Raskin Says Biden Can Circumvent Congress To Raise Debt Ceiling, Compares Him To Lincoln

[Screenshot Morning Joe]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin compared President Joe Biden to Abraham Lincoln on Wednesday, arguing Biden has every right to invoke the 14th Amendment to continue making interest payments on the national debt.

Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy have yet to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling ahead of default on June 1. Republicans passed a 320-page debt ceiling proposal that would cut federal spending by approximately $130 billion and also impose work requirements for individuals receiving federal assistance. The White House and Democratic lawmakers have condemned the proposal, calling for a clean debt ceiling increase.

“Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski asked Raskin what would happen next amid the ongoing stalemate.

“Well, nobody seems to know. But the positive development in my mind is that on the Democratic side, people understand that the 14th Amendment is not an option, as people have been saying, the 14th Amendment is an imperative. That is — it’s the whole framework for analyzing the problem,” Raskin argued. “And Section 4 says, the validity of the public debt shall not be questioned. And therefore in the final analysis, the president must continue to pay the Social Security and Medicare recipients, he’s got to pay the bondholders of the United States. He’s got to pay the veterans and fund the nutrition programs and so on. In the event that the Republicans really are determined to drive us over a cliff, because all of those spending programs are federal laws and statutes, too, and the Constitution says the validity of the public debt shall not be questioned.”

“So Biden is really in the same situation where Abraham Lincoln was with habeas corpus when he said, ‘Should I enforce one law or should I enforce all the laws of the Union and respect the Constitution?’ And if [Biden] is forced to the extreme like that, we know what he’s got to do.” (RELATED: Left-Wing Dem Rep Says There Will Be Backlash ‘In The Streets’ If Biden Agrees To Spending Cuts)

Democrats have increasingly urged Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling, which states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” Experts, however, have called the move potentially impeachable, with Biden himself admitting he might not be able to use the clause to raise the debt ceiling.