House Republicans propose legislation to sue Obama over Obamacare

July 11, 2014
John Boehner is making a "Boehn"-headed move.
John Boehner is proving he’s pretty”Boehn”-headed.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. By the 54th time, sue.

House Republicans advanced a draft of legislation today that would grant Congress the authority to file a civil lawsuit against President Barack Obama for constitutional overreach. If the legislation passes, it would authorize the House to file civil action and seek injunctive relief against the president and other departmental heads for failing to act “in a manner consistent with that official’s duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States with respect to implementation of (including a failure to implement) any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including any amendment made by such provision.”

Just so we’re clear, Republicans want to sue the president for failing to implement the ACA (also known as Obamacare), the landmark achievement of the Obama administration that these same Republicans have attempted to undo or override in 54 successive failed votes.

The lawsuit is focused on President Obama’s decision to delay employer mandates — the fines for employers who fail to comply with the ACA and provide federally compliant healthcare coverage for employees — until 2015. That same delay was passed by Congressional vote with bipartisan support just days after Obama announced his decision.

For a party that has made tort reform a central pillar of its platform, this proposed lawsuit is head-scratchingly bizarre. John Boehner has, according to Politico, made a career out of railing against excessive and frivalous lawsuits; yet here he is, trying to sue the president for doing the job of the presidency. Even the mere advancement of this ridiculous legislation in the House has cost the American taxpayer: a back-of-the-envelope estimate suggests that the mere business of Congress costs about $2 million/day in-session.

The Affordable Care Act enjoys support among 47% of Americans, and those numbers continue to grow. To date, over 9 million Americans have received health insurance coverage through the bill; meanwhile, popularity of House Republicans is down to less than one-third of those polled due largely to their efforts to bring business in Washington to a veritable standstill through filibustering and other tactics.

In response to the proposed lawsuit, President Obama had this to say:

“You’re going to sue me for doing my job? OK. I mean, think about that, you’re going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job, while you don’t do your job,” Obama said in remarks to political donors on Thursday in Austin, Texas.

White House officials are optimistic that if the legislation passes, any civil lawsuit would fail in court. House GOP appear to be hoping that this latest “Boehn-headed” move will improve their popularity in November mid-term elections with base Republican voters.

Comment Policy

Before posting, please review the following guidelines:

  • No ad hominem attacks: A person's identity, personal history, or background is not up for debate. Talk about ideas, not people.
  • Be courteous: Respect everyone else in this space.
  • Present evidence: This space endeavours to encourage academic and rational debate around identity politics. Do your best to build an argument backed not just with your own ideas, but also with science.
  • Don't be pedantic: Listen to those debating you not just for places to attack, but also where you might learn and even change your own opinion. Repeatedly arguing the same point irrespective of presented counterfacts will now be considered a violation of this site's comment policy.
  • Respect the humanity of all groups: To elevate the quality of debate, this site will no longer tolerate (racial, cultural, gender, etc.) supremacist or inferiority lines of argumentation. There are other places on the internet where nationalist arguments can be expressed; this blog is not those places.
  • Don't be an asshole: If you think your behaviour would get you punched in the face outside of the internets, don't say it on the internets.
  • Don't abuse Disqus features: Don't upvote your own comments. Don't flag other people's comments without reasonable cause. Basically, don't try to game the system. You are not being slick.

Is your comment not approved, unpublished, or deleted? Here are some common reasons why:

  • Did you sign in? You are required to register an account with Disqus or one of your social media accounts in order to comment.
  • Did your comment get caught in the spam filter? Disqus is set to automatically detect and filter out spam comments. Sometimes, its algorithm gets over-zealous, particularly if you post multiple comments in rapid succession, if your comment contains keywords often associated with spam, and/or if your comment contains multiple links. If your comment has been erroneously caught in the spam filter, contact me and I will retrieve it.
  • Did a comment get flagged? Comments will be default be published but flagged comments will be temporarily removed from view until they are reviewed by me.
  • Did you not play nice? You may have gotten banned and a bunch of your comments may have been therefore deleted. Sorry.

I monitor all comment threads, and try to address comments requiring moderation within 24-48 hours. Comments that violate this comment policy may receive a warning and removal of offensive content; overt or repeat violations are subject to deletion and/or banning of comment authors without warning.

I reserve final decision over how this comment policy will be enforced.

Summary:

Play nice and don't be a jerk, and you'll do just fine.