You can blame this doughboy for the debt ceiling.
Did you know that until 1982 every increase to the federal debt limit was an amendment to the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917? Before the United States entered World War I, there was never any such thing as a debt limit. When Congress had to borrow money it issued bonds. But after events (U-boat attacks, Zimmermann telegram) pulled a reluctant United States into war, Congress had to issue a lot of so-called Liberty Bonds, fast, and it wasn’t very good at it. The first bond issue was such a disappointment that the government had to ask Charlie Chaplin, who wasn’t even an American citizen, to make a propaganda short telling people to buy Liberty Bonds. Finally, with the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917, Congress said screw it, let’s tell Treasury to figure out how to do this, but make them stop borrowing when they get to x. In this instance, x was $11.5 billion. Gradually Congress started imposing multiple ceilings on various types of government debt, not just war debt, and in 1939 Congress consolidated these into a single debt ceiling of $45 billion.
Today the debt ceiling is $34.1 trillion. We reached it in January, but for decades Treasury has had a variety of tricks (euphemistically called “extraordinary measures”) to delay raising the debt ceiling. Those tricks will run out in June, possibly as early as June 1. What President Joe Biden should do about that is the topic of my latest New Republic piece. No, I’m not going to tell you in this Backbencher post. You can read my piece here.
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Your complete prognostication is a fair anticipation of how things will unfold on May 9 if nothing substantive changes between now and then, and your hypothetical speech by President Biden is a fine response in the first degree.
Here is a preliminary suggestion and two questions for what might ensue:
1) Though neither side would likely agree to having the meeting streamed live, it should be recorded with video so that neither side can "disinterpret" the discussion. I still remember the 400 billion dollar "demand" per Speaker Boehner in 2011 that was eventually debunked (see https://newrepublic.com/article/92664/republican-debunks-myth-400-billion-tax-demand).
2) Is it correct that POTUS cannot "simply" ask SCOTUS to make an urgent determination regarding the constitutionality of the Debt Limit in the context of the 14th Amendment because the Supreme Court is esssentially the ultimate court of appeals for decisions already expressed in a lower court?
3) If SCOTUS were to determine the Debt Limit was inherently unconstitutional, or if POTUS wrote an EO to ignore it based upon that presumption if it were still under consideration, would the Treasury need to do anything other than offer a bond issue to cover the debt sufficiently?
Needless to say - though everyone keeps saying it - McCarthy and his conference are playing with fire that might burn them politically but that could scar us all as well.
The Pubs aren't afraid of Joe. They're not even listening. Your hypothetical McCarthy response is only one of many or none at all. I would be very happy if he gave that speech.