ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr has joined a 19-state coalition in urging the Biden administration to follow the law and not unilaterally expand executive power to raise or ignore the debt ceiling without congressional approval. The President recently asserted publicly that the executive branch has this authority under the 14th Amendment. It does not.   

“President Biden does not have the authority to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval, and any assertion otherwise is dangerous and blatantly false,” said Carr. “Rather than recklessly ignoring the established laws of this country to win political points, the President should instead focus on negotiating in good faith with Congress on a realistic solution and address the record-high inflation that is harming families across this nation.”

The coalition explains that the Constitution explicitly allows Congress the authority to tax, spend, and borrow money on the credit of the United States. These powers are specifically enumerated in the Constitution as belonging to Congress, and executive branch efforts to usurp those powers are not lawful.   

In the letter, the attorneys general write, “The power of the purse constitutes Congress’s strongest defense against a lawless executive. By giving credence to the idea that a President can unilaterally authorize new debt for the United States, you undermine the checks and balances that have defined the rule of law for over 200 years.”  

The coalition of state attorneys general does not attempt to dictate policy but instead reminds the executive branch that the debt ceiling debate must be solved through the democratic process in accordance with the Constitution. The 14th Amendment does not allow the executive branch to ignore the law or the separation of powers inherent in the Constitution.   

In addition to Carr, the following attorneys general also joined in signing the letter: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

A copy of the letter can be found Download this pdf file. here .