WASHINGTON — House Republicans sued the Obama administration on Friday over its implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care law, saying he had overstepped his legal authority in carrying out the program.
GOP lawmakers filed the lawsuit in federal district court in Washington the morning after Obama announced unilateral executive actions to expand protections for millions of immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally. While Republicans complained that Obama had unconstitutionally exceeded his powers with those actions, the suit filed Friday did not address immigration.
“If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well,” Boehner said in a written statement announcing the lawsuit. “The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action.”
The House authorized the lawsuit in a near party-line vote in July as congressional re-election campaigns were heating up. Democrats said Obama had acted legally and said the GOP measure was a political stunt aimed at motivating conservatives to vote and distracting them from calls by some to go even further and impeach the president.
The lawsuit was filed Friday against the departments of Health and Human Services and the Treasury.
It accuses Obama of unlawfully delaying the health care law’s requirement that many employers provide health care coverage for their workers.
It also accuses him of illegally making $175 billion in payments to insurance companies from a federal account that is not authorized for that purpose.
Congressional Republicans have all opposed the health care overhaul. The GOP-led House has voted over 50 times to repeal it or pare it back.