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White House, Republicans Argue Over Lawsuit Threat

  • VOA News

FILE - House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

FILE - House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress traded barbs Thursday as plans for a lawsuit against the president intensify.

The White House released a statement late Thursday saying Republicans backing such a lawsuit are participating in a "political stunt" rather than working with the president to expand economic opportunities for the middle class.

The statement was responding to draft legislation released by House Republicans hours earlier, which, if passed, would authorize Congress to pursue the lawsuit. The legislation alleges the president violated the Constitution in 2013 by changing his signature health care reform law without getting approval from Congress.

The legislation refers to a decision by the Obama administration to waive a mandate that employers provide health insurance coverage for their employees. House Speaker John Boehner said the president violated the U.S. Constitution by failing to get approval from Congress for the change.

In a statement Thursday, Boehner said the legislation "isn't about Republicans versus Democrats; it's about the legislative branch versus the executive branch, and above all, protecting the Constitution."

Congressional Republicans have been vocal about their opposition to the health care reform law, and have vowed to bring about its repeal since its passage in 2010.