I will admit that he said this jokingly, but he said it I believe to test the waters and see what reaction he would get from the hill. To the best of my knowledge he got no reaction from either party. Perhaps both parties know of the speech and do not believe that the President would do such a thing. I do not believe that he said it if he wasn’t thinking about it and the possibility of the use of the Executive Order.
So, if we come down to August 2 and the President has nothing to sign from the Congress he may well sign and Executive Order to raise the debt ceiling on his own. My guess is that he would go on TV and tell the American people that he has been diligently working with the Congress to solve the debt problem and the Congress is so split that they will never pass a debt limit extension and so as President he is using his powers and is signing an Executive Order to raise the debt limit to prevent a default by America.
He fully understands that the constitutional right to raise the debt limit rest in the Congress, but for the good of the country, to protect social security benefits and to pay our soldiers among other debts of the country he was force to act because of the inability of the Congress to act.
I know that some in Congress will be outraged and I understand and appreciate their outrage, but perhaps my action will unify the Congress to come up with a fair and balanced approach to the deficit problem and get me a bill I can sign.
As outrageous as this seems in my mind it could happen.