July 28, 2014
President Obama has overstepped his constitutional authority — and it is the responsibility of the House of Representatives to defend the Constitution. At the same time, we remain focused on the American people's top priority: jobs and the economy.
I believe the president's actions in a number of areas — including job-destroying energy regulations, releasing the "Taliban 5" from Guantanamo without notice and waiving the work requirements in welfare — exceed his constitutional authority.
On the advice of legal experts, the House action will focus on his decision to extend — twice — the deadline to institute the employer mandate in his health care law. We believe this targeted lawsuit offers the best chance of success.
Given the groundbreaking nature of this legal action, we want to assert our clearest constitutional position. The fact we agree with a change that should have been made in law makes this case clearer to the court.
I oppose the employer mandate in the president's health care law. The House of Representatives has voted to delay or eliminate it (and we will do so again if we prevail in court). But it is the letter of the law that was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. He simply cannot unilaterally rewrite it.
We will debate and pass the resolution authorizing the lawsuit openly, transparently and in regular order. At the same time, we will also continue to add to the list of more than 50 House-passed jobs bills currently awaiting action in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Congress makes the laws; the president executes them. That is the system the Founders gave us. This is not about executive orders. Every president issues executive orders. Most of them, though, do so within the law.
This is also not about me vs. President Obama. This is about future Congresses and future presidents. There is a conflict between the executive branch and the legislative branch of our government. It is the judiciary branch's role to help resolve it.
I believe this path is the right one to defend our institution and preserve the Constitution, while continuing to focus on the American people's top priority — helping our private sector create more American jobs.