Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Congressman Asserts Potential 'Impeachable Offense'

U.S. Rep. Tim Scott meets with LowCountry 9.12 Tuesday in Knightsville.

In a receptive meeting Tuesday evening at Knightsville United Methodist Church in Dorchester County, U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said if President Barrack Obama acted without congress on the debt ceiling issue it would be an "impeachable offense."

Answering a question from the crowd, the freshman congressman called any move using the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to raise the debt ceiling "unconstitutional." Scott represents District 1 in the state, which includes Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. He spoke Tuesday at the meeting of LowCountry 9.12, a group known for small-government ideology.

"This president is looking to usurp congressional oversight to find a way to get it done without us. My position is that is an impeachable act from my perspective," Scott said to the crowd looking to finish his sentences and chime in on national issues. "There are a lot of things people say, 'Are you going to impeach the president over that?' — No. But this? This is catastrophic. This jeopardizes the credibility of our nation if one man can usurp the entire system set up by our founding fathers over something this significant."

He added later: "I don't hate the president, by the way — I hate his policy … I don't attack his personality."

In a Tuesday press briefing at the White House after Obama urged congress to pass something in two weeks regarding the debt ceiling, a reporter asked Press Secretary Jay Carney if the president would use the 14th Amendment to raise it.

Read the 14th Amendment here. 

"I don’t think that I want to get into speculation about what might happen if something does or doesn’t happen. The president believes firmly that a deal is possible," Carney said.

The press pool again brought up the question later, asking if White House lawyers are studying the issue. Carney responded, "Not that I'm aware of." A reporter then asked if the president had talked about using the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.

"Definitely not," Carney responded.

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