Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo on Sunday rejected the idea of President Biden using the 14th Amendment to avoid a default on the national debt.
“Can you say yes or no, if the president has the authority to raise the debt limit on his own, without Congress?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked the “State of the Union.”
“What the President said is that he does not think that the 14th Amendment will solve our current problems. The only thing that’s going to solve our problems right now is for Congress to lift the debt limit, which they’ve done, by the way, 78 times — and finally, in the last administration, they did it three times without negotiation, and that’s what the president wants them to do now,” Adeyemo said.
A clause in the 14th Amendment has been floated as a possible last resort as the US faces the threat of default, as some legal scholars argue that the clause gives the president the power to will act on the debt ceiling, even if Congress does not. . Democrats pushed Biden to take the step.
The country passed the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling earlier this year, and the Treasury Department said it could run out of emergency measures to prevent default next month.
The White House and lawmakers have otherwise been locked in talks on the issue, with House Republicans pushing for an increase in the debt ceiling to come with spending cuts and the administration pushing for a “clean” that increase.
Biden indicated last week that he was considering using the 14th Amendment, using it as leverage in talks with Republicans. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last week that the move could mean a “constitutional crisis.”
“So, no 14th Amendment?” Bash pressed on Sunday.
“The president has made it clear that he does not think this will solve our current problems,” Adeyemo said.
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