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 May 29, 2023

Joe Biden hints at using 14th Amendment in future debt limit showdowns

Just days after striking a deal with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) regarding the debt default crisis, President Joe Biden now claims he will consider other tools in future debt limit debates. 

According to The Hill, one of those tools would be invoking the 14th Amendment, which could give the president the power to act by issuing debt if Congress fails to pass a bill.

The outlet explained:

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.

Some Democrats pushed the idea of the Biden administration going down the path of using the 14th Amendment as a workaround, but the idea was heavily criticized by many, including legal scholars.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was especially critical of the idea of using the 14th Amendment, calling the move "legally frivilous" and pointing out that former President Barack Obama even refused to consider the idea.

Biden had denied pressure from Democrats to try the maneuver but not because he's legally opposed to it, as he made clear in his most recent remarks, but because he knew it would immediately be tied up in a legal battle that wouldn't be resolved before the U.S. Treasury runs out of funds.

Clearly, Biden is more than ready to weaponize the 14th Amendment in the next debt ceiling negotiations.

Biden was also asked if he was in favor of eliminating debt ceiling entirely.

"No, I think it would cause more controversy getting rid of the debt limit," the president said. “Although I am exploring the idea that we would, at a later date a year or two from now, decide whether or not the 14th Amendment, how that actually would impact on whether or not you need to do the debt limit every year."

He added: "But that’s another day."

The "good faith" deal negotiated by Biden and McCarthy is already receiving strong pushback on both sides of the aisle. If they can't convince Congress to pass the bill, the drama will intensify greatly.

Sadly, hard-working Americans will be the ones to suffer while politicians posture with the issue for the upcoming election cycle.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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