(RepublicanPress.org) – President Joe Biden and Democrats have been going back and forth with House Republicans about the economic fate of the United States. The issue centers around raising the debt ceiling so America can continue paying its outstanding bills.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is willing to agree to raise the debt ceiling only if Biden and the Democrats in Congress agree to budget cuts. Since the sides have not been able to agree, the president is reportedly considering using the 14th Amendment to avoid default. Recently, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen cast doubt on whether the move was a “viable strategy.”
The Amendment Idea
After the Civil War, the US adopted the 14th Amendment. Within the amendment is a clause that deals with the country’s debt. It states the “validity of the public debt” of the US, approved by Congress, “shall not be questioned.” It also prohibits the federal government from paying the debt that the Confederate states accumulated during the war.
Experts believe lawmakers added Section 4 to the 14th Amendment because they feared the Confederate states would regain political power in Congress, then default on federal debt and pay their debt instead. Some legal scholars now believe Biden could invoke the amendment to declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional and pay America’s bills. On May 9, the POTUS said he is considering it.
President Biden on #DebtCeiling: "I have been considering the 14th amendment." pic.twitter.com/ZsRZXAne07
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 9, 2023
However, his Treasury secretary has indicated she’s less convinced it would work. During a press conference in Japan, Yellen called the move “legally questionable.” Even the president admitted the measure would have to go through legal channels, which would take time.
Solutions and Where We Stand
The Treasury secretary told reporters that her office is looking at several solutions, including minting a $1 trillion coin to pay the debt or paying the interest on the obligations first. She said both solutions carry risks and may not work. According to a separate report from the Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson explained that the best move would be for Congress to “raise or suspend the debt ceiling.” Not doing so would create a “self-manufactured crisis” that would hurt Americans and affect economies around the world.
Yellen has said she would support either eliminating or significantly changing the current system of relying on Congress to raise the debt ceiling. She believes the POTUS should simply raise the ceiling, inform Congress, and let them block it if they wish. Yellen said the current system isn’t working.
Republicans have slammed the president for suggesting he could use the 14th Amendment. Speaker McCarthy spoke at a press briefing and said that if Biden went that route, it would be proof he has failed.
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