(DailyDig.com) – If President Joe Biden uses the 14th Amendment to single-handedly increase the U.S. debt limit, legal experts and GOP politicians warn, dire repercussions might ensue.
The national debt of the US, as “authorized by law,” including obligations accrued for rewards for services in defeating revolt or insurrection or pension payments, shall not be challenged, as stated in the 14th Amendment. President Biden has speculated that the document’s language might give him the authority to borrow additional money for the United States government without first getting permission from Congress.
Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) argued that the president does not have financial authority because of the 14th Amendment. The authority to execute Section 4 of the 14th Amendment is listed in Section 5, and it belongs to Congress, not the President.
Professor of Law at New York University, Richard Epstein, has claimed that Biden’s legal argument had little chance of succeeding. According to Epstein, the 14th Amendment’s term “authorized by law” indicates that Congress, as the exclusive authority to create laws under the US Constitution, must approve any debt to be discharged. He said the clause must be interpreted in context with the whole phrase.
Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, has said that a default cannot be avoided unless Congress, and only Congress, acts to increase the debt limit.
According to National Review Institute’s Andrew McCarthy, the president is pledged to faithfully execute all laws, including the legislative debt cap. Impeachment proceedings should be initiated if these things are not done.
However, Biden has countered this argument by citing Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor, who argues that the United States must pay all of its loans when they are due, even if this means the Treasury Department has to borrow more than Congress has authorized. Biden has conceded that the proposal is likely to face a lawsuit in federal courts while still noting that Tribe’s opinions were reasonable.
Epstein brushed off Tribe’s argument, saying that it was childish since it appealed to practicality rather than the law. A tyrant’s excuse, he remarked, is necessity.
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