As the crucial June debt deadline approaches with no deal in sight between the White House and congressional leaders, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on Sunday opposed the idea that the President Joe Biden uses the 14th Amendment to unilaterally prevent a debt default. .
In an interview on «Meet the Press,» NBC News’ Chuck Todd asked Murphy if Biden should invoke the 14th Amendment to pay the nation’s bills.
“I don’t want to give Joe Biden advice, but I think we need to do our job,” Murphy said. «I think it’s a precedent to just absolve Congress of being adults.»
Amid the ongoing deadlock in Congress over raising the debt ceiling, Biden said last week that he was considering the 14th Amendment option to avoid confrontation.
The amendment states that the «validity of the public debt of the United States… shall not be questioned.» Previous administrations considered invoking the 14th Amendment but never used it, including the Obama administration, during which Biden served as vice president.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen opposed the use of the 14th Amendment last week, saying it would provoke a «constitutional crisis.» Yellen warned that if Congress does not act in time, the United States could start defaulting on its debts as early as June 1.
Biden met with congressional leaders last Tuesday in the Oval Office, but they failed to reach an agreement on the looming default crisis. A follow-up meeting that was scheduled for last Friday has been postponed until this week, three sources told NBC News.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said all parties agreed to the postponement and that it should not be interpreted as a sign that talks are falling apart.
Rep. Dusty Johnson, RS.D., a close McCarthy ally, told reporters Thursday: «It takes a certain number of these performance meetings before you get to productive meetings.»
House Republicans have been pushing to link spending cuts to a debt ceiling increase, while Democrats have been reluctant to negotiate whether to pay the country’s bills or default and have insisted on a clean increase in the debt limit.
They want Congress to negotiate the spending cuts that Republicans have demanded in the government funding process separately, which has a September 30 deadline.