Plenty of talk is going around about President Joe Biden using the 14th Amendment with respect to the debt ceiling. The 14th amendment is mostly known for providing “equal protection of the laws” and was at the center of Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed integration in schools despite the so-called “separate but equal” laws that were in place. It was also part of Roe v. Wade. So, what does it have to do with the debt ceiling?
According to Politico, legal scholars have suggested that a part of the 14th amendment goes to the heart of the debt ceiling: “validity of the public debt, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” Experts claim that it would be unconstitutional for the U.S. to default on its debts. Progressives want President Biden to invoke the amendment, but Politico reported that it is “unlikely” that the president will do so. While White House advisors says the president “hasn’t ruled it out,” he would prefer to negotiate his way into a resolution, which may well work in his favor.
Politico pointed out that the current slate of House Republicans have little to no experience negotiating or making deals. In other words, they are clueless when it comes to bipartisan negotiations. On top of that, the House is filled with members who have never voted on a spending bill. That leaves them open to complaining instead of learning how the process works. This sets the stage for problems. McCarthy can barely get his rowdy crew to agree on anything, let alone a spending bill and raising the debt ceiling, especially when half of them don’t even know what that means. President Biden is hoping that Democrats can come together and help him to get the debt ceiling raised, though Biden still hopes that this can be done in a nonpartisan fashion.
The White House is not open to making cuts to social welfare programs, as that will ultimately hurt Democrats. It is sad that Republican voters can’t see that the very things Republicans seek to cut will hurt them as well. Look at states like Mississippi, for example. It is often called the “poorest state in the nation,” yet it is so red that it’s almost maroon. These people, most of whom are poor, continue to vote against their own interests, and no one can convince them otherwise. If, however, Republicans successfully cut Medicaid and food stamps, guess who will take the biggest brunt of those cuts? Republican voters. While Republicans get their voters riled up with lies about undocumented immigrants getting federal benefits, it is their voters who take the lion’s share. It’s sad that they can’t even see that they are the ones Republicans seek to hurt. If that could somehow be conveyed to them, things would look a lot different in Washington.
In the end, our elected officials need to come together and avoid this crisis. Defaulting on our debt is not an option, and it is the people who will suffer most if it happens. They have approximately one week to get it together.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years