House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has proposed three resolutions that could trigger civil actions against the Obama administration for its decision to ignore laws passed by Congress on issues related to immigration, Obamacare and welfare.
According to a House GOP aide, Issa’s resolutions are separate from House Speaker John Boehner’s effort to sue the administration for failing to enforce the law.
Nonetheless, Issa’s resolutions touch on three major policy areas that have drawn frequent Republican complaints, and may also be targeted by Boehner’s effort.
Issa said Tuesday morning that the resolutions are aimed at setting up legal action under the ENFORCE Act, a bill that lets the House seek expedited legal remedies for non-enforcement of the law. The ENFORCE Act, however, has only been passed by the House, and not the Senate.
Still, Issa said the resolutions would help ensure Obama cannot cherry pick laws he wants to enforce and ignore those he doesn’t.
“This may be fine for Russian strongmen like Vladimir Putin, but it is not how our American republic operates,” Issa said. “The Constitution charges the president with the faithful execution of all our laws and charges the courts and Congress with the responsibility to make sure he doesn’t abuse his office.”
One of Issa’s resolutions targets the Department of Homeland Security’s decision in 2012 to delay the deportation of younger illegal immigrants who were brought to the country by their parents. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been blasted by the GOP as an unauthorized derogation from the law that has since attracted even more illegal immigrants to the United States, including more than 52,000 children this year alone.
For many Republicans, immigration is shaping up as a major issue in the upcoming mid-term election — one they hope will solidify the GOP majority in the House and lead to a new GOP majority in the Senate.
Another Issa resolution targets the 2013 decision by the IRS to waive a requirement that companies report on the health insurance plans they’re offering employees under Obamacare. That move effectively delayed the employer mandate under the controversial health law.
Republicans have argued that officials had no authority to waive the employer mandate, and at the same time criticized the administration for operating unilaterally, without giving Congress any opportunity to provide input about how the delay the health law. The GOP in particular was pushing for a delay to the individual mandate to buy health insurance.
Issa’s third resolution targets the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2012 to waive work requirements that were a condition of receiving federal welfare benefits. Republicans have said this move weakened the bipartisan welfare reform policies enacted during the Clinton administration, and have also said the 1996 law doesn’t allow the administration to remove the work requirement.
After citing each policy, the resolutions end by saying “the House of Representatives shall bring a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for declaratory or injunctive relief” to challenge the specific policy.