WORCESTER, Mass. - Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are saying President Joe Biden should consider invoking the 14th Amendment as a solution to the looming debt ceiling deadline.
Section four of the amendment says, "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." Invoking the amendment would mean the country would continue to borrow money past the debt limit.
Rep. Jim McGovern said planned budget cuts being proposed by Republicans in the ongoing negotiations would impact veterans and people in poverty.
"He shouldn't increase poverty, he shouldn't increase hunger in this country as part of the deal," said McGovern. "And that's why I think constitutionally, he can raise the debt ceiling on his own. I think the 14th Amendment gives him that ability. I think he ought to invoke that rather than, again, make vulnerable people's lives more miserable."
Sen. Ed Markey agreed with McGovern, calling the 14th Amendment the proper route to go if a bipartisan solution can't be reached.
"It's critical that we resolve the debt ceiling, otherwise the United States will go into default,” Markey said. “That would lead to higher interest rates, it would lead to real problems for families all across our country, and it would ripple throughout the global economy. So, it is absolutely imperative that we come together in order to resolve this issue, and to do so in a bipartisan basis."
Rep. Richard Neal said he is still feeling optimistic that a deal will be made.
"I still believe that this can be accommodated,” Neal said. “I think it's going to require some good faith negotiating, but also some give and take, and I think that absolutist positions here are unlikely to be helpful to the end of the process. I think what we want to do is give the president some room for negotiating procedures."
When asked whether he believed it would hold up in court if invoked, McGovern said there's a good grounding in using the 14th Amendment, but he did say there is some uncertainty with the Supreme Court.