The House of Representatives is voting to pass a resolution authorizing it to sue President Barack Obama for what Republican leaders describe as his overreach of authority.
The resolution is expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber in a party line vote onJuly 30.
Its sponsors say Barack Obama exceeded his powers when he delayed an insurance deadline in his healthcare law.
The president himself has dismissed the lawsuit as a waste of time.
“Everyone sees this as a political stunt,” Barack Obama said while in Kansas on Wednesday.
“But it’s worse than that because every vote they’re taking… means a vote they’re not taking to help people.”
Republicans in Congress have complained that Barack Obama has exceeded his constitutional authority on numerous occasions, in order to bypass Congress by issuing executive orders.
They object, for instance, to his order unilaterally easing deportations of some young illegal immigrants, and the prison exchange that won the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl held captive for five years by the Taliban.
Specifically at issue in the resolution, which was sponsored by Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas with the full backing of House Speaker John Boehner, was Barack Obama’s decision to twice delay requirements in his 2010 healthcare overhaul that businesses over a certain size provide their workers with health insurance.
Barack Obama has been forthright about his intentions to circumvent the gridlocked Congress when possible, noting frequently that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has declined even to hold votes on Senate-passed bills on topics from immigration reform to gay rights.
As far back as January, White House aides began referring to the president’s “pen and phone” strategy – using his telephone to convene meetings at the White House and his pen to sign executive orders and changes to federal regulations.
Every US president since George Washington has issued executive orders, and Barack Obama has not stood out in the modern era for the number he has signed.
In his six years in office Barack Obama has issued 183 executive orders, compared to 291 across George W. Bush’s eight years and 381 for Ronald Reagan, according to a study by the American Presidency Project at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
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