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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Monday, said that if it comes to it, the president should invoke the 14th Amendment, because the U.S. “can’t let extremists put us in default.”

“I would hope it wouldn’t come to that, but if it has to, it must,” Villaraigosa said when asked whether President Barack Obama should “invoke the 14th Amendment and ignore Congress to deal with the debt ceiling.”

“We can’t let extremists put us in default and play chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States of America,” the mayor said. “And that’s what they are.