WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans filed a federal lawsuit Friday accusing the Obama administration of exceeding its constitutional powers in carrying out President Barack Obama’s prized health care law, giving legal voice to conservatives who have long protested that he has abused his office’s authority.

Democrats said Obama had acted legally and mocked the case as an unwinnable, politically motivated attack. Legal experts expressed doubts that the GOP would prevail or that the case could be concluded during Obama’s presidency.

The suit echoed Republican complaints over Obama’s Thursday night announcement of executive actions preventing the deportation of 5 million people who immigrated to the U.S. illegally. GOP lawmakers said those unilateral steps were unconstitutional and have promised unspecified congressional action.

Friday’s lawsuit did not address immigration, though a Republican official said party leaders might add that later. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal Republican deliberations.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Obama “has chosen to ignore the will of the American people” and cast the battle as one with important implications.

“If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well,” said a Boehner written statement. “The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution.”

In the past, Republicans have accused Obama of overreaching by trading five Taliban prisoners for captured Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and blocking earlier deportations of immigrant children illegally in the country.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the public wants Washington to focus on improving the economy but “Republicans choose to sue us, sue the president for doing his job.”

In a written statement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the lawsuit “a bald-faced attempt to achieve what Republicans have been unable to achieve through the political process.” She said Republicans were responding to “the howls of impeachment-hungry extremists.”

Pelosi also complained that Republicans found “a TV lawyer” who’ll cost taxpayers too much — $500 hourly, according to the contract. The lead attorney, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, has done legal commentary on television networks.

Friday’s suit, filed against the departments of Health and Human Services and the Treasury, was assigned to U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer, a 2003 appointee of President George W. Bush.

It accuses Obama of unlawfully delaying the 2010 health care law’s requirement that many employers provide health care coverage for workers.

The suit also accuses Obama of illegally preparing to pay insurance companies an estimated $175 billion over the next decade — plus $3 billion paid this past year —even though Congress hasn’t provided money for that purpose.

University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias said it would be difficult for the House to prove its case or even get the courts to hear it because of their traditional reluctance to intervene in political disputes between Congress and the president.

Timothy Lewis, a former federal appeals court judge nominated by President George H.W. Bush, said caseloads and potential appeals make it doubtful the case would be finished during Obama’s final 26 months in office.

The House authorized the lawsuit in a near party-line vote in July.

(3) comments

SirStephenH

More wasteful spending by the GOP.

BHNDR

Of coure the GOP will sue and waste taxpayer money, the GOP is only doing as their corporate bosses have ordered. The GOP has always wanted to return the average person to the enslavement of the insurance fraud that is healthcare. Pay through the nose for little or no returns, black balling those citizens that get ill, and ratcheting up costs and all so that the illegal strongarming can continue to siphon off the hard earned money of average Americans.
Republicans have never been in favor of helping the citizen and concerns itself only with the desires of mafia-like corporate CEO's. They do this in return for millions of campaign contributions and the losers are the American citizens. Wake up to reality and understand that the GOP are reduced to the role of hired thugs that go around America terrifying those they can dupe into submission. The best defense against them is an educated electorate that refuses to blindly and meekly accept propaganda in place of facts and objective realities. $500 an hour to fight for enslavement? There are a lot better things to do with that money, maybe feed some hungry people or maybe get people into affordable housing.
Waste of time and patriots will let them know in no uncertain terms that this action is intolerable.

Gdhill47

As a registered Republican I am extremely embarrased over the actions of the Republican party and specifically John Boehner. Whether or not you agree with President Obama, he has had his hands tied by an extremely partisan Republican controlled congress. I beleive that the Republicans in congress would better spend their time working with the President than filing a ridiculous lawsuit because the President choses to show congress he can indeed get things done. While the budget sat in a deadlocked congress until the last hour to avoid default, the Speaker of the House was talking about showing the white house who was in charge. I beleive that he was elected to represent the will of the people, NOT his own blind political aspirations. Please wake up Mr. Boehner and your fellow Republicans and represent the people, not your party. To me THAT is a far more serious breach of the Constitution than that of Mr. Obama trying to make things better for his country.

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