Law360, Washington (July 24, 2014, 3:01 PM ET) — A resolution that would authorize the U.S. House of Representatives to sue President Barack Obama over the delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate moved one step closer to a vote Thursday, when the House Rules Committee approved it for full House review.
After a markup hearing, the committee voted in a 7-4 vote along party lines to report the resolution to the House, which may vote to approve the lawsuit as early as next week.
The markup comes weeks after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, introduced a draft resolution giving him the right to file civil suits in federal court on the House’s behalf to challenge Obama and other government officials for allegedly overstepping their constitutional authority by delaying the mandate.
Republicans have said the lawsuit is a necessary check on the executive branch.
“This lawsuit is a much needed defense of the Constitution and a defense of the role of Congress in our government,” committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said. “If we do not act, our nation will continue to face the very threat that the Constitution is designed to avoid.”
House Democrats, meanwhile, claim the move is a long-shot political stunt. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., said Thursday that the proposed lawsuit is an “extravaganza” that will only cost taxpayers millions in legal fees.
“It will be a very sad for our constitutional system if the House continues with this civil action,” Slaughter said at the hearing.