House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) late Thursday released a draft resolution authorizing the House to bring civil legal action against the Obama administration for its failure to enforce Obamacare as the law was written.
Boehner has said for the last few weeks that the House would take this step to fight back against what Republicans say is the administration’s habit of selectively enforcing laws passed by Congress.
Boehner has defended the move as one that’s needed to reassert Congress’s authority as a branch of the government that cannot simply be overridden by the White House.
“The Constitution states that the president must faithfully execute the laws, and spells out that only the legislative branch has the power to legislate,” he said.
“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.”
“The House has an obligation to stand up for the Legislative Branch, and the Constitution, and that is exactly what we will do.”
But Boehner’s resolution may disappoint some conservatives, as it only focuses on the healthcare law. Immigration has become a major issue in light of the flood of illegal immigrants from Central America, and many Republicans were hoping Boehner would target Obama’s 2012 decision to defer deportations for younger illegal immigrants, a move the GOP says Obama had no basis in the law.
Still, Republicans are expected to rally around the resolution when the House considers it later this month, while Democrats are likely to continue to criticize it as a political move that wastes time and money.
Members will debate the resolution next Wednesday at the House Rules Committee, after which the House is likely to approve it late next week.
The simple, two-page draft resolution says the Speaker may intervene in one or more civil actions in a federal court on behalf of the House, on the issue of the administration’s implementation of Obamacare. A core complaint from the GOP is that the administration effectively waived the employer healthcare mandate for two years, without any input from Congress — House Republicans also would have pushed for a delay of the individual mandate if it had a chance.
Read the draft resolution here: