Press "Enter" to skip to content

White House: 14th Amendment won't solve current debt ceiling standoff

The White House on Tuesday appeared to rule out the potential for President Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment as a workaround to avoid a default during current debt ceiling talks due to legal uncertainties.

“It is not going to deal with the problem that we’re currently having at this moment, at this time. What we need to focus on is Congress acting,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, pointing to Biden’s own recent comments in which he indicated he had the authority to use the mechanism but was not sure it would apply in this instance.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t solve the problem that we have now,” she added.

Jean-Pierre’s comments addressed the potential for Biden to apply the 14th Amendment as a potential escape hatch but acknowledged he administration would face a host of legal issues as a result while the nation inches closer to defaulting on trillions in debts.

The idea hinges on a phrase in the 14th Amendment that says the public debt “shall not be questioned,” which proponents of the idea argue means the president could unilaterally continue to issue debt if Congress does not act.

During a press conference on Sunday in Japan, Biden said he believes he has the authority to use the 14th Amendment, but acknowledged doing so could result in a drawn out court battle.

“I’m looking at the 14th Amendment as to whether or not we have the authority — I think we have the authority,” Biden told reporters at a press conference in Hiroshima, Japan. “The question is, could it be done and invoked in time that it would not be appealed, and as a consequence past the date in question and still default on the debt. That is a question that I think is unresolved.”

In a letter to congressional leaders Monday, Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen warned it was “highly likely” the U.S. will not be able to pay all of its debts if lawmakers do not act by early June, and “potentially as early as June 1.”

Officials have for weeks cautioned that if the U.S. were to default, or even come close to it, it would have severe economic consequences and potentially trigger a recession.

Negotiators from the White House and Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) office have been holding talks for the past several days in hopes of clinching a deal that can pass Congress before the deadline. Biden and McCarthy met in person on Monday for what the two described as “productive” conversations.

Source: The Hill

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *