The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mia Jacobs,Communications Director, CPC,Email:,,Phone: (202) 225-3106

Congressional Progressive Caucus Members Call on Biden to Invoke Constitutional Authority in the Face of Republican Economic Hostage Taking

Sixty-six members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), led by CPC Chair Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Deputy Chair Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and Whip Greg Casar (TX-35), are calling on President Biden to prepare to invoke his constitutional authority granted in the 14th Amendment to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States and end Republican hostage taking of the economy that could trigger a financial catastrophe.

The members released a letter today urging President Biden to “fulfill the Executive’s Constitutional duty to faithfully and impartially administer the funds already enacted by law at the direction of Congress,” citing the clause which states “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred…shall not be questioned.”

The lawmakers sent the letter “in light of unremitting efforts by Congressional Republicans to hold the economic health of our nation hostage.” The Republicans’ framework imposes “drastic cuts,” and could take jobs from 780,000 people, nutrition assistance from 1.2 million women, infants, and children, Medicaid coverage from up to 21 million Americans, rental assistance from 640,000 families, and more, the lawmakers warn. “Surrendering to these extremist demands also sets a dangerous precedent that emboldens Republicans to pursue additional, anti-democratic hostage taking, particularly after their having been told previously that a clean debt-ceiling increase was nonnegotiable,” they write.

The members also emphasize the clear legal authority for the President to raise the debt ceiling under the 14th Amendment. “If the options are either agreeing to major cuts to domestic priorities under the Republican threat of destroying the economy and moving forward to honor America’s debts, we join prominent legal scholars, economists, former budget officials, and a former president in advocating for invoking the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.”

They conclude by urging the President to prepare to invoke the Constitution’s 14th Amendment “rather than acceding to bad-faith Republican attempts to harm our hard-fought economic recovery, reverse the climate progress of this administration, impose painful, burdensome, and ineffective new work requirements for recipients of [public assistance programs], and slash essential federal programs that lift up millions of Americans.”

The letter can be viewed here.

Signatories include: Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Greg Casar (TX-35), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-17), Cori Bush (MO-01), André Carson (IN-07), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Judy Chu (CA-28), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), John Garamendi (CA-08), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (IL-04), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Daniel Goldman (NY-10), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jonathan L. Jackson (IL-01), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Summer Lee (PA-12), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-31), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-47), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Delia C. Ramirez (IL-03), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Mark Takano (CA-39), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Ritchie Torres (NY-35), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties.

(202) 225-3106