CONTACT: Kathryn Rexrode or Jessica Collins, (202) 225-3951
Washington, D.C. – By a vote of 225-201, the House of Representatives today approved H.Res. 676, a resolution authorizing the House to enter into litigation against President Obama’s failure to faithfully execute the laws. Specifically, the lawsuit will challenge the two instances in which President Obama unilaterally extended the deadline to implement the employer mandate in his signature healthcare law. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) praised the passage of the resolution in the statement below.
Chairman Goodlatte: “The Constitution is very clear: it is Congress’ job to write our laws and it is the President’s duty to enforce them. However, President Obama treats our laws as mere guidelines, picking and choosing among them which to enforce, which to ignore, and which to effectively rewrite. As President Obama’s signature healthcare law has proved to be unworkable and unpopular, he unilaterally delayed the implementation of the employer mandate until at least after the next federal elections. While I oppose Obamacare and support its repeal, President Obama does not have the authority to strike and rewrite the law’s mandates on his own.
“President Obama’s pattern of waiving, amending, and suspending our laws violates the Constitution and is devastating to political accountability in our Republic. If the President is allowed to change laws by himself, he and future presidents can be expected to change more and more laws that impact the rights and obligations of all Americans. As Americans’ elected representatives in Congress, we have taken a solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Today, the House has kept this promise to the American people by authorizing litigation to restore political accountability and enforce the rule of law. The stakes of inaction are high and we must do all we can to preserve the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.”
Background on Executive Overreach: Earlier this year, the House approved in a bipartisan vote of 233-181 the Enforce the Law Act (H.R. 4138), a carefully crafted bill to rein in the growing problem of executive overreach and restore balance to the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution. The Enforce the Law Act, introduced by Representatives Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Representative Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.), puts a procedure in place to permit the House, or the Senate, to authorize a lawsuit against the Executive Branch for failure to faithfully execute the laws. Since the Senate has failed to consider this legislation, the House passed a resolution today to challenge President Obama’s executive overreach in court. A full summary of the Enforce the Law Act can be found here and more on executive overreach can be found here.