Yellen Calls Invoking 14th Amendment to Raise Debt Limit ‘Legally Questionable’

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen on Thursday downplayed the possibility that President Biden could essentially ignore the debt limit by invoking the 14th Amendment, calling the idea “legally questionable.”

Her comments come as lawmakers and the Biden administration remain locked in a standoff over whether and how to raise the debt ceiling, which caps how much money the federal government can borrow. Ms. Yellen warned lawmakers last week that the United States could run out of money to pay its bills on time by June 1.

Mr. Biden is scheduled to meet with top congressional leaders again on Friday, after an initial meeting on Tuesday failed to elicit an agreement.

The brinkmanship has raised questions about whether the Biden administration can act on its own to raise the $31.4 trillion borrowing cap by relying on a clause in the 14th Amendment stating that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and…

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This article was written by Alan Rappeport and originally published on