The federal debt ceiling agreement contains a provision calling for a super committee to decide, and then recommend to Congress, where spending cuts will be made. Congressman Ron Paul believes this is unconstitutional.
The Texas Republican, a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, made that claim on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” Thursday.
Paul told co-host Carl Quintanilla a super committee’s solution to a congressional impasse could be challenged in court because it takes away duties the Constitution spells out for Congress to perform.
“Well, I would challenge it in the courts and say that is not a constitutional function,” Rep. Paul said. “There’s no authority to have a super Congress who takes over for what the House and Senate are supposed to do.”
According to Paul, the Constitution doesn’t give Congress the option of performing in a way that’s devoid of committee or subcommittee actions.
“Oh, I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” Paul continued. “Where does it say that we can set up a program like this and then give the — and then pop something back into the House and Senate and say you have a vote, you can’t take it to a subcommittee or full committee.
“You can’t negotiate it and you don’t know what’s going on there. So no, that is not what was set up by the Constitution. That was so far removed from what was intended that it almost becomes a silly notion.”
The Texas Republican said the problem can be traced to 1971, when the United States abandoned the gold standard.
“If it’s strictly a budgetary thing that can be settled by appointing twelve elected individuals, they’re not dealing with it,” Paul continued. “Do we need to change our attitude about the entitlement system? Do we need to change this system where we have a Federal Reserve that monetizing our debt, which is the moral hazard of the economy?
“Because that’s why Congress spends: because they know somebody will buy the debt. And it’s been going on wholesale since 1971, since we’ve lost the last link to gold. And so these problems we’re facing today were anticipated and expected by all the free market economists ever since 1971.”