United States President Joe Biden this Sunday described Republican proposals to raise the country’s debt ceiling as “unacceptable,” and mentioned the possibility of appealing to the constitution to avoid default.
Talks on how to get the United States out of this crisis when the June 1 date approaches and the country may run out of resources to honor its commitments are stalled between the government and opposition leaders in Congress, who demanding quick cuts. Expenditure executive in exchange for raising the so-called “ceiling” of debt allowing more credit to be issued.
“It is time for the other (Republican) side to abandon their extreme positions, because what they have proposed is simplistic and unacceptable,” Biden told reporters during the G7 summit in Japan. He then declared, “I am considering the 14th Amendment.”
Debt ceiling: what are the consequences of appealing the constitution
The 14th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1868, stipulated that “the validity of the public debt of the United States authorized by law, (…) shall not be called in question.” In other words, must be able to pay the previously approved expense.
According to some experts, this provision makes the debt ceiling unconstitutional. Neil Buchanan, a law professor at the University of Florida, said that if the Treasury borrowed above the debt limit set by Congress, it would be in violation of the law.
But failing to meet the spending obligations set by Congress could constitute a further breach, giving the Treasury the justification to borrow more money and continue paying its bills. Invoking the 14th Amendment can lead to litigation, but failing to do so also carries risks.
“If the Treasury moves out of place to meet its obligations and delays certain payments, creditors have a ‘perfectly valid legal claim,'” Buchanan said.
He said Social Security recipients who don’t receive their checks could be involved in a class action lawsuit. On the other hand, if the Biden administration continues to borrow money, Republicans could sue it for defaulting on the debt ceiling.
It would put them in a “very uncomfortable position,” said Robert Hockett, a Cornell University law professor, because they would sue to force the president to default on the national debt.
“We can reach a deal,” Biden reiterated this Sunday during his flight back to Washington from Japan on Air Force One. But “I cannot guarantee that they will not force a default,” he added to justify his view of the 14th Amendment to his opponents.
“I think we have the power” to use the resource, but “the question is whether it can be done and implemented in a timely manner,” said the president, who refused to leave Washington because of the crisis. cut short his Asian tour before
Debt A: What Republicans Are Demanding
Biden was scheduled to hold a telephone conversation on Sunday with Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, who is leading the opposition’s refusal to increase the country’s debt-issuing capacity unless there is a commitment to reduce spending.
Biden and McCarthy held two meetings in recent days as a deadline looms that the Treasury Department says could put the United States between a rock and a hard place.
Republicans claim to reduce public spending and the fiscal deficit, and they want to reduce the debt issuance that usually makes it possible to cover that gap.
Democrats and Republicans disagree on this increase in the United States’ ability to issue debt, despite the fact that the country is required to honor its payments to creditors, suppliers, and pay public officials’ salaries and pensions.
Raising the limit for debt issuance is generally a routine process in the country, which has used this Congress-dependent system for decades. But this time, as it often happens, the issue is the subject of a political wrestling match.
The United States exceeded the $31.4 trillion public debt issuance cap in January, and has since implemented extraordinary measures that allow obligations to be met only for a short period of time
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that McCarthy was being coerced by supporters of former President Donald Trump, who “are threatening to place (the United States) in default for the first time in history.” Are”.
McCarthy tweeted Saturday that this White House is “retreating.” “Unfortunately, the socialist wing of the Republican Party seems to be in control, especially with President Biden out of the country,” he said.