Harry Reid’s head would literally assplode all over the Senate floor if Bush did something like this.

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has privately told other Democrats, including President Obama, that if the administration used its constitutional and executive authority to continue paying its debts in the face of House Republican opposition, he would support the approach, according to a source familiar with Reid’s message to the president.

The simplest escape route out of the debt ceiling impasse is for the president to direct the Treasury to find a legal way to pay its debts. The Treasury then has a variety of options. One gaining particular attention relies on a law that allows the Treasury to mint a coin of unspecified value and deposit it with the Federal Reserve. Those funds could then be used legally to pay debts.

“Reid has not dismissed any option,” said the source close to Reid.

The 14th Amendment states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” Last month, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that “[t]his administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling — period.”