Biden Has Question About 14th Amendment

Yellen agrees there might be better ways to solve debt crisis
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2023 5:40 PM CDT
Biden Has Question About 14th Amendment
President Biden leaves after a news conference Sunday following the Group of Seven leaders summit in Hiroshima, Japan.   (Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg pool via AP)

He probably has the authority to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval, President Biden said Sunday, but he acknowledged that could lead to problems. "The question is, could it 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 during a press conference in Hiroshima, Japan. "That is a question that I think is unresolved." The president said he doesn't expect to reach that point, the Hill reports, because the four congressional leaders told him there will be no default. "So I'm assuming that we mean what we say," Biden said.

Use of the 14th Amendment could spark a long court fight. Republicans have said they're opposed to the idea, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also lacks enthusiasm, per Axios. "It doesn't seem like something that could be appropriately used in these circumstances," she said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, "given the legal uncertainty around it and given the tight time frame we're on." Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed Sunday to resume their talks Monday, after the president returns from the G7 summit. In the meantime, their aides were to meet Sunday evening, per the Washington Post. (More President Biden stories.)

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