Invoke 14th Amendment to save climate agenda

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) called on President Joe Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment to end the standoff over raising the debt limit, calling it crucial to defusing Republicans’ efforts to block the president’s policies.

As the White House remains locked in a tense battle with congressional Republicans amid fears that the U.S. could be on the brink of an economically crippling debt default, Markey said Thursday during POLITICO’s first-ever energy summit that he is concerned that climate legislation could be on the table in the on-going negotiations.

GOP House members have laid out a series of policy demands as part of the talks on raising the limit, including speedier approvals of energy permits and a rescinding of much of Biden’s signature climate law.

“Permitting is probably part of this discussion, and what [Republicans are] most likely trying to extract is a new set of permitting regulations that make it possible for the oil, gas and coal industry to just detonate a carbon bomb over the United States,” Markey said.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is likely to try to “extract unreasonable concessions” from the White House, Markey added, which is why he believes Biden needs to bypass Congress.

“I am very strongly of the opinion that the president should use the 14th Amendment,” Markey said.

Some legal scholars have argued that the 14th Amendment, which declares that the “validity” of the national debt “shall not be questioned,” allows the government to continue paying its bills regardless of the debt ceiling.

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