What Is the 14th Amendment, and Can Biden Use It to Fix the Debt Ceiling?

Scholars differ on whether the Constitution lets the president pay debts, whatever Congress says

At the G-7 summit in Japan, President Biden said it was time for House Republicans to move from their ‘extreme positions’ over raising the debt limit, and that default was ‘not an option.’ Photo: POOL/Zuma Press

The debt-ceiling standoff has renewed debate over the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Some lawyers argue it lets President Biden unilaterally pay the nation’s debts without heeding Republicans’ demands; others say that idea fundamentally misreads the Constitution. Here’s an overview of the so-called 14th-Amendment strategy and why it looms large in negotiations between the White House and House Republicans.

Copyright ©2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Continue reading your article with
a WSJ subscription

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign In

Sponsored Offers
  • TurboTax:
    Save up to $15 with TurboTax coupon May 2023
  • The Motley Fool:
    Epic Bundle - 3x Expert Stock Recommendations
  • H&R Block Tax:
    15% Off DIY Online Tax Filing Services | H&R Block Coupon Code
  • Top Resume:
    10% TopResume Discount Code for expert resume-writing services
  • eBay:
    30% off eBay coupon
  • Groupon:
    Exclusive: 30% OFF Groupon Promo Code