Dem Senators Demand Biden Simply Ignore Debt Ceiling Law

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, joined by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Edward Markey (D-MA), John Fetterman (D-PA), and Peter Welch (D-VT), speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill about 11 Senate Democrats who sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to invoke the 14th Amendment to avoid a catastrophic debt default, in Washington, U.S., May 18, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
May 19, 2023

WASHINGTON (Reuters)—A group of U.S. Senate Democrats called on President Joe Biden to prepare to invoke the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment to avoid a debt default if negotiations with Republicans fail, according to a letter released on Thursday.

Led by independent Bernie Sanders, who caucuses with the Democrats, the 11 lawmakers said while they appreciated Biden's efforts to find a bipartisan deal to lift the debt ceiling, Republicans in Congress were "not acting in good faith."

"We write to urgently request that you prepare to exercise your authority under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which clearly states: ‘the validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned,'" they wrote Biden, a fellow Democrat.

"Using this authority would allow the United States to continue to pay its bills on-time, without delay, preventing a global catastrophe," they said.

Biden is continuing negotiations with House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy during his trip to the G7 Summit in Japan this week, ahead of the June 1 date when the U.S. Treasury has said the government could start running out of funds if the debt ceiling is not lifted.

The periodic lifting of the federal government's borrowing limit allows the government to pay for spending Congress has already authorized.

(Reporting by Jasper Ward, Paul and Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Leslie Adler)

Published under: Bernie Sanders