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When Eric Cantor was asked to leave his place of employment — that request came from his constituents — he neglected to pass along the location of the mason jar in which he buried John Boehner’s balls back in 2010. Boehner’s search now has become one of those National Treasure movies, where you have to find the location of the clues before you can find the location of the treasure. Apparently, he’s come to the spot on the map that reads, “Now that the president has acted on immigration, it’s time to sue him over the Affordable Care Act.”
The filing of the lawsuit, announced one day after Obama unveiled a
series of executive actions on immigration, will not address the
president’s upcoming moves on deportations and immigration enforcement.
Boehner’s office said it is also considering legal action on
immigration, but added that that would require another House vote. “If this president can get away with making his own laws, future
presidents will have the ability to as well,” the Speaker said in a
statement. “The House has an obligation to stand up for the
Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of
I have lived through the administration of 12 presidents now. If what this president did Thursday night is “making his own laws,” then every one of those 12 presidents have “made their own laws.” Richard Nixon made his own law about bombing Cambodia and encouraging burglaries. Ronald Reagan made his own law about negotiating with terrorists and financing murderers in Central America. This is neither the time nor the place for an argument about how Congress steadily deeded its own constitutional powers to the Executive over the last 60 years, and how the current Congress
pretends now that it only noticed what Congresses had been doing when the country elected the Blah Democrat a couple of times. But Boehner knows They’re Out There Somewhere. The president has acted on immigration so we must sue him over health care. It only makes sense if you have the keys to the map.
Article source: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/So_Sue_Him
House Speaker John A. Boehner filed a long-awaited lawsuit Friday that alleges President Obama took unlawful steps to delay part of his health care law and is paying out funds to insurers without congressional approval.
The Republican-led lawsuit has arrived more than three months after the House authorized Mr. Boehner to sue, and after two law firms decided not to take part.
It also piggybacks on fierce GOP criticism of Mr. Obama’s announcement late Wednesday that millions of illegal immigrants will not face deportation.
“Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and re-write federal law on his own without a vote of Congress,” Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said. “That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action.”
The Obamacare suit, filed against the secretaries of the Treasury and the Health and Human Services Department, goes after the administration in two ways.
First, it says the White House stretched its authority by twice delaying the law’s employer mandate and its associated penalties. The rule requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers or equivalents to provide health coverage or pay fines if at least one employee takes advantage of a tax credit on the health law’s insurance exchanges.
Critics said the rule would force employers to cuts jobs and hours, and the White House decided to phase in the rule through 2016 instead of allowing it to take effect in 2014 as anticipated by the law.
Republicans charged the delays were politically motivated, in that employers hoping to avoid the mandate might not slash jobs or cut workers’ hours until after the midterm elections. Either way, it did not work out well for Democrats, who suffered sweeping losses in the contests earlier this month.
Republicans also are contesting a cost-sharing program estimated to pay out $3 billion to insurance companies in fiscal 2014 and $175 billion over the next 10 years. The program is designed to offset reduced co-insurance, co-pays and deductibles that insurers provide to qualified Obamacare enrollees as a condition of participating in the state-based health exchanges.
Mr. Boehner’s suit says Congress never authorized the payments that are flowing out of a Treasury account.
Democrats have criticized the lawsuit as misguided and a waste of federal time and money.
They note the GOP had to find a third lawyer — they settled this week on Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University — after two firms dropped out, and that they are suing Mr. Obama for delaying a part of a law they detest.
“The fact is, this lawsuit is a bald-faced attempt to achieve what Republicans have been unable to achieve through political process,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “The legislative branch cannot sue simply because they disagree with the way a law passed by a different Congress has been implemented.”
Democrats and legal analysts have questioned whether Republicans will be able to get over immediate hurdles — namely legal standing, or the ability to prove the House suffered injury from Mr. Obama’s action.
Republicans say the president’s moves could permanently damage Congress down the road by setting a dangerous precedent for future presidents who disagree with elected lawmakers.
Story Continues →
WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed Friday to push back against President Barack Obama’s executive action shielding up to 5 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation, accusing him of sabotaging any chances of comprehensive legislative action to reform the immigration system.
The president announced Thursday his intentions to shield from deportation up to 4 million parents of American citizens and up to 1 million other people who live in the United States without proper documentation, prompting howls of rage from Republicans.
Boehner said he would not stand by and let Obama accomplish his plan, but did not say how or when.
“With this action, the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he claims to seek. And as I told the president yesterday, he’s damaging the presidency itself,” Boehner said in a news conference outside his Capitol Hill office.
“In the days ahead, the people’s House will rise to this challenge,” Boehner added. “We will not stand idle as the president undermines the rule of law in our country and places lives at risk. We will listen to the American people, we will work with our members, and we will work to protect the constitution of the United States.”
The White House has argued that Boehner and his members have had more than a year and a half to act on immigration legislation passed by the Senate last year, but failed. Boehner had ordered his caucus to draft principles for immigration reform, and to set about a piecemeal process of writing individual laws to address the situation, but none of that bore fruit.
Friday, Boehner said the failure was Obama’s fault because the president refused to work with Boehner, and insisted on taking executive action on things like health care that Republicans opposed.
“The president repeatedly suggested that he was going to unilaterally change immigration law, and he created an environment where the members would not trust him,” Boehner said. “Trying to find a way to work together was virtually impossible, and I warned the president over and over that his actions were making it impossible for me to do what he wanted me to do.”
A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was quick to fire back.
“Speaker Boehner has led some of the most obstructive, unproductive and self-destructive Congresses in the history of our nation,” said Drew Hammill in a statement. “Today, in the face of real leadership from the president, Speaker Boehner announced he will continue to surrender his gavel to the most radical and irresponsible anti-immigrant voices of his party.”
