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Rep. Eliot Engel Calls On President Obama To Invoke 14th Amendment To Raise Debt Ceiling

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- With Washington seemingly barreling towards failure to pass a compromise on the debt ceiling, a New York congressman is calling on the president to act unilaterally.

House Republicans are rushing to push through their version of deficit reduction, but US Representative and Democrat Eliot Engel says compromise may not be achievable.

LISTEN: WCBS 880's John Metaxas reports


"If they do pass the bill in the House, I can tell you that it's not automatically going to be passed in the Senate and the president will not necessarily sign it," said Engel.

So he's calling on the president to invoke the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling on his own.

"The 14th amendment clearly says that the public debt shall not be questioned," explained Engel.

It's a controversial move that would be challenged in court and could even reach the Supreme Court.

"Let the Supreme Court look at it. Let it go to court and let's see what happens," said Engel.

He says that would be better than a default.

WCBS 880's Levon Putney With Chris Christie In Newark


Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says enough with partisan bickering over the debt ceiling.

He says people just want his fellow Republicans, Democrats and President Obama to get it done, and says the President should take the lead and put out a plan.

"...and then they'll come to compromise, but you can't lead from behind," Christie said today.

The governor says he took the lead in proposing health and pension reform measures last year, which he says started the debate, leading to last month's bipartisan deal.

"In an issue that is exactly analogous to what they're dealing with in Washington, entitlement programs are leading to debt and deficit," said Christie.

So, he says he cannot imagine the parties would be that irresponsible to not make a deal to avoid a downgraded federal credit rating and higher interest rates.

Should Obama follow Engel's advice and bypass congress to raise the debt ceiling? Who's at fault in the current debt debate? Sound off in our comments section.

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