When House Speaker John Boehner announced last month that House Republicans would attempt to sue President Obama for failing to “faithfully execute the laws of our country,” he was vague about which executive actions they found objectionable. On Thursday, a draft resolution authorizing the suit revealed that it will focus on Obama delaying the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate twice since last summer. “The president changed the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it,” Boehner said. “That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own.”
The White House has repeatedly defended the legality of the delay, and last year former Press Secretary Jay Carney said anyone who claims otherwise is “willfully ignorant.”
The Hill notes that there’s some irony in Republicans complaining about delaying a provision they voted to repeal, but focusing on the employer mandate allows the GOP to make the point that they oppose Obama acting with “king-like authority,” even when it serves their interests. (And it’s far less politically damaging than challenging Obama’s 2012 executive action to stop the deportation of young undocumented immigrants.) “We still oppose it, but there was a deadline written into the law, and he’s not allowed to change the law unilaterally,” tweeted Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesperson.