The Public Debt Clause
One thing that would be helpful in the debate over what the Treasury could do if the debt ceiling is not raised is to ask if the Executive Branch has ever issued debt without Congress’ approval. For example, did Lincoln borrow money in 1861 when he engaged in widespread unilateralism? How about the Louisiana Purchase? Or the 1895 gold bond deal between President Cleveland and J.P. Morgan, which is discussed in my book on William Jennings Bryan? (You’d think I would know the answer on that one, but I don’t.)
The benefits of crowd sourcing start . . . now.
UPDATE: On the Morgan deal, I now recall that the Treasury dug up some emergency statute from the Civil War that authorized the issuance of the bonds, since the Congress of 1895 would not approve.