Desperate Dems Float 14th Amendment As Debt Ceiling Override
As yet another battle looms between Republicans and Democrats over the debt ceiling, a new piece of potential leverage has been floated - using the 14th Amendment as a last-ditch effort to avoid default.
The amendment, aimed primarily at extending the Bill of Rights liberties to former slaves, includes a section which states that "the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned," with the implication that it would allow President Biden to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling.
When asked on Friday during an MSNBC interview whether this option is on the table, Biden didn't say no - just that we've "not gotten there yet."
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, however, said that relying on the 14th Amendment would create a "constitutional crisis."
"There is no way to protect our financial system in our economy, other than Congress doing its job and raising the debt ceiling and enabling us to pay our bills and we should not get to the point where we need to consider whether the President can go on issuing debt. This would be a constitutional crisis," she told ABC's "This Week."
That said, she also didn't rule it out.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen refuses three times to rule out Biden unilaterally "invoking the 14th Amendment" on the debt limit pic.twitter.com/rwP5shMWba— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 7, 2023
Yellen warned that if Congress doesn't act to solve the issue, "we will have an economic and financial catastrophe that will be of our own making, and there is no action that President Biden and the U.S. Treasury can take to prevent that catastrophe."
White House aides have reportedly looked into the use of the Amendment in order to avoid default, The Hill reports.
Lawmakers, on the other hand, say that default can only be avoided if a deal is reached between Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The pair are scheduled to meet on Tuesday for the first time since February in order to negotiate.