On Friday Republicans in the House of Representatives sued the Obama administration because of the way the President has implemented Obamacare.
Word is that the GOP is also considering amending the lawsuit to include the President’s decision to move forward with Executive Amnesty, but the decision to do so is not yet certain.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is, of course, against the lawsuit.
“This lawsuit is a bald-faced attempt to achieve what Republicans have been unable to achieve through the political process. The legislative branch cannot sue simply because they disagree with the way a law passed by a different Congress has been implemented.”
Actually, the lawsuit is about the way the President has carved the law apart and cherry-picked the parts of the law he’d like to implement, while holding off on other less popular aspects of the law. The law passed; it should have been implemented in its entirety, just like every other law.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued a statement announcing the lawsuit.
“Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and re-write federal law on his own without a vote of Congress. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action.”
The lawsuit filed against the Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury Secretaries addresses two actions in particular.
- Unlawfully Waiving the Employer Mandate. The House is challenging the president’s unilateral decision to twice waive the health care law’s employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it without going through Congress. The president’s actions delaying the employer mandate directly contradict the clear and plain language of the health care law.
- Illegally Transferring Funds to Insurance Companies. The House is also challenging the administration’s unlawful giveaway of approximately $175 billion to insurance companies under ObamaCare. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the administration will pay approximately $3 billion to insurance companies in FY 2014, and is scheduled to make payments of some $175 billion over the next 10 years to insurance companies under an HHS-based, ObamaCare cost-sharing program even though Congress has never appropriated funds for the program. The administration is instead unlawfully and unconstitutionally using funds from a separate Treasury Department account – authorized for other purposes – to pay insurance companies and thereby unilaterally altering the structure of the health care law.
Here’s CNN on the lawsuit.
Interestingly enough, the news of the lawsuit came right after a press conference that leader Boehner held on the President’s Executive Amnesty speech from Thursday night.
The imagery of the press conference to denounce the President’s Amnesty plan coming back-to-back with the announcement of a lawsuit on Obamacare should not go unnoticed. The President has chosen to antagonize and belittle the GOP majority in both the Senate and the House. The dueling actions of Obamacare and Executive Amnesty are the two principle issues that Republicans across the country just used to TROUNCE Democrats in the midterm elections… and now the President is continuing to shove both down the collective throats of the American people.
Expect the GOP to push hard on both fronts in the coming days, and expect them to do well in their legal battles. One reason for optimism is that the GOP just hired brilliant LIBERAL Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley to represent them against the Obama administration. Turley is a popular liberal icon who has spent countless hours on TV as the go-to liberal legal pundit. He is an Obama supporter who believes that socialized healthcare is what is best for our nation – but he also believes in the Constitution and in handling these matters legally. Here is what he wrote in announcing that he would represent the House in the lawsuit.
I support national health care and voted for President Obama in his first presidential campaign. However, as I have often stressed before Congress, in the Madisonian system it is as important how you do something as what you do. And, the Executive is barred from usurping the Legislative Branch’s Article I powers, no matter how politically attractive or expedient it is to do so. Unilateral, unchecked Executive action is precisely the danger that the Framers sought to avoid in our constitutional system. This case represents a long-overdue effort by Congress to resolve fundamental Separation of Powers issues. In that sense, it has more to do with constitutional law than health care law. Without judicial review of unconstitutional actions by the Executive, the trend toward a dominant presidential model of government will continue in this country in direct conflict with the original design and guarantees of our Constitution. Our constitutional system as a whole (as well as our political system) would benefit greatly by courts reinforcing the lines of separation between the respective branches.
It is a great honor to represent the House of Representatives. We are prepared to litigate this matter as far as necessary. The question presented by this lawsuit is whether we will live in a system of shared and equal powers, as required by our Constitution, or whether we will continue to see the rise of a dominant Executive with sweeping unilateral powers. That is a question worthy of review and resolution in our federal courts.
We are sorely in need of more men like Jonathan Turley who do not believe that “the ends justify the means” and who are willing to lose on policy when it means protecting our beloved Constitution. He is a partisan, but he is a partisan who believes in our system — and that should be heartily applauded. If both liberal and conservative legal scholars agree that the Obama administration has overstepped their bounds, then we can be cautiously optimistic in our chances. (Though the court hasn’t always come through for us in the past…)
Hopefully, we’ll soon see Obama’s Executive Amnesty added to the lawsuit, as it is surely another example of this President’s lawless behavior.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com