Health care law will be the main focus of Speaker John A. Boehner’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama, according to a statement by the speaker’s office issued on Thursday.
Boehner announced in June that he would ask the House Rules Committee to allow legal action against the president’s use of executive actions. However, the Republican-backed law will not focus on the hot political topics like climate change and immigration, but only on the Affordable Care Act, particularly the president’s decision to delay 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,” Mr. Boehner said in the statement. “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.”
During this terms, President Obama has issued 182 executive orders. On the immigration front, he allowed the issuing of work permits for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, those who work with children or relatives of U.S. service members. Obama also touched on climate change, instigating an order forcing power plans to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Then there's the 23 separate executive orders on the issue of gun control and several for gay marriage rights and minimum wage.
However, in the grand scheme of things, Obama has issued less EOs on average per year than his 10 predecessors, according to the Washington Post.
“This lawsuit is just another distraction from House Republicans desperate to distract the American people from their own spectacular obstruction and dysfunction,” Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on Thursday.
Boehner is not convinced though. “The current president believes he has the power to make his own laws -- at times even boasting about it,” he said.
The House Rules Committee will begin hearing arguments next week.