It would be "legally questionable" for President Joe Biden to use the 14th Amendment to end the debt ceiling standoff between him and congressional Republicans, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday.
"'What I would say, it's legally questionable whether or not that's a viable strategy," Yellen told reporters before a meeting in Japan of finance members and central bank governors of the Group of Seven advanced economies, reports The Daily Mail.
However, she also said that she's looked into several options, including the use of the 14th Amendment, as well as prioritizing interest payments or even minting a $1 trillion coin, but all of the options are risky.
"I'm often asked questions [about] if the debt ceiling is not raised, what would you do," Yellen said. "I don't want to go there and discuss alternatives. There are choices to be made, if we got into that situation. But as you think about each possible thing that we could do, the answer is there is no good alternative that will save us from catastrophe."
Under the 14th Amendment, one section says the "validity of the public debt, authorized by law … shall not be questioned," which has been interpreted to mean that the Treasury Department would be able to keep borrowing money even after the $31.4 trillion debt limit is hit, which could be by June 1.
Even Biden, while discussing the use of the 14th Amendment this week, said there are still problems with that, as "it would have to be litigated and in the meantime, without an extension, it would still end up in the same place.
"I'll be very blunt with you, we get by this, I'm thinking about taking a look at, months down the road, just to see what the courts would say whether or not it does work."
Biden hosted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at the White House Tuesday, with another meeting planned on Friday, but no agreements were reached about the debt ceiling.
Biden says he wants a clean debt ceiling bill to be passed, but House Republicans passed a bill that raised the debt ceiling while adding numerous spending cuts, with the legislation dead upon its arrival in the Senate.
Yellen, meanwhile, said Thursday she'd like to either see the debt ceiling eliminated or change the system of raising it through the use of legislation, but as for now, raising the debt ceiling to avert a default on the national debt is the only short-term solution.
"I don't think that's any way to run the government and so, there are a variety of alternatives and my own preference would be not to go through this every couple of years," she commented.
The debt ceiling, Yellen also said, creates a situation in which the United States "can't pay all the government's bills.
Further, the U.S. Treasury note remains the most important asset in global markets, but a loss of confidence in its value could be dangerous, she said, adding that to "go through this every couple of years is tremendously damaging."
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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