The House Republicans decided they were going to “sue” President Obama before they had any real idea what to actually sue him over, so after an exhaustive search they finally settled an a really weird choice. They are planning to sue Obama from not implementing the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
House Speaker John Boeher (R) said on Thursday, “Today we’re releasing a draft resolution that will authorize the House to file suit over the way President Obama unilaterally changed the employer mandate. In 2013, the president changed the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own.”
Basically, House Republicans are suing Obama for not enforcing a law they want to repeal, and specifically for not enforcing an individual provision that Boehner also voted to delay last year.
Republicans have spent years trying to depict Obama as an imperial president who is out of control with power. So when they finally put their complaint in writing the one big example Obama’s egregious abuse of power they plan to rally around is him using executive action for a temporary delay Republicans wanted done anyway. It undermines years of messaging.
I could understand this silly choice if they thought it was the most winnable suit to set a new precedent which would allow more suits to follow, but legal experts think it has almost no shot. So they appear to be carrying out a political stunt but with some of the stupidest political optics possible.
Photo by Roger Higgins vie Library of Congress