Video: GOP bill to sue Obama for executive overreach gaining traction in the House?

posted at 2:31 pm on February 17, 2014 by Allahpundit

Forty-three co-sponsors and counting, according to the Hill. The Stop This Overreaching Presidency (STOP) Act was drafted by Tom Rice and introduced back in December but it’s getting a new look after the double whammy of Obama delaying the employer mandate again and announcing in the SOTU that bypassing Congress is now semi-official White House policy. Pay attention to what Rice says about some unnamed member of the House GOP leadership initially telling him his bill sounds “radical.” It’s not the idea of suing that they have a problem with, I’d bet; the virtue of going through the courts is that, win or lose, the fact that they followed what the public regards as a legitimate, politically neutral process means there’ll be little backlash against the GOP in the midterms for picking this fight. The leadership’s problem, I suspect, is that one of the grounds for suing named in Rice’s bill is Obama’s de facto DREAM amnesty for young illegals two years ago. Boehner doesn’t want “Republicans sue to overturn new protections for undocumented children” headlines this summer. I wonder if leadership would warm up if Rice dropped that part of it.

But what happens if they sue and win on the other grounds, i.e. reinstituting the employer mandate, re-canceling “uncanceled” plans under ObamaCare, and rescinding Obama’s waiver of “workfare” requirements for the states? Only the last of those three would be popular with the public on the merits. Republicans could attach an amendment to Rice’s bill formally repealing the employer mandate just so that, if they win in court, they can claim they tried to get the mandate off of small business’s backs too. The mandate is so unpopular, maybe Reid would agree to take that up in a separate bill and let his most vulnerable Democrats vote for it. (Even Ezra Klein supports repeal, don’tcha know.) But what about the uncanceled plans? If the GOP wins on that, O will turn around and say it’s Republicans, not him, who should be blamed this time for forcing people off their old plans. “They’re so consumed with fighting me,” he’ll say, “that they’re willing to forcibly cancel coverage that I offered to let people keep.” You and I would know what insanely Orwellian spin that is — it’s O-Care that canceled millions of plans, not the GOP — but don’t underestimate the ignorance of the low-information voter. The GOP could, I guess, try to attach another amendment formally restoring all pre-ObamaCare plans, but Reid won’t pass that one. What then? Do you think Boehner’s willing to let O convince ignoramuses right before the midterms that it’s the evil conservatives who want them stuck with expensive ObamaCare plans instead of the old ones he so magnanimously let them hold on to?

One other problem: What about standing? The whole problem with suing O over his executive power grabs is that, in theory, no one can show they’ve been injured by them. Even members of Congress can’t show it. In Raines v. Byrd, decided 17 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a group of congressmen had no standing to sue over the Line Item Veto Act after voting against it. If they lacked standing, wouldn’t a group of Republican congressmen lack standing to sue O now? Maybe not: Read this analysis from last month by David Rivkin and Elizabeth Price Foley. The virtue of Rice’s bill is that, if it passed, it wouldn’t be just a random bunch of discontented legislators suing the president; it would be the majority of the House acting in its institutional capacity. And in its institutional capacity, it might be able to show a concrete, actionable injury — it passed ObamaCare, after all, and its legislative commands aren’t being carried out by the executive branch. The most interesting bit in the Rivkin/Foley piece is language they pulled from the DOMA case last year, when SCOTUS found that a third party had standing to defend DOMA even though the DOJ refused. We can’t let the president effectively nullify acts of Congress by keeping them out of court, said the Supremes. Does the same principle apply to the employer mandate? Stay tuned.


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Something needs to stop him and the madness…

OmahaConservative on February 17, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Wake me up when they file a Bill of Impeachment.

