As concerns about the debt ceiling mount, a group of Democratic senators plan to send Joe Biden a letter asking him to use his authority under the 14th Amendment to continue paying US government bills, even if the debt ceiling is not raised. .
Democratic senators including Tina Smith, Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey and Bernie Sanders, an independent, argued that Republicans are not negotiating “in good faith.” They questioned the GOP’s attempt to apply work requirements to programs like Medicaid and SNAP, which provide health care and food stamps for low-income families.
“It is unfortunate that the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate are not acting in good faith. Instead, the Republicans have made it clear that they are prepared to hold our entire economy hostage unless they agree to their demands to reduce the deficit at the expense of working families. That is simply unacceptable,” reads the letter obtained by The Guardian.
The letter was circulated among lawmakers at a time when Biden has reportedly signaled some support compromise work requirements and rules for federal programs. But Democrats are increasingly concerned about what those negotiations might look like and are seeking the 14th Amendment, an addition to the American Civil War-era constitution that states that the validity of the public debt “shall not be questioned.” . This could allow Biden to override Congress on the grounds that his lack of a ceiling increase is unconstitutional.
But Biden previously expressed some doubts about that strategy. “I have been considering the 14th Amendment,” Biden said. last week. “And a man for whom I have enormous respect, Larry Tribe, who advised me for a long time, believes that he would be legit. But the problem is that he would have to be litigated ”.
Still, those behind the letter are up against the Republican Party, which has refused to make concessions like raising taxes on the very rich.
“We write to urgently request that you prepare to exercise your authority under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which clearly states: ‘the validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.’ Use of this authority would allow the United States to continue paying its bills on time, without delay, avoiding a global economic catastrophe.”