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The House sued Obama over Obamacare. Should it sue him over immigration?


Three Republicans on Monday proposed new legislative language that would let the House file a lawsuit against the Obama administration for its decision to adjust U.S. immigration practices without consulting Congress.

The Uphold the Oath Americans Trust and Honor resolution, from Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), is similar to language the House passed in July dealing with Obamacare. Passage of that resolution led to last month's filing of a lawsuit against the administration's implementation of the health care law.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.31.03 AM House Republicans are seeking a lawsuit against President Barack Obama and his administration for going around Congress to ease immigration rules.
Image: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Passage of the Obamacare resolution means it's possible the House could decide to approve a similar resolution dealing with immigration. But even if GOP leaders support it, it may have to wait until next year.

GOP leaders were struggling this week with how to pass a spending bill for 2015 in order to avoid a government shutdown that would happen Friday morning. Many Republicans are pushing to include language that defunds Obama's executive actions on immigration, a move Republican leaders want to avoid for fears it will only lead to Senate opposition, and a shutdown.

Rice said Monday that the House should consider another legal action to deal with immigration, as the Constitution clearly gives Congress the responsibility to write immigration laws, and Obama went around Congress completely by allowing up to five million illegal immigrants the ability to stay in the U.S. and work.

"Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution grants Congress the responsibility to craft our country's immigration laws," Rice said. "Furthermore, Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states that the president shall take care that our nation's laws are faithfully executed."

"President Obama has acknowledged these roles and took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution," Rice said. "Instead of upholding this oath, the President has repeatedly chosen to ignore it."

The resolution said Obama and his officials "have frequently overstepped the limits placed on executive branch power by the Constitution." It also said that based on Obama's actions, Congress "cannot assume that the president will execute the new laws any more faithfully than the laws he has already ignored."

According to the resolution, that means Congress has "no legislative remedy to prevent the establishment of what is in effect an imperial presidency."

Similar to the Obamacare resolution, Rice's language said the House would be authorized to bring a civil action against two Obama administration actions. One is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy of 2012, and the other is last month's announcement that would expand DACA and could give work permits to millions of illegal immigrants.

Read the resolution from Reps. Rice, Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Randy Weber (R-Texas) here:

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