Thursday marks the next step in the House’s litigation challenging President Obama’s unilateral actions on ObamaCare. A motion to dismiss filed by the Obama administration will be heard in federal court in Washington, DC. Our lead counsel in the case is Jonathan Turley, Professor of Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School.
As a refresher, the House’s challenge addresses two specific unilateral ObamaCare changes:
- The president’s unilateral decision to waive the employer mandate, and the penalties for failing to comply with the mandate. This directly contradicts the letter of the law.
- The administration’s unlawful giveaway of roughly $175 billion to insurance companies. This is money that was never appropriated, so the administration is using taxpayer funds from a separate account, subverting Congress’s “power of the purse” under Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution.
The administration is now attempting to have the House’s litigation dismissed on the grounds it does not have standing to challenge executive overreach. Here’s an excerpt from the House’s brief opposing the motion:
“Defendants have acted without Congress – by expending billions of dollars in public funds absent any appropriation to make those payments, and by effectively rewriting statutory provisions not to their liking – notwithstanding Article I of the Constitution. Those actions strike at the very heart of the House’s express Article I legislative and ‘guardian of the purse’ powers. … Defendants’ extreme position, if accepted, would… enlarge the power of the Executive to dangerous levels... Such a concentration of unchecked power in one branch is precisely what the Framers sought to avoid… and for this reason… the House urges the Court to deny defendants’ motion.”
Time and again – including today in fact – courts have ruled against the administration’s executive overreach. This is about defending the Constitution, as Speaker Boehner said before the House voted to authorize this litigation:
“This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats. It is about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold, and acting decisively when it may be compromised. No member of this body needs to be reminded of what the Constitution states about the president’s obligation to faithfully execute the laws of our nation. No member needs to be reminded of the bonds of trust that have been frayed, of the damage that’s already been done to our economy and to our people. Are you willing to let any president choose what laws to execute and what laws to change? Are you willing to let anyone tear apart what our Founders have built?”
Watch the full floor speech, and stay tuned for more updates on this week’s hearing.