House Republicans are taking President Obama to court.
In a 225-201 vote along party lines, the House authorized a lawsuit against the president over the GOP's contention that Obama made changes to the Affordable Care Act without congressional authorization. Five Republicans and all 196 Democrats in attendance opposed the resolution
The move is laced with irony, as House Republicans essentially intend to sue Obama for delaying provisions of a law they have opposed at every turn. At the top of their complaints is the president's decision to unilaterally delay enforcement of the requirement of businesses to provide health insurance to their employees, a mandate Republicans argue will kill jobs throughout the country.
Democrats have publicly blasted the move by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) as a waste of time and taxpayer money, but privately they are welcoming it as an opportunity to raise money and turn out their otherwise disenchanted base in the November elections. White House officials and top Democrats have murmured that the lawsuit is a prelude to impeachment — an accusation Boehner has angrily denied.
The House resolution does not specify what the lawsuit will allege, but an accompanying report by the House Rules Committee cites a litany of grievances, from the president's implementation of Obamacare to his executive actions on immigration, education and national security. The resolution authorizes the House to "initiate litigation for actions by the president or other executive branch officials inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution of the United States."
The ensuing court case could take years to resolve, and it is unclear whether the House even has legal standing to sue the president under these conditions.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.