WASHINGTON (AP) — Constitutional lawyers backing a planned House Republican lawsuit against President Barack Obama told a congressional committee Wednesday that the action is justified because Obama has exceeded his powers in carrying out his health care law.
Attorneys allied with Democrats in opposing the election-year suit said it’s the GOP that’s going too far by trying to resolve a political dispute by handing the question to the federal courts to decide.
The lawyers appeared Wednesday before the House Rules Committee, which is considering Republican-written legislation authorizing the House to file the lawsuit. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he wants to take legal action because Obama has abused his authority to carry out laws Congress approves, specifically by delaying a health care law requirement that many employers provide health coverage for their workers.
In recent months, Republicans have attacked Obama for taking actions like having the Environmental Protection Agency curb emissions from coal-fired power plants, raising the minimum wage for federal contractors and blocking the deportation of children illegally brought into the U.S. by their parents. GOP lawmakers say their lawsuit is simply an attempt to defend Congress’ powers against a president who they say has made a habit of acting unilaterally to carry out his personal policy preferences.