LegendHasIt on February 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

back to 16 level chess disguised as analysis

DanMan on February 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

But what happens if they sue and win on the other grounds, i.e. reinstituting the employer mandate, re-canceling “uncanceled” plans under ObamaCare, and rescinding Obama’s waiver of “workfare” requirements for the states? Only the last of those three would be popular with the public on the merits. Republicans could attach an amendment to Rice’s bill formally repealing the employer mandate just so that, if they win in court, they can claim they tried to get the mandate off of small business’s backs too. The mandate is so unpopular, maybe Reid would agree to take that up in a separate bill and let his most vulnerable Democrats vote for it. (Even Ezra Klein supports repeal, don’tcha know.) But what about the uncanceled plans? If the GOP wins on that, O will turn around and say it’s Republicans, not him, who should be blamed this time for forcing people off their old plans. “They’re so consumed with fighting me,” he’ll say, “that they’re willing to forcibly cancel coverage that I offered to let people keep.” You and I would know what insanely Orwellian spin that is — it’s O-Care that canceled millions of plans, not the GOP — but don’t underestimate the ignorance of the low-information voter. The GOP could, I guess, try to attach another amendment formally restoring all pre-ObamaCare plans, but Reid won’t pass that one. What then? Do you think Boehner’s willing to let O convince ignoramuses right before the midterms that it’s the evil conservatives who want them stuck with expensive ObamaCare plans instead of the old ones he so magnanimously let them hold on to?

And this is why I’m pro-national divorce.

The people are too f8ckung stupid for freedom.

nobar on February 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Or they could just being impeachment proceedings.

SouthernGent on February 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Harry Reid will never even bring it up in the Senate. But at least they’re getting the issue out in front.

rbj on February 17, 2014 at 2:41 PM

One other problem: What about standing? The whole problem with suing O over his executive power grabs is that, in theory, no one can show they’ve been injured by them.

Would a separation of powers violation satisfy this threshold?

anuts on February 17, 2014 at 2:43 PM

The only headline the GOP leadership is afraid to read this summer is “Mean Spirited GOP White Guys Sue Benevolent First Black President (TM)”.

Hucklebuck on February 17, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Bad title; makes it sound like it’s only this president or something. Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA) might be better.

Ricard on February 17, 2014 at 2:45 PM

What is a court ruling going to do to barky, anyway? He just ignores them. He’s got his contempt citation (for closing all offshore drilling, on his whim, and telling the court to just FO) framed and hanging over the Oval Office toilet. Eric Holder has his Congressional contempt citation also framed and decorating his living room.

Courts and rulings mean nothing to barky. Sukarno never had to bother with following the court so why should barky, the Sukarno clone?

The GOP is just pathetic.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 17, 2014 at 2:46 PM

A Double Nothingburger topped with Pointlessness.

If you’re really going to commit political suicide in the court of public opinion by suing American’s Most Beloved Black President in an election year, move to impeach, which, you know, has actual legal precedent. This is just political theater. With a stupid acronym, no less.

somewhatconcerned on February 17, 2014 at 2:49 PM

What is a court ruling going to do to barky, anyway?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 17, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Wrong question.

What is it going to do for the GOP?

They get to look tough and spite out some cool soundbites… and the folks back home just love this stuff!

sharrukin on February 17, 2014 at 2:51 PM

They get to look tough and spite out some cool soundbites… and the folks back home just love this stuff!

sharrukin on February 17, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Heh :)

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 17, 2014 at 2:58 PM

“Republican strategist” has become a bigger joke than “military intelligence”.

Why are we here? Because the Maine girls gave Obamacare cloture.

BKeyser on February 17, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Kabuki. Puppet Shows.

portlandon on February 17, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Of Course He Should Be Impeached

What they should be doing.

sharrukin on February 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

The logical respose to Obamas overreach is to do the same thing when a Pub takes office. Radically curb Obamacare with executive orders and make policy changes by fiat.

Too simple for the Pubs to contemplate, but we knew that.

rickyricardo on February 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

What about standing? The whole problem with suing O over his executive power grabs is that, in theory, no one can show they’ve been injured by them.

Geez.

You don’t sue because the WH failed to enforce the mandates, etc. You sue in areas where it DID enforce mandates, etc. and make your claim on equal protection grounds. Easy enough to show injured parties in those cases.

PackerBronco on February 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

This is not going anywhere for 4 reasons:
1. Reid will never bring it up in the Senate.
2. If he does, it will not survive a Dem Filibuster.
3. If it does pass the Senate, the BigO will veto it.
4. If they try a Veto Override, it will fail.

