The White House shot down the progressive pipe dream of President Joe Biden invoking the 14th Amendment to sidestep the ongoing negotiations with House Republicans over the debt limit.
"The question was whether the United States would use the 14th Amendment and I think [Biden] and secretary [of the Treasury Janet Yellen] have been very clear, that that will not solve our problems now," Wally Adeyemo, deputy treasury secretary, said regarding the use of the 14th Amendment, adding that it is definitively a "no."
Progressives including senators Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) have floated the idea of Biden using the amendment, which says in part that "the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned." Invoking the amendment would temporarily avoid a default on the debt, which Yellen says could come as soon as June 1 if Republicans and the White House don't find a compromise. But such an action would face legal scrutiny as it's merely a theoretical workaround that has not been used by any previous administrations.
Republicans are insisting Biden reel in spending in exchange for raising the debt limit, while the Biden administration has called for raising the limit with no strings attached. Yellen stated that failing to raise the debt ceiling will lead to an "economic catastrophe."
More Americans say they will blame Biden if the country defaults on its debt than those who say they'd blame Republicans. During a similar debt crisis in 2011, just 32 percent of voters said they would blame then-president Barack Obama for any default, yet 47 percent said they would blame Republicans, according to Fox News.