Conyers: “Speaker Boehner’s Lawsuit Against President Obama is Unfounded & Unnecessary”
Washington, DC, July 16, 2014
Today, the U.S. House Rules Committee held a hearing on Speaker John Boehner’s resolution, “providing for authority to initiate litigation for actions by the president inconsistent with his duties under the Constitution of the United States.” Specifically, House Republicans contend that President Obama overstepped his constitutional authority in delaying the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act through executive action. After the hearing concluded, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Members John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) delivered the following statement:
“Over the last several years, I have been disheartened by the priorities of my conservative colleagues - in the face of widespread unemployment and the lingering damage of the Great Recession - but Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama marks a new low point in Congress. Simply put, Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit is little more than a taxpayer-funded, partisan ploy that most legal experts – and some conservative commentators – contend courts do not have the power to decide. Regrettably, this lawsuit is driven by two core motivations: to build on House Republicans’ efforts to further undermine the Affordable Care Act, and channel ultra-conservative members’ energy into a frivolous lawsuit to avoid politically damaging talk of impeachment.
This lawsuit is particularly ironic, given Republicans propensity to rail against frivolous litigation. As the legal experts made abundantly clear today before the House Rules Committee, Congress has not suffered any injury that would allow them to have standing in a court of law. Further, this lawsuit would erode our system of checks and balances, while preventing President Obama from implementing a duly enacted legislative initiative - simply because of conservative opposition. Allowing flexibility in the implementation of a new program is neither unusual nor a constitutional violation; it is the reality of administering complex government programs and is part and parcel of the president’s duty to ‘take care’ that he ‘faithfully’ execute the laws.
At a certain point we must say that enough is enough; it is long past time to discard the toxic rhetoric, end the partisan demagoguery, and recognize that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. The American people deserve more than a political circus from their elected officials.”