Congressman Charlie Rangel sat down with a small group of reporters yesterday for a wide-ranging discussion at his office. One of the main topics was the brewing battle over the debt ceiling and Politicker asked the congressman for his take on the idea President Barack Obama can avoid a fight with congressional Republicans who won’t raise the debt cap by having the Treasury Department mint a $1 trillion coin.
“I’m working on the design, one for the president and one for me,” Mr. Rangel said with a smile.
We wondered whether that meant he wanted to see his portrait depicted on the coin.
“No, I want one of the coins,” the congressman responded as the assembled reporters laughed. “The president gets one, he puts it in the treasury. I get one, I keep it. Makes sense to me.”
Earlier in the conversation, Mr. Rangel criticized Republicans who have said they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts because he said they are solely focused on slashing “so-called entitlements” that are social programs for “vulnerable” portions of the population.
As the American economy inched closer to collapse on Monday morning, 50 people took to the streets of Lower Manhattan, stripped naked and pantomimed life on Wall Street. One yelled about stock prices like a trader on the floor. Another swept the streets. A third pretended to sell hot dogs.
Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks told The Politicker this morning that he was a reluctant vote to raise the debt ceiling, but that ultimately enough concessions were made by House Republicans to convince him to sign on.