Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Boehner Lawsuit is about . . . Obamacare! Surprise!

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On Monday, July 7, 2014, House Speaker John Boehner made his case against President Obama in an Op-Ed for CNN:
. . . later this month, we will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.
The President's response: "So sue me."
What's disappointing is the President's flippant dismissal of the Constitution we are both sworn to defend. It is utterly beneath the dignity of the office. I know the President is frustrated. I'm frustrated. The American people are frustrated, too.
. . . Over the last five years, starting -- not coincidentally -- when his political party lost the majority in the House of Representatives, the President has consistently overstepped his authority under the Constitution, and in so doing eroded the power of the legislative branch.
The legislative branch has an obligation to defend the rights and responsibilities of the American people, and America's constitutional balance of powers -- before it is too late.

But it wasn't until Thursday that he actually explained the basis of the lawsuit: John Boehner and the Republicans in Congress are suing President Obama over the "employer mandate" part of ACA/Obamacare which was postponed for small business owners - because they asked for it! Now the GOP is saying that Obama shouldn't have delayed it, and he overstepped the bounds of his office. But let's not forget - the GOP hates both ACA and the mandate, so this is all a farce of epic proportions. Let's just hope a Judge sees it that way and isn't in cahoots, as the Supreme Court apparently is.

From the New York Times
On Thursday, Mr. Boehner said the lawsuit would specifically challenge the president’s decision to delay imposing penalties on employers who do not offer health insurance to employees in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.

“The current president believes he has the power to make his own laws — at times even boasting about it,” Mr. Boehner said in his statement. “He has said that if Congress won’t make the laws he wants, he’ll go ahead and make them himself, and in the case of the employer mandate in his health care law, that’s exactly what he did.”

“If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well,” the speaker added. “The House has an obligation to stand up for the legislative branch, and the Constitution, and that is exactly what we will do.”

When questioned about the lawsuit, Boehner blew up about Obama's lack of "responsibility." This is from a man famous for holding up votes in the House - such as Immigration - just because the Tea Party doesn't like Obama. But he's let them vote to repeal ACA/Obamacare FIFTY times! And this lawsuit is just more nonsense.

You're drunk, Boehner. Go home.

He's been President for five-and-a-half years! When is he going to take responsibility for something?

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The President had quite a bit to say about the lawsuit in Texas this week, and he couched it in terms of Congress doing nothing while he is at least trying to get things done.

Transcript via
There are a number of Republicans, including a number in the Texas delegation, who are mad at me for taking these actions. They actually plan to sue me. (Laughter.) Now, I don’t know which things they find most offensive -- me helping to create jobs, or me raising wages, or me easing the student loan burdens, or me making sure women can find out whether they’re getting paid the same as men for doing the same job. I don’t know which of these actions really bug them. (Laughter.)

The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years. So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did. (Applause.) Maybe it’s just me they don’t like. I don’t know. Maybe there’s some principle out there that I haven’t discerned, that I haven’t figure out. (Laughter.) You hear some of them -- “sue him,” “impeach him.” Really? (Laughter.) Really? For what? (Applause.) You’re going to sue me for doing my job? Okay. (Applause.)

I mean, think about that. You’re going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job -- (laughter) -- while you don’t do your job. (Applause.)

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There’s a great movie called “The Departed” -- a little violent for kids. But there’s a scene in the movie where Mark Wahlberg -- they’re on a stakeout and somehow the guy loses the guy that they’re tracking. And Wahlberg is all upset and yelling at the guy. And the guy looks up and he says, “Well, who are you?” And Wahlberg says, “I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.” (Laughter and applause.) Sometimes, I feel like saying to these guys, I’m the guy doing my job, you must be the other guy. (Applause.)

So rather than wage another political stunt that wastes time, wastes taxpayers’ money, I’ve got a better idea: Do something. (Applause.) If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, let’s team up. Let’s pass some bills. Let’s help America together. (Applause.)

It is lonely, me just doing stuff. I’d love if the Republicans did stuff, too. (Laughter.) On immigration issues, we’ve got -- and to their credit, there are some Republicans in the Senate who actually worked with Democrats, passed a bill, would strengthen the borders, would help make the system more fair and more just. But the House Republicans, they haven’t even called the bill. They won’t even take a vote on the bill. They don’t have enough energy or organization or I don’t know what to just even vote no on the bill. (Laughter.) And then they’re mad at me for trying to do some things to make the immigration system work better. So it doesn’t make sense.

In the Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart quotes Lawrence Tribe, a professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard:
Tribe told me yesterday that he is “now convinced that there’s no ‘THERE there.” And that was BEFORE the speaker released language of a bill seeking authorization to sue the president “over the way President Obama unilaterally changed the employer mandate” in the Affordable Care Act. Boehner’s announced action solidified Tribe’s view.

"The very fact that Boehner is willing to say the House of Representatives is injured by the President’s decision to delay the implementation of the employer mandate is bizarre in itself, given how often the House has voted not just to delay it but to scuttle it,” Tribe told me via e-mail last night. “And it’s hard to imagine what conceivable remedy a federal court could possibly issue: an order directing the President to reverse course and implement the employer mandate sooner? Hardly!”

. . . the House of Representatives doesn’t have standing because none of Boehner’s accusations shows any harm to the House as an institution.


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