(CBS News) A Treasury Department spokesman announced today that the department will not mint a platinum coin to sidestep raising the federal government’s borrowing limit, telling the Washington Post that “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.”

The idea, which had gained traction among some congressional Democrats and political analysts as a way of defanging the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip, was that the Treasury Department could simply mint a platinum coin, declare the value at $1 trillion, and deposit it into the Federal Reserve to allow continued spending in the absence of a vote to raise the debt ceiling.

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