Can unilateral executive power usurp congressional limits on government spending?
''Democratic leaders in the Senate last week gave President Barack Obama the green light to sidestep Congress and take executive action to avoid a default if no agreement is reached.
The move may have raised pressure on the White House to consider creative action in the event that lawmakers fail to forge a compromise on lifting the country's debt ceiling of $16.4tn by the end of next month.
Among the solutions that have been floated are a presidential invocation of the 14th amendment of the constitution -- which says the debt of the US 'shall not be questioned' -- in order to continue borrowing.
The White House could also simply decide tax and spending laws take precedence over the debt ceiling constraints if they are in conflict, and keep spending money.''