Since the Affordable Care Act passed into law, the House of Representatives have voted to either cripple or repeal the law 46 times. That’s seven more bills than had been passed in the 113th Congress before the government shutdown on Oct. 1 (the current total of bills passed is now 57).
What is unclear, however, is if a new bill proposed by Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) would bring the number of repeal/cripple attempts to 47.
The resolution is entitled “Stop This Overreaching Presidency” and asks the House to file a lawsuit against President Obama for overstepping the limits of executive power. Rather than repeal or defund the law, Rice is taking the administration to task for delaying certain initiatives such as allowing for substandard plans to continue into 2014, delay of the employer mandate, and even welfare reform waivers to states.
Even if the measure is brought up for a vote and passes, it is unlikely that the courts would hear the case.
Progressive outlet ThinkProgress.org spoke to Peter M. Shane, a professor of law at the Ohio State University who told them, “The courts would likely find some doctrinal excuse ‘to get out of the way of an inter-branch food fight.’”
He also argued that this would set a kind of precedent wherein Congress could sue any time a particular law is either being implemented too quickly/not quickly enough. Shane calls such a situation a “disaster.”
Rice isn’t the only representative looking to sue the president, even specifically over Obamacare.
In July, Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) told radio host David Madeira that he was considering filing suit against the White House because of the political implications of pushing back the employer mandate. In September, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he was going to sue the Office of Personnel Management over a decision that would permit protections to the healthcare of congressional staffers. Neither suit ever materialized.