Republicans: Obama violating Constitution, but little can be done about it
Published February 16, 2014
Washington Republicans on Sunday restated their argument that President Obama has violated the Constitution by using executive orders to alter the Affordable Care Act, but acknowledged they likely have no recourse or ability to stop another incident.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told “Fox News Sunday” that congressional Republicans think the president abused the government’s separation of powers by using the executive orders to sidestep Congress and delay the law’s employer mandate.
“The president knows this is wrong.”
- Sen. Mike Lee
However, he said critics would have a tough time winning in court because Congress lacks the so-called “legal standing” to present the case and they would have a “tough time” finding somebody hurt enough by the delays to be a good plaintiff.
“The president knows this is wrong,” said Lee, among the most outspoken ObamaCare critics. “What gives him the ability to rewrite the law?”
Last week the president, for the second time in about seven months, delayed the employer mandate, which requires medium- and large-sized businesses to offer insurance to employers.
The original Jan. 1, 2014, start for the mandate, which requires businesses with 50 to 99 full-time employees to offer the insurance or face a tax penalty, was delayed in July for one year. On Monday, Obama delayed it until 2016.
Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., defended the president’s actions Sunday, telling “Fox News” that Obama is “making sure laws are written and executed” to help Americans.
He also said that if Obama’s actions “were against the Constitution somebody would have sued him by now.”
Obama has used executive order less than modern U.S. presidents -- 167 times so far, compared to 238 for President Carter and 256 for President Reagan.
Still, Lee called Obama’s actions “a shameless act, a shameless power grab.”