SpudmanWP on February 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

This is not going anywhere for 4 reasons:
1. Reid will never bring it up in the Senate.
2. If he does, it will not survive a Dem Filibuster.
3. If it does pass the Senate, the BigO will veto it.
4. If they try a Veto Override, it will fail.

SpudmanWP on February 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Do it anyway. One of the things that makes a RINO a RINO is avoiding principled actions because they’re “not going anywhere.” There’s value in having voters see the ‘voices crying in the wilderness.’

Ricard on February 17, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Great. Another show bill for a concept neither party supports. Next

Brock Robamney on February 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM

S.T.O.P. Oh yeah, that will really show him. Next, a strongly worded letter. 0 laughs at you and all of yours.

Bmore on February 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Maybe Issa should have some hearings on it. *rolling my eyes* They’re almost stuck in that position.

msupertas on February 17, 2014 at 3:26 PM

S.T.O.P. Oh yeah, that will really show him. Next, a strongly worded letter. 0 laughs at you and all of yours.

Bmore on February 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Almost like when something bad happens in the world, and O’s White House puts out that “gravely concerned” release. Laughable.

msupertas on February 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

I think they should name it the T.H.I.S I.S. B.S. bill….seems so much more appropriate.

msupertas on February 17, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Here’s an idea. Rename it, D.O.N.’T. S.T.O.P., the better half uses that one on me all the time. Not only is it confusing as heII, but it makes you feel swell.

Bmore on February 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM

It’s a step in the right direction. Start with stealing General Motors and handing it over to the unions, and then ripping off all of Chrysler’s bondholders.

John the Libertarian on February 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM

What’s the point of all this pussyfooting around? Nobody has the guts to do what really needs to be done. The longer this goes on the harder it will be to stop it. Too many people still don’t see what a precipice we’re perched on.

crankyoldlady on February 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM

I guess anything rates as a good distraction from the record of the do-nothing congress.

Constantine on February 17, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I guess anything rates as a good distraction from the record of the do-nothing congress.

Constantine on February 17, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Your Party owns the Senate, not the Republicans.

F- (As usual)

Del Dolemonte on February 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

The House already has a process to be used to address this, and they have standing.

It’s called impeachment – and whether the Senate would subsequently vote in the affirmative doesn’t matter.

Midas on February 17, 2014 at 3:56 PM

The people of this nation, in general, are better off when Congress (and the Executive Branch ) Do Nothing.

I love “Do Nothing Congresses”.

But then, I’m competent and fairly self sufficient.

Democrats always want Congress to “Do Something”……

So they don’t have to.

LegendHasIt on February 17, 2014 at 4:07 PM

*yaaaaawwwnnn*…color me unimpressed, this weak ineffectual Representation in DC is as ball-less as a eunuch. The slide from soft to hard tyranny continues apace…iow nothing will come of it.

NY Conservative on February 17, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Waste of time. We were screwed as a country the second an ill-educated black man won a national election.

Clinton was impeached and for the most part, Republicans didn’t pay any price.

Impeach the black man? You watch those blacks, Hispanics and ‘kids’ come out in massive droves to elect the next one. The media and Hollywood will see to that.

Lanceman on February 17, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Unfortunately the courts will not intervene in what amounts to a political dispute. The fact that one or both houses of Congress don’t like the way the President executes their laws doesn’t confer legal standing to sue.

The only remedy for such is the political one of impeachment, which is impossible with at least 34 Democrats still in the Senate since it requires 67 votes to remove. So it’s a dead end. I know it would make people on our side feel better, but it would be counterproductive in gaining control of the Senate.

However, there are some suits from affected persons or organizations that have been entered, and will likely survive the test of standing. At the pace of the courts, they won’t likely be resolved right away, though.

Adjoran on February 17, 2014 at 4:13 PM

What does it take to get the Supreme Court involved in any of this? How does a violation of the Separation of Powers or executive branch overreach ever get resolved in any timely and Constitutionally determined manner?

rlwo2008 on February 17, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Fine. What happens if the GOP wins?

MJBrutus on February 17, 2014 at 4:28 PM

The Repubs wouldn’t be signing onto this if they actually thought it would go anywhere. It’s just a gesture. They are selling us out because they don’t have the intestinal fortitude necessary.

