Advice to Biden on how to handle House Republicans’ demands for raising the debt ceiling

By | May 1, 2023

Robert Reich writes:

If House Republicans refuse to raise the limit on the amount of money America may repay on what it owes — the deceptively named “debt limit” — they might force the United States to default, pushing interest rates into the stratosphere and shaking the world economy.

President Biden rightfully says that raising the so-called debt ceiling should not be negotiable. After all, Democrats joined Republicans during the Trump administration to raise it three times, even as Trump and the Republicans enacted a major tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy that caused the nation’s debt to soar.

Yet now, Kevin McCarthy and his band of Republican radicals are demanding that in return for their agreement to raise the debt ceiling, Biden and Democrats make drastic cuts in programs Americans rely on — in everything from from public safety to health care to education.

My advice to Joe Biden: Ignore McCarthy and the Republican radicals.

Mr. President, your oath to uphold the Constitution takes precedence. As the supreme law of the land, the Constitution has greater weight than the debt ceiling.

Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution states that “The validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.”

A debt ceiling that prevents the federal government from honoring its existing financial commitments violates the Constitution.

So, if House Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling, you are obligated by the U.S. Constitution and your oath of office to ignore the debt ceiling and continue to pay the debts of the United States. [Continue reading…]