President Should Invoke 14th Amendment on Debt : Minority Whip

U.S. House of Representatives minority whip Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.) has called on President Barack Obama to invoke the 14th amendment to hike the debtceiling unilaterally as a last resort to prevent a government default.

Rep. Steny Hoyer
Getty Images
Rep. Steny Hoyer

"It's arguably his power to do so," Hoyer told CNBC’s sister network MSNBC in an interview late on Thursday night.

"Very frankly, if it came down to his looking default in the eye on Tuesday or taking this action, as President Clinton said, better to take the action and find out later that perhaps he went beyond his authority but at least protect the credibility of the United States of America," he said.

The 14th amendment states that "the validity of the public debt … shall not be questioned" and many are suggesting it may empower the president to raise the debt ceiling without congressional input.


Late Thursday, a group of rebel conservative Republican lawmakers refused to back a budget deficit plan proposed by their own congressional leaders including House Speaker John Boehner.

"The party of no," Hoyer charged, in reference to the Republicans, "is saying no to their own deal."