Uphold your oath

5/18/2023, 6 p.m.
We call on President Biden to uphold his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

We call on President Biden to uphold his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

And that means preventing House Republicans from en- gineering a default in government payments on the debt. Republicans have thrown down the gauntlet and are

holding hostage a bill to raise the debt ceiling so that the government can continue to cover debts already approved by Congress in past budgets.

Their goal in creating this impasse is to ensure passage of legislation to cut spending in future budgets.

Failure to raise the debt ceiling could bring a halt to Social Security payments, stop Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to doctors and hospitals, kill health care for veterans and create chaos in our trade with other nations for whom the dollar is the general currency.

Tens of thousands of people whose jobs are linked to federal spending could be out of work. Grants that localities count on could cease.

The GOP, and the party’s business allies who somehow think they will be untouched, do not care how much damage they cause to get their way.

However, President Biden can halt this crisis that could come as soon as June 1 by upholding a section of the 14th Amendment.

That section reads: “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.”

In other words, he can order the U.S. Treasury to continue to pay the government’s debts without a congressional vote to raise the debt ceiling. The president already has said he is considering use of that section as the government’s ability to borrow runs out.

This is not what President Biden wants. But as chief executive, he is duty bound to carry out the laws that Congress passes, including the budget.

We say that failure to use that section of the 14th Amendment, Mr. President, would violate the oath you swore when you took office.

The battle over budgets can continue.

But that debate over the appropriate amount of government spending cannot be allowed to crash the economy and leave the American people in far worse shape.

Do your duty, Mr. President. Stop the madness.