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House Authorizes Lawsuit Against President Obama

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WASHINGTON — A day before going on vacation and heading into the election season, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a resolution Wednesday authorizing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to sue President Barack Obama for what they say has been inadequate enforcement of the health care law they oppose.

The suit would seek to make Obama strictly enforce the Affordable Care Act that Boehner has held some 50 votes to undermine or repeal. Republicans object that the Obama administration has delayed some parts of the law, particularly the mandate on employers who do not provide health care coverage.

The measure passed 225 to 201, with five Republicans joining Democrats to oppose the lawsuit.

“This isn’t about Republicans and Democrats. It’s about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold and acting decisively when it may be compromised,” Boehner said shortly before his members granted him the power to sue. “No member of this body needs to be reminded what the Constitution states about the president’s obligation to faithfully execute the laws of our nation. No member needs to be reminded of the bonds of trust that have been frayed or the damage that’s already been done.”

Some Republicans acknowledged the lawsuit’s irony. But they argued that even though they oppose the law, it’s the president’s job to enforce it — and he hasn’t.

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