When asked to comment to Biden’s statement that he was not yet ready to use the 14th Amendment, Yellen stated, “Our priority is to make sure that Congress does its job.”
“There is no way to protect our financial system in our economy, other than Congress doing its job raising the debt ceiling and enabling us to pay our bills. We should not get to the point where we need to consider whether the president can go on issuing debt. This would be a constitutional crisis,” she said.
Stephanopoulos pressed Yellen more on the matter, asking if invoking the amendment was an option if a deal between Biden and Congress could not be achieved. Yellen said there was little the president could do to avoid an “economic catastrophe” using the process, even though Biden could invoke the 14th Amendment.
“I’m still not exactly clear on whether it’s on or off the table,” Stephanopoulos asked. “Is it a broken glass in case of emergency option?”
“Look, I don’t I don’t want to consider emergency options. What’s important is that members of Congress recognize their responsibility, and avert what will surely be, regardless of how it’s handled, what option is used to handle it … an economic and financial catastrophe,” Yellen said.
“It sounds like you’re saying you don’t want to but you may have to,” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Well… what to do if Congress fails to meet its obligations? There are simply no good options.” “And the ones you’ve listed are among the bad options,” Yellen said.
Biden said in an interview that aired Friday that he’s not ready to invoke the 14th Amendment, leaving the option on the table ahead of a meeting he has this week with congressional leaders on the matter.
“I’ve not gotten there yet,” Biden told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle.
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