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House moves closer to lawsuit against President Obama

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) questions constitutional lawyers at a House Rules Committee hearing July 16, 2014 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on Speaker of the House John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama's use of executive power and providing for the authority to initiate litigation for actions by the President inconsistent with his duties under the Constitution of the United States Win McNamee/Getty Images

The House on Thursday moved one step closer to passing a resolution allowing the House to sue President Barack Obama for failing to properly implement Obamacare.

The House Rules Committee approved a final draft of the resolution in a partisan 7-4 vote.  That will allow the House to consider the resolution and pass it as early as next week.

The House Rules Committee, run by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), approved a resolution allowing the House to sue President Barack Obama for failing to properly implement Obamacare. The committee action means a vote by the full House could come next week. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The resolution authorizes Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) to either start or intervene in a civil action against Obama in a federal court for the failure of the administration to implement the health care law. It allows those actions to seek "appropriate relief" for that failure.

Before approving the final version of the resolution, the Rules Committee approved an amendment from Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) that would require the House to report on associated costs of these civil actions each quarter.

But the GOP-run committee rejected 11 other amendments from Democrats, all in party-line votes. Those amendments sought to require more frequent reporting on the costs of lawsuits brought by the House, ban the hiring of law firms that lobby Congress, put other limits on the suits that might be brought.

Republicans have noted that Obama has made numerous changes to the law unilaterally, without going through Congress in a process that might have allowed the GOP to seek its own changes to the controversial health care law. While many GOP members say Obama has acted lawlessly in other areas, such as immigration, GOP leaders decided to write a resolution that only allows legal action against Obama's implementation of Obamacare.

Still, the GOP says the resolution is a good first step toward reining in Obama's decisions to operate without input from Congress.

"Unfortunately, the president has ignored the requirements of the Constitution," Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said. "Instead, he has selectively enforced the law in some instances, ignored it in others, and at times changed statutes forever.

"In these ways, the president has repeatedly encroached on Congress's power to write the law."

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