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Democrats Mull 14th Amendment Workaround as Republicans Stonewall on Debt Limit

HeadlineMay 19, 2023

Here in the United States, members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus are calling on Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to suspend negotiations with the White House on raising the limit on the national debt. Caucus members said they’re willing to allow the U.S. to default on its debts — something that could happen as soon as June 1 — unless Democrats agree to sweeping cuts in federal spending on housing, education, healthcare, food assistance and the environment. They’re also demanding that Democrats agree to speed the approval of oil, gas and mining permits, and rescind most of the climate legislation signed by President Biden. In response, a growing number of Democrats are calling on Biden to invoke his authority under the Constitution to avert a debt default — a legal strategy that’s never been tested. This is Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “In fact, the 14th Amendment of the Constitution clearly states, quote — it’s not ambiguous — 'The validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned,' end-quote. Is this a perfect solution? Is imposing the 14th Amendment a perfect solution? No, it is not. But using the 14th Amendment would allow the United States to continue to pay its bills on time and without delay, prevent an economic catastrophe and prevent devastating cuts to some of the most vulnerable people in this country.”

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