If something isn’t done;

1. This will be our last election.

2. They will cheat.

3. If by some miracle we win anyway they will not accept the result.

crankyoldlady on February 17, 2014 at 4:28 PM

If you want to stop the madness: stop funding it.

ajacksonian on February 17, 2014 at 5:13 PM

One other problem: What about standing? The whole problem with suing O over his executive power grabs is that, in theory, no one can show they’ve been injured by them. Even members of Congress can’t show it.

How in the world is Congress not harmed by having the Executive Branch ignore or rewrite the laws that Congress passed and the President signed?

What good is a separation of powers if one branch can just expropriate the powers of the other two branches with no ill effect? If that’s true, then the Constitution has been a bluff from day one.

jnelchef on February 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Worrying about ANYTHING the Dems say in response to this, or any other action the God takes in response to Teh Lightbringer’s rape of Advise and Consent is a colossal waste of time; the left has long since abandoned any notion of logic and intellectual honesty in favor of dry humping the electorate long enough to get past 2016. We are dealing, as I’ve said time and again, with a group of people so lacking the courage of their convictions, that they’ve completely lost any sense of shame. You know we’re living in dangerous times when the government fears it’s citizens. Like a cornered, wounded animal, they’ll do anything to survive. Including destroying us in the process.

Eric in Hollywood on February 17, 2014 at 6:56 PM

God = GOP, except that it can hardly be said that any of us holds the latter in anything resembling our regard for the former.

Eric in Hollywood on February 17, 2014 at 6:58 PM

FOX, today, finally managed a non-interrupted appearance with comments by Trey Gowdy. From last week through yesterday, both attempts at his statements were audibly corrupted such that nothing he said could be understood.

Finally whatever — or whoever — was interrupting his comments has been overcome. Gowdy explained well the law suit against Obama.

Lourdes on February 17, 2014 at 7:12 PM

One other problem: What about standing? The whole problem with suing O over his executive power grabs is that, in theory, no one can show they’ve been injured by them. Even members of Congress can’t show it.

Trey Gowdy explained this issue of standing earlier today on FOX: he said that when the President (any President) signs legislation, it’s “the law” and the PResident (any President) can’t then, later, go back and refuse to enforce or then to reject any part of what he’s already signed. By doing so (going back on legislation that a Pres. has signed and then refusing to enforce various aspects of it or makes declaration that some part of it isn’t in effect after it’s signed), there is “standing” to sue him for (I’m not clear on the words here that would be used to describe the harms rendered by a Pres. who did this, for what terms he’d be sued). But Gowdy said a President COULD be sued for such activity. That there is standing by citizens IF laws are signed by President, then later refused to be enforced and/or portions of signed leg. later denied).

Lourdes on February 17, 2014 at 7:17 PM

God = GOP, except that it can hardly be said that any of us holds the latter in anything resembling our regard for the former.

Eric in Hollywood on February 17, 2014 at 6:58 PM

.
. . . . . and HOW.

listens2glenn on February 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM

PackerBronco on February 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

That makes perfect sense.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Rep Mike Kelly (R-PA) was talking about this with Megyn Kelly the other day, and after discussing all the things they COULDN’T do (standing issues, senate blocking, etc), said, “What we really need is an outcry from the American People.

Oh, is that all? Well, sign me up! Hey guys, we haven’t been crying loud enough. There’s your trouble.

Mike Kelly

ncinca on February 17, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Sorry, tried to link, but I’m still striking out.

ncinca on February 17, 2014 at 9:18 PM

More Tea Party masturbation. This bill is going nowhere, for reasons already described. You kind of forgot that there are TWO houses of Congress. And the folks back home have had it with Congresscritters who do things like this instead of earning their pay.

If Tea Partiers hate Congress so much, they should just stay home when elected, like Sinn Fein in the UK.

BrianJ on February 18, 2014 at 12:37 AM

Did a shipment of spines and testicles come in?

Farnsworth on February 18, 2014 at 1:27 PM

If Tea Partiers hate Congress so much, they should just stay home when elected, like Sinn Fein in the UK.

BrianJ on February 18, 2014 at 12:37 AM

We just hate the Democrats and liberal Republicans running it. You know, guys like you.

Doomberg on February 27, 2014 at 11:39 AM