Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

38 House, Senate Republicans Back Johnson’s Lawsuit Against Staff Health Care Contributions

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Thirty-eight Republican members of Congress are backing Sen. Ron Johnson’s lawsuit against the Obama administration over employee contributions to staff health care.

The lawmakers, including Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and John McCain, R-Ariz., on Monday filed an amicus brief in Wisconsin federal court, supporting Johnson’s challenge to the Office of Personnel Management rule on the issue. In response to a March 17 Justice Department request to dismiss the lawsuit, the GOP members argue that Johnson’s case deserves to be heard.

“The unlawful executive action at issue in this case is not an isolated incident,” the 35-page brief states. “Rather, it is part of an ongoing campaign by the Executive Branch to rewrite the Affordable Care Act (‘ACA’) on a wholesale basis.”

OPM regulations cause personal harm, the lawmakers contend, by conferring “special privileges” in the form of health insurance subsidies. Elected officials who “value their political credibility and their public reputations far more highly than any form of monetary compensation” have a “concrete professional and personal interest” in avoiding such entitlements, the brief states. They also claim OPM stretched the definition of “small employer” by designating congressional employees to enroll in the District of Columbia’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) plan.

Twelve senators and 26 members of the House signed on to the amicus brief, posted online here.

Johnson also filed his own 30-page answer to Obama’s attorneys on Monday. His 30-page standing response is also posted online.

“Congress was clear: The misnamed Affordable Care Act required Congress and its staff to get its health coverage through the exchanges and to do it without a tax-preferred employer subsidy, like anyone else who will lose employer-sponsored coverage,” Johnson said in a statement. “The administration’s rule violates this law. It is unfair to the American people and it is an offense against the rule of law.”

  • jaia60

    Wasn’t that Chuck Grassley’s doing? Inserting the requirement that staffers use the ACA, forgetting about the employer contribution?

    • Michael F Kelly

      Absolutely, then the bill was passed, signed by the President and became law. Now that the law is implented the Republicans want to take it all back. If they are so worried about their integrity why don’t that refuse all other entitlements.
      I, for one, am sick and tired of all the benefits these “independent minded” members of Congress have been accepting for years. The ‘no vote’ pay increases, the retirement benefits after only a few years of service, and all the rest.
      Make up your minds members of Congress, either take it all or reject it all and truly become public servants.

  • Pamela Zuppo

    “Elected officials who “value their political credibility and their public reputations far more highly than any form of monetary compensation” have a “concrete professional and personal interest” in avoiding such entitlements, the brief states.” I almost peed my pants reading that line! They are the most corrupt people walking the Earth.

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  • Elle’s Island

    In a related video liar-in-chief Hussein Obama lies to the face of the American people about keeping their insurance and their doctor:

  • Charlene Weshley

    In this YouTube video we have delusional marxist, Hussein Obama, claiming that he will magically stop the oceans from rising:

  • 633

    Truly stupid. Federal government employees would be the ONLY large employer group in the country which BY LAW could not recieve employer support for their health plan. I am strongly opposed to the ACA, but this is essentially shooting an innocent hostage. The comparison with “other employers who have lost their coverage” is risible: none have since the employer mandate was suspended. This simply stigmatizes federal workers-including those who work for GOP reps-to garner political publicity. This kind of nonsense is why the country has such a high opinion of Congress.

  • Bundle Up

    Obama is the problem.

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