Obama administration shoots down platinum coin idea as debt ceiling solution



The Obama administration ended speculation Saturday that it would mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin as a way to avoid the debt ceiling.

Treasury Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the agency wouldn't mint one and the Federal Reserve would not accept the coin.

“Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit,” Coley said.

His statement was followed by one from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

“There are only two options to deal with the debt limit: Congress can pay its bills or it can fail to act and put the nation into default," Carney said. 

Though the idea seemed far fetched when it recently resurfaced, the Obama administration appeared to add speculation by not dismissing the idea outright.

On Wednesday, Carney said there was no "Plan B" on the debt ceiling but didn't totally rule out the platinum coin.

The idea of minting such a coin to invalidate the debt ceiling purportedly comes from part of the 1997 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act.

The words were written by then-Delaware Republican Rep. Mike Castle, who purportedly is a coin collector.

Carney also said Saturday, "When congressional Republicans played politics with this issue last time, putting us at the edge of default, it was a blow to our economic recovery, causing our nation’s credit rating to be downgraded.  The president and the American people won’t tolerate congressional Republicans holding the American economy hostage again simply so they can force disastrous cuts to Medicare and other programs the middle class depend on while protecting the wealthy. Congress needs to do its job.”