(StraightNews.org) — President Biden said he is examining the 14th Amendment as a potential path through the debt ceiling crisis. The President has been meeting with Republicans to discuss raising the debt ceiling—the amount the government can borrow—but the two sides have failed to reach an agreement.
The White House wants to raise the ceiling but can only do so with Congressional support. Republicans say they will not back the increase unless the government commits to spending reductions.
The Constitutional Amendment reads, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”
Some lawyers and constitutional experts have said that the President’s suggestion is not viable as the Amendment was not intended for that purpose. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has distanced herself from the idea. She said it could cause a constitutional crisis. She added that there is no way of protecting the country’s finances except through Congress, and Biden should not be considering acting unilaterally.
Thomas Lee, professor of Constitutional Law at Fordham University, said President Biden may be misreading the Amendment, while Ilan Wurman, an associate professor of law at Arizona State University, said the Amendment is not intended to cover future debt.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the President’s refusal to negotiate and discuss Republican terms signifies his inability to lead.
If the issue is not resolved by June, the United States could default. This would mean higher interest rates, an unemployment hike, and potentially reduced Social Security. It would be the first default in American history.
Congress has lifted the debt ceiling 78 times since the 1960s. It was increased by $2.5 trillion in 2021 and is currently capped at $31.381 trillion. If the ceiling is not raised, the US will be unable to pay its debts, and a major global financial crisis could result.
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