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National News

July 11, 2014

House GOP moves ahead on suing Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republicans took the initial step on Thursday to sue President Barack Obama over the administration’s decision to delay the employer mandate of the health care law.

The office of Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, released a draft of the resolution that would authorize the House to file suit amid GOP criticism that the president has declined to faithfully execute the laws of the country.

“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,” Boehner said in a 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.”

The so-called employer mandate was written into the law as a guardrail to discourage employers from shifting workers into taxpayer-subsidized coverage. Under those rules, companies with 50 to 99 workers must provide coverage or pay a $2,000-per-worker fine.

The administration gave businesses an extra year to comply with the health care law’s requirement to offer coverage.

The House Rules Committee has scheduled a hearing on the resolution next week, with a House vote later this month.

Obama has called the GOP effort a “stunt” and criticized lawmakers for inaction on legislation such as a stalled bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.

“I mean, think about that,” Obama said Thursday in Austin, Texas, as he criticized Republicans anew. Addressing them, he said: “You’re going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job, while you don’t do your job.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest reiterated that position and linked it to economic initiatives, saying in a statement that “Republican leaders in Congress are playing Washington politics rather than working with the president on behalf of hardworking Americans.”

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