Frequently Asked Questions about House Litigation against Executive Overreach

Q:  Why is the House of Representatives focusing on the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate and leaving out immigration, the Bergdahl swap and other actions by the administration that many conservatives have argued are examples of presidential overreach? 

A: There are many examples of executive overreach by the President, but his actions on the health care law are the ones that probably give the House of Representatives the best chance of success in the courts.  The employer mandate action by the President is also arguably the best known example of his executive overreach.

Q:  Will taxpayer dollars be used to pay for this suit?  Is it a waste of money?

A: Defending the Constitution is hardly a waste of money.  It is part of Congress’s official duty, which is clearly outlined in the oath of office each representative takes when sworn in to Congress.

Q:  By focusing the suit on the Affordable Care Act and the employer mandate, isn’t the House of Representatives arguing that the employer mandate should be implemented?

A: No; we are arguing that the President can’t unilaterally change the law, without congressional action.  The President changed the law to provide relief from the Affordable Care Act for big businesses, while leaving the law’s mandates intact for individuals and families.  That was a legislative change, but it was not the way the Legislative Branch would have done it.  The House position – expressed by bipartisan votes in 2013, days after the President announced this move – was that the Affordable Care Act’s mandates should be stopped for all Americans, not just for big businesses.  Rather than provide relief to all Americans, the President circumvented Congress and made his own, new law.  The President of the United States doesn’t have the authority under the Constitution to do that.  That’s what the House litigation will argue. 

Q:  Shouldn’t the House of Representatives be focused on the jobs and the economy instead of lawsuits against the president?

A: The House is focused on jobs and the economy, and will continue to be; one floor vote on one simple resolution does not change that. The House has passed dozens of jobs bills and some of them have become law, like the workforce development bill that was sent to the President this week.