Biden takes controversial debt crisis solution backed by Democrats off the table

President Joe Biden meets with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., to discuss the debt limit in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, May 22, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon/AP

Biden takes controversial debt crisis solution backed by Democrats off the table

Jack Birle

May 26, 01:52 PM May 26, 01:52 PM

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Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said the Biden administration has ruled out attempting to use the 14th Amendment to prevent the United States from defaulting on its debt obligations as the deadline for raising the debt ceiling rapidly approaches.

Adeyemo said, “The 14th Amendment can’t solve our challenges now,” and reiterated that Congress is what can pass legislation to prevent a default.


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“I think the president and [treasury] secretary are clear that that will not solve our problems now. So, yes, that is a no,” Adeyemo said on CNN This Morning.

Some Democrats have been pushing for President Joe Biden to use the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868 with the primary goal of guaranteeing citizenship to former slaves and equal protection for all citizens under the law following the Civil War, to avert a default.

Advocates of the idea to bypass Congress use a broad reading of Section 4 of the 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.”

The legality of invoking the 14th Amendment has been a mystery, with most believing it would be a risky move that could set up a bitter court battle. The unproven strategy has been floated as the “X-date” of June 1, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believes the U.S. will default, approaches.

READ MORE:  GOP negotiators strike tentative debt ceiling deal with White House

Negotiations between House Republicans and the White House have been slow-moving, with red lines by both sides causing uncertainty on whether a deal will be reached before June 1.

Current holdups from the White House appear to be their reluctance to budge on work requirements for welfare requirements.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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