Following a near party-line vote, the House of Representatives has opted to sue President Barack Obama on the premise that the president has delayed the appropriate implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
While the lawsuit is expected to fail in court, the move is politically charged as House Republicansled by Speaker John Boehnerseek to make a statement about what they consider to be an incompetent President. The development is at the core of the hyper-partisan tone in Washington, which has been highlighted by a historically ineffectual Congress.
The vote was carried out Wednesday evening just before lawmakers prepared to head home for a five-week summer recess.
As Michael A. Memoli of “The Los Angeles Times” explains, The House approved the resolution in a near party-line vote, 225 to 201. It authorizes House Speaker John A. Boehner to file suit in federal court on behalf of the full body to seek appropriate relief for Obamas failure to enforce a provision of the Affordable Care Act that would penalize businesses that do not offer basic health insurance to their employees.
The aforementioned provision of the highly controversial healthcare act wont be put into place until 2016, as the Obama administration has deferred its implementation twice.
Following the heated vote this week House Democrats were quick to point out the contradictory nature of the lawsuits premise: Republicans have expended most of their failed efforts over the last four years trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare), while its failed implementation is now at the core of their legal standoff.
March 21 marked the four-year anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, and as of that day House Republicans had voted to repeal the law an unfathomable 54 times. The inconsistency behind the Republican Partys approach was at the core of debate in the House as representatives took to the floor to deliberate on the merits of a lawsuit.
The partisan battleand the talking pointsover the lawsuit was on full display during the debate on the House floor before the vote,” Newsweek’s Pema Levy reported. “Democrats variously called the lawsuit a political stunt, a gimmick, and a sorry spectacle of legislative malpractice intended to appease the conservative base of the Republican Party before the midterm elections in November.
Meanwhile Levy explained the GOP sees it as an issue of Obama overstepping is executive power: Republicans argued that the lawsuit was necessary action to force the president to do his job. ‘Its about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold,’ said Speaker Boehner. Are you willing to let any president decide what laws to execute and what laws to change?
However, the underlying the resolution is a basic probing of the United States system of checks and balances.
So far, the Republican-led move has actually played to the benefit of the Democratic Party as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised $1 million based on the prospect of the lawsuit. Meanwhile, as a CNN Poll documented last week, 57% of Americans remained opposed to the idea of a lawsuit.
SEE ALSO: Is the Affordable Care Act working?