Treasury chief Janet Yellen says 14th Amendment would not be ‘appropriately used’ for debt ceiling

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that President Biden invoking the 14th Amendment to bypass Congress and lift the debt ceiling to avoid default probably isn’t legally sound.

“It doesn’t seem like something that could be used appropriately in these circumstances, given the legal uncertainty surrounding it and given the tight timeline we find ourselves in,” Ms Yellen said on “Meet the Press” from NBC. “My fervent wish is that Congress will raise the debt ceiling and we will pay all our bills.”

Talks have stalled just days away from the scheduled June 1 deadline. Mr Biden is expected to phone House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Sunday when he returns from a Group of Seven meeting in Japan.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Biden floated the idea of ​​invoking the 14th Amendment, but said he preferred to strike a bipartisan deal.

“I look at the 14th Amendment to see whether or not we have the authority — I think we have the authority,” he said. “The question is whether it could be done and invoked in time not to be appealed, and therefore after the date in question and still in default on the debt.”

If the ceiling is not raised in time, “some bills will remain unpaid”, warned Ms. Yellen.

“We take the debt ceiling seriously as a constraint on our ability to pay bills that come due. And my assumption is that if the debt ceiling is not raised, there will be tough choices to be made about unpaid bills,” she said.


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