One Republican congressman wants to close the loophole that makes the $1 trillion coin an option. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon) announced plans earlier this week to propose legislation to stop a proposal to mint high-value platinum coins to pay the federal government’s bills. Rep. Walden says his proposal may be introduced on Monday, January 14th if it gets through the legislative council.
Initially laughing off the coin proposal, Walden began to take the coin option seriously after some Congressmen and pundits started circulating the idea. “People are looking for phony ways out of serious problems facing the country,” Walden says.
Walden rebuffed the notion that the debt ceiling is being used as leverage to cut spending. “We must look at the budget and spending, getting America on track and not to leave the next generation broke,” Rep. Walden says.
Democrats in Congress say President Obama should not negotiate on the debt ceiling. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-New York) accuses Republicans of playing politics with the debt limit and trying to harass President Obama. “My position is clear, the president should not negotiate with the debt ceiling. We have two other occasions to deal with the budget – sequestration and continued resolution.”
Rep. Meeks says entitlements are not off limits, but stressed the importance of raising the debt limit now. “We’re holding the full faith and credit of the U.S. hostage,” says Rep. Meeks, also a senior member on the House Financial Services Committee.
Can a divided house come together for a solution?
It appears congressional hopes are not high at the moment for a debt limit resolution. Rep. Meeks says he does not know at this time.
Rep. Walden says, “we must see what we can work out with the president.”
Bernstein, however, appears more optimistic than both Congressmen. “I am hopeful there will be resolution. Every time we do this we seem to pull a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute.”
Shartia Brantley is a producer and on-air reporter at CNBC. Follow Shartia on Twitter at @shartiabrantley