WASHINGTON — House Republicans are going forward with plans to sue President Barack Obama and will base their legal case on the sweeping health care law he championed and they despise.
Speaker John Boehner said the suit will follow the argument Obama violated the Constitution by circumventing Congress and changing the law’s employer mandate on his own.
“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,” Boehner said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
The Republican-led House is expected to vote on a resolution authorizing legal action against the President at month’s end.
The White House expressed disappointment in a statement, saying Boehner and Republicans are wasting time, taxpayer resources on a “political stunt.”
“As the President said today, he is doing his job — lawsuit or not — and it’s time Republicans in Congress did theirs,” the statement said.
Obama defiantly dared Republicans last week, saying he would continue to take steps he felt were necessary with or without the support of congressional Republicans with whom he has clashed with repeatedly and bitterly.
“So sue me,” he dared them.
Boehner said previously he planned to sue Obama over his use of executive action. Republicans claim he has abused his authority at the expense of the legislative process.
So far, the House has passed two bills aimed at curbing executive orders. Neither has gone anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The health care law, better known as Obamacare, has been a political flashpoint between Republicans and the President since it’s passage in 2010 with no GOP support.
The House has approved dozens of bills aiming to weaken or repeal the statute that seeks to provide insurance coverage to millions of Americans without it.
The Obama administration a year ago postponed a requirement that businesses with more than 50 workers provide their employees with health insurance. The employer mandate now won’t take effect until 2015.
Bills had been introduced in the House to delay the requirement, which would have required debate and possibly opening the law to other changes just as the administration was gearing up to put the measure into practice. That occurred in October.
Another centerpiece of the health initiative required individual Americans to obtain health insurance from Obamacare or on the private market, or face a possible fine.
So far 9 million people have signed up for plans under the health law, the administration has said.
It’s the signature domestic policy achievement of Obama’s presidency so far and a rallying cry for Republicans, especially on the midterm campaign trail.