Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, called out Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., for his Fourteenth Amendment tweet on “Fox & Friends” Thursday. Nehls said the freshman senator should go “back to middle school” to learn about the origins of the amendment after urging President Biden to raise the debt ceiling without negotiating with Republicans.
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REP. TROY NEHLS: We need to send him back to middle school, because if you look at the 14th Amendment, there are five sections in Section Four. It talks a little bit about public debt. Obviously, the debt we had, we were going through a very difficult time in our country with the Civil War and then reconstruction. So really, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments really dealt with civil rights. But there was a small section in there that dealt with public debt. But even Secretary Yellen the other day said this is a constitutional crisis. We always have a crisis in our country, don’t we? But Fetterman, if he is the authority for the American people, if he is the authority for this administration, God help us all.
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Fetterman faced scrutiny after he claimed that the “whole reason” for the 14th Amendment — best known for its extension of citizenship to former slaves and guaranteeing “equal protection of the laws” — was to assist with debt negotiations.
Fetterman’s comments came as he pushed for President Biden to use the 14th Amendment to avoid a default on the nation’s debt — a move that legal experts have repeatedly said would be unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny.
“The entire GOP debt ceiling negotiation is a sad charade, and it’s exactly what’s wrong with Washington. We’re playing with fire and the livelihoods of millions just for the GOP to try and turn the screws on hungry Americans,” Fetterman wrote Thursday in a tweet. “This is the whole reason why the 14th Amendment exists, and we need to be prepared to use it. We cannot let these reckless Republicans hold the economy hostage.”
FETTERMAN TORCHED AFTER SAYING ‘WHOLE REASON’ FOR 14TH AMENDMENT IS TO BE USED DURING DEBT NEGOTIATIONS
Ratified in 1868, three years after the conclusion of the Civil War, the 14th Amendment, considered by both scholars and ordinary Americans to be one of the most consequential assurances of civil liberties in U.S. history, encoded citizenship and due process for former slaves and is notably remembered, lauded, discussed and debated today for its landmark “equal protection” clause.
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside,” states Section 1 of the Amendment.
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Despite Fetterman urging the president to use the amendment amid debt negotiations, experts who spoke with Fox News Digital earlier this month cast doubt on the viability of Biden invoking the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to raise the federal borrowing limit.
Fox News’ Kyle Morris, Elizabeth Elkind and Kerry J. Byrne contributed to this report.