August 1st, 2011
06:44 PM ET
Here is more information from Democrats familiar with today’s closed-door House meeting, with Vice President Biden.
The Vice President said the 14th amendment was NOT an option for the President. Context: Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) wanted to know why the President didn’t just use the 14th amendment. The VP explained the President had his legal scholars look into it and decided it was not appropriate. We’ve previously been advised that VP Biden consulted with the White House counsel’s office about options – including whether the 14th amendment could be invoked. He chaired the Judiciary Committee when he was in the Senate so is probably familiar with the issues.
On reports that the VP called tea party lawmakers “terrorists”: Multiple Democratic sources say the VP was listening to angry Democrats vent about Republicans who said they “negotiate like terrorists” “how can you negotiate with hostage takers” and that they “feel pick pocketed”. As they vented the VP said “well now we’ve taken away their weapons of mass destruction,” meaning the Republicans can’t use the debt ceiling as leverage with Democrats in the future. In an interview with CBS' Scott Pelley the Vice President denied he compared tea party linked lawmakers to terrorists.
Kendra Barkoff, the Vice President's Press Secretary, responded to the accusations: “The word was used by several members of Congress. The Vice President does not believe it’s an appropriate term in political discourse.”