A resolution authorizing the U.S. House of Representatives to sue President Barack Obama
for exceeding his constitutional authority by delaying the employer mandate in the federal healthcare law
, cleared the House Rules Committee Thursday.
The legislation passed on a party-line 7-4 vote. The full House is expected to take up the measure next week prior to its August recess.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chair of the Rules Committee, argued that the lawsuit is necessary to curtail widespread abuses of power by the executive branch.
“The president has ignored the requirements of the Constitution,” Sessions said at Thursday's hearing. “Instead, he has selectively enforced the law in some instances, ignored it in others, and at times changed statuses and statutes all together. In this way, the president has repeatedly encroached on Congress' power to write the laws.”
Democrats dismissed the lawsuit as a political stunt that has no chance of succeeding in court.
“The majority will waste seemingly limitless time and money simply to keep people from getting healthcare,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the ranking minority member of the Rules Committee. “It makes no sense.” Follow Paul Demko on Twitter: @MHpdemko