But Biden was there as vice president during the Obama-era battles with hardline Republicans, and his entire agenda could be threatened if there was another prolonged standoff on America’s full faith and credit. .
Separation of powers
Setting borrowing limits has always been a power reserved for Congress, to which the Constitution grants the exclusive power to raise revenue, spend taxpayers’ money, “pay debts” and “borrow money. to the credit of the United States ”.
But some academics argue that if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, the president can justify continuing to borrow money by citing the “Public Debt Clause” of the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. , three years after the end of the civil war.
The 14th Amendment granted citizenship to most people born or naturalized in the United States, including blacks, although the status of Native Americans was not clarified until 1924. The 14th Amendment also prohibited anyone who engaged in a rebellion or treason to serve as a state or federal official.
And in section 4, the 14th Amendment says that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for the payment of pensions and bonuses for services rendered in the suppression of a insurrection or rebellion, should not be questioned. ” The article prohibited the federal or state government from paying any debt or obligation incurred to aid the insurgency “or any claim for the loss or emancipation of a slave.”