They have discussed, but the White House has dismissed, the option that Treasury could rely on the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to go ahead with bill payments even in the absence of a debt limit increase.

There has been growing speculation in Washington in recent days that Treasury could use the amendment — which some argue says the government cannot renege on its debts — to ignore the congressionally imposed limit on the amount of money the United States can borrow.

But White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said, “Despite suggestions to the contrary, the 14th Amendment is not a failsafe that would allow the government to avoid defaulting on its obligations.”

The Treasury team has also talked about the Government Accountability Office’s 1985 assessment that Treasury has the authority to prioritize payments.