creation and economic growth in the United States. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 19 (UPI) -- Former President Bill Clinton says he would invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the national debt ceiling if Congress won't act.

Speaking to The National Memo Web site Monday, Clinton said: "I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy."

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"If it came to that," he said, he would use the amendment to bypass Congress and "force the courts to stop me," The Hill reported. The post-Civil War amendment states: "The validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned."

Clinton said then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich shied away from using the debt ceiling during their battles in the 1990s.

"The reason that raising the debt limit is so unpopular is that people think you're voting to keep deficit spending, instead of voting to honor obligations that were already incurred," Clinton said.

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