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Posted at 5:49 p.m. on July 10, 2014
House Republicans plan to sue President Barack Obama for failing to enforce the Affordable Care Act, according to a resolution authorizing the lawsuit posted on the House Rules Committee website.
The president’s failure to enforce the employer mandate will be the focus of the lawsuit, Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement.
“In 2013, the president changed the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it,” the Ohio Republican said. “That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own.”
Ironically, Boehner will be suing Obama to enforce the law even though the House has voted to delay or repeal the employer mandate itself.
But Boehner said the lawsuit is about protecting the Constitution and the legislative branch.
“The Constitution states that the president must faithfully execute the laws, and spells out that only the Legislative Branch has the power to legislate. The current president believes he has the power to make his own laws — at times even boasting about it. He has said that if Congress won’t make the laws he wants, he’ll go ahead and make them himself, and in the case of the employer mandate in his health care law, that’s exactly what he did. If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Legislative Branch, and the Constitution, and that is exactly what we will do.”
The argument will not be that the president doesn’t have executive authority but that he overreached.
The employer mandate has been delayed repeatedly by Obama without going to Congress. Obama himself has said he would have sought a change in the law in normal circumstances.
Also of note, Boehner’s move avoids the political minefield of immigration by not targeting the president’s unilateral decision to grant deportation relief to many young immigrants brought here illegally.