Assistant Treasury Secretary rules out possibility of using 14th Amendment to raise debt ceiling


Invoking the 14th Amendment to lift the borrowing cap on the U.S. debt ceiling as a way around slow negotiations is not an option, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told CNN on Friday, the most definitive answer administration to an unlikely option demanded by some progressives.

“The question was whether the United States would use the 14th Amendment and I think the President and (Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen) have been very clear that it will not solve our problems now. So yes, that’s a no,” Adeyemo said when asked about the perspective by CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “CNN This Morning.”

Some progressives have called on President Joe Biden to invoke the amendment — which says, in part, that “the validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be called into question” — but such action would risk a crisis. constitutional and prompt legal action. The president has previously said he believes the federal government has the “authority” to do so, but does not consider invoking the 14th Amendment as an imminent fix.

The solution ultimately lies with Congress to raise the debt ceiling, Adeyemo said.

“Congress has the ability to do this, and the president is calling on them to act as quickly as possible,” he said Friday.

There are signs that negotiations over raising the country’s debt limit are gaining momentum, but major differences remain and it is unclear how quickly a deal could materialize. Time is running out as the risk of a first-ever default increases, with officials naming June 1 as the first day the Treasury Department would not be able to pay its bill in full on time.

Republicans have demanded spending cuts and tougher work requirements for social safety net programs, which Democrats have largely been reluctant to do.

While the 14th Amendment is considered a theoretical workaround, previous administrations have deemed such a move impractical.

Last week, the US Chamber of Commerce strongly pushed back against efforts of the senses. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other progressives to urge the White House to use the 14th Amendment to avoid a disastrous default.

“The House is of the view that attempting to invoke the so-called ‘powers’ under the 14th Amendment would be as economically disastrous as a failure to pay by default to lift the debt ceiling in a timely manner” , Neil Bradley, Director of House Policy. and a former senior aide to the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, wrote in the letter.

Yellen also poured cold water on the idea of ​​invoking the 14th Amendment, saying that “there is no way to protect our financial system and our economy except for Congress to do its job. and raising the debt ceiling”.


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