President Joe Biden says he believes he can raise the debt ceiling unilaterally under the 14th Amendment even without GOP support.
“I’m looking at the 14th Amendment as to whether or not we have the authority [to raise the debt ceiling without congressional backing]—I think we have the authority,” Biden said during a May 21 press conference at the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Hiroshima, Japan.
Specifically, Biden is referencing a little-known portion of the 14th Amendment which 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.”
Particularly important to Biden’s argument is the final clause, “shall not be questioned.” Some argue that this means that the president can act unilaterally to ensure that the nation does not default, even without Congress.
Part of the so-called “Civil War amendments,” this provision was included in the 14th amendment as a means to ensure that newly reconquered southern states would not question the debts of the United States—particularly debts it picked up in waging war on the southern states.
While some have proposed that it could be used more expansively, to allow the executive to bypass Congress in raising the debt ceiling altogether, no U.S. president has ever used this method to raise the debt ceiling. Biden himself acknowledged that it was unclear if the issue could move through the courts in time to avoid a default.
“The question is, could [this expansive use of the 14th amendment] 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,” Biden said. “That is a question that I think is unresolved.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has previously dismissed calls to use the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceilings as “one of the not good options,” suggesting it could trigger a constitutional crisis if used.
For months, Republicans and Democrats have been gridlocked over the debt ceiling, which describes the maximum amount of money the U.S. Treasury can borrow. Both chambers of Congress have to approve a debt ceiling increase for it to move forward. Without a debt ceiling increase, the United States will default for the first time in history, an outcome that would have catastrophic effects on the value of the dollar.
Yellen has said the United States could default as early as June 1 if no progress is made on raising the debt ceiling.
Biden’s May 21 comments are his strongest yet on potentially using the 14th Amendment to bypass Congress.
Nevertheless, the president expressed optimism that this move wouldn’t be necessary, as all leaders involved have insisted again and again that the nation would not default.
The president’s remarks on Sunday came as the two sides appeared stalled in negotiations. Biden on Sunday sharply criticized what he described as Republicans’ “extreme positions,” saying that much of what the GOP has proposed is “simply, quite frankly, unacceptable.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) hit back, accusing the White House of “moving backward in negotiations.”
“Unfortunately, the socialist wing of the Democrat Party appears to be in control—especially with President Biden out of the country,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter.
Just like when he had authority to cancel student debt!
THEY DON’T care whether they can or can’t legally do anything. THEY DO IT< THEN worry if we have the balls to take them to court or not.. Especially since they seem to have LOTS OF JUDGES IN THEIR pockets.
14th amendment. NEVER get past SCOTUS. But that decision would be made 3 years after the communist dems put it into action. Now, make that ruling 1 week after they pull their magic and no one gets hurt. Next, work on balancing the budget!!!!!!!!!
I wonder which aide told this dumb SOB about the 14th amendment. I doubt he has ever heard of it, much less concocted a slippery work around to undermine the purpose of the amendment.
That’s assuming the SCOTUS HAS the spine to shut this down.
Has anyone at top levels ever asked, “Where does all this madness end?” At what point do we truly say enough is enough?
It is absolutely absurd to think that these treasonous commies in office will ever reign in spending to balance the budget, even more absurd to think that it will EVER get paid back.
Every time we hit the “limit”, we just vote to raise it so we can keep spending. WHERE WILL IT END???? 40 Trillion? 50? 100??
I’m 100% sure that these DemonRats and RINOs will run it up until it is so high that the balloon will burst, our economy will be destroyed, and the greatest nation on the face of the earth will become a third world RAT HOLE!!!
And why would/should they care? After all, Congress only needs to authorize the mint to print more money, and voila! Problem solved.
When FDR took us off the gold standard, back in the 30s, whether or not he realized it, he opened Pandora’s box. Kinda like letting a genie out of it’s bottle – once out, how do you ever stuff it back in?
TO THEM< IT is never enough..
“including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”
How come he only reads the last four words. Where is the insurrextion or rebellion – while not exactly this by some of what happened J6, it has alreasdy been taken care of and mostly all disposed of (all in prison or in jail) so there is no justification for using the 14th.
I am an ordinary citizen with sufficient knowledge to understand that the 14th allows the government to raise the ceiling if more money is needed to pay debts “”including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion”.
So where is the rebellion or what insurrection needs to be supressed? Stopping wreckless spending or being against allowing million of illegal invaders IS NOT insurrection/rebellion.
THIS IS YET MORE reason we need to abolish the 14th… That and birth right citizenship!
Should Biden actually use the 14th Amendment to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, then I submit that any arguments made in favor to strip Americans of their right to keep and bear arms are rendered moot. the 2nd clearly states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
I ask, what makes the operative phrase, in the 14th, “shall not be questioned.” any different than the operative phrase, in the 2nd, “shall not be infringed.”?
As I understand it, in legal parlance, the word “shall” is an absolute. It’s radically different than words like “will”, “may”, “cannot”, etc, etc.
If Biden actually gets away with using the 14th in this way, then, in all future gun control cases, attorneys arguing for gun rights advocates should argue precisely the point I’ve just made.
What’s acceptable for raising the debt ceiling should be equally acceptable for all Americans who wish to keep and bear arms.
REMEMBER< the left HAS no consistency in what they do/see..