“Republicans have a choice: act productively on immigration, or waste taxpayer dollars on yet another legal vendetta against President Obama or Republican Government Shutdown,” he added. “President Obama has announced strong actions to restore accountability to our broken immigration system. Republicans continue to scramble for excuses for their own failure of leadership.”
It is unclear what actions Boehner can take. Some of his members have urged trying to use the looming Dec. 11 deadline to fund the government as leverage, but Obama’s actions don’t depend on funding from Congress. Republicans likely would have to pass fresh legislation to curb the executive orders, but that would fail in the Senate, at least while Democrats are in control for the rest of the year.
Democrats have repeatedly called on Boehner to act on the Senate reform bill. Asked Friday if he would return to any of the work he ordered on immigration reform earlier in the year, Boehner declined to answer, suggesting that was not likely.
“We have a broken immigration system. The American people expect us to work together to fix it, and we ought to do it in the democratic process, moving bills through the people’s House, through the Senate, and to the president’s desk,” he said.
In a Vine video posted Thursday, Boehner noted that Obama himself has said he can’t act like a king or emperor to go around Congress:
Boehner repeated that line Friday, but the White House has been walking back Obama’s words to that effect, saying his actions ordered last night don’t go nearly as far as he’d like, and that he was talking about the more extensive steps that he believes are necessary.
Dan Pfeiffer, senior adviser to Obama, told reporters at an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor that he believes Boehner is well-intentioned on immigration and wants to get it done. He said the administration won’t rule anything out yet, including working with Congress on smaller measures rather than a comprehensive bill.
“We haven’t changed our position in terms of if they want to do something piecemeal, as long as they have the intention of doing the whole thing, we’re willing to look at that,” he said. “You have to look at the individual pieces. It’s such a blank slate because the Republicans have literally done nothing in the House on this front, on immigration generally.”
Pfeiffer said it would be “illogical” for Republicans to refuse to work with the president on other issues because he is taking action on immigration.
“The equivalent would be if the president said, ‘Well, if you pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that will poison the well and I refuse to work with you on anything else,’” he said. “That’s an illogical approach, and it’s sort of the third-grade equivalent of taking your ball and going home.”
Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook. Elise Foley contributed reporting.
This piece has been updated to include comments from Dan Pfeiffer.
Via CNS News. Byron York had a post this morning wondering if Boehner would take impeachment off the table for Obama the same way Pelosi did for Bush despite the clamoring on the left at the time. Answer: Yes, of course! That’s the whole point of Boehner’s lawsuit, right? He wants to do something bold to show conservatives that he’s resisting Obama’s power grabs, but not so bold that it’ll blow up in the GOP’s face in November. The lawsuit is the perfect gesture. It gives him an excuse to rail against executive overreach publicly while booting the disposition of the matter to the courts. If they rule against him, it’s the judiciary’s fault, not his. And if it takes a year or more for the case to wend its way up to the Supreme Court, even better. It’s off his plate, which is what’s important. (Said Palin to Hannity last night, “You don’t bring a lawsuit to a gunfight, and there’s no room for lawyers on our front lines.”) For him to turn around and agree with Palin on impeachment after all that would be bizarre. Why pursue a circuitous legal route to rein in Obama if he’s prepared to try to remove him from office entirely?
It’s not just Boehner who’s running away from impeachment either. In purple-state Iowa, GOP Senate nominee Joni Ernst — who’s been endorsed by Palin — carefully explained to Yahoo News yesterday that she didn’t really say she wanted to impeach Obama the last time she said she wanted to impeach Obama.
Republican Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst attempted Tuesday night to walk back statements made at a January event in which she said President Barack Obama had “become a dictator” who should be “removed from office” or face “impeachment.”…
“To be clear, I have not seen any evidence that the President should be impeached,” the statement read…
“I was asked a question involving a hypothetical about what I thought should happen if the Supreme Court ruled that the president had committed an ‘abuse of power.’ Obviously if the Supreme Court were to ever rule that the President of the United States had abused their power, that would be a very serious charge,” Ernst said in the statement. “I responded by saying that if the court in fact made such a ruling, that the president should face the necessary repercussions. I would give the same answer about any president, Republican or Democrat.”
There are, surely, some GOPers in Congress willing to agree publicly with Palin that Obama must go. Just don’t expect it from anyone who’s running for office in a state or district where Republicans winning the general election is in the tiniest bit of doubt. Exit question: Could Boehner’s impeachment-avoidance strategy end up backfiring if he loses his lawsuit? Imagine a federal judge rules that the House’s dispute with O over executive power is a political question that should either be decided by the people at the polls or by the people’s representatives through their Article I powers — which, of course, includes impeachment. The courts will have essentially punted this issue back to Boehner and told him, a la Erick Erickson, to man up and accept the political risk of trying to remove the president if he’s allegedly so troubled by executive overreach. What’s Boehner’s move then? Use the power of the purse to choke off funding for Obama’s priorities and quietly ignore impeachment altogether, right?
Here’s the clip from this morning’s House leadership presser. Boehner’s facial expressions when the subject is raised are comedy gold.
- Will the GOP use “rescission” to counter Obama’s immigration executive action?
- Insurrection: Liberal constitutional scholar will represent GOP in lawsuit against Obama
- Quotes of the day
We’re only at the beginning of a really long road of Speaker presumptive John Boehner boner jokes. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday night shared a rare post election video he joked was “from House Minority Leader John Boehner’s camp to familiarize the American public with the future Speaker of the House.”
Kimmel calls this clip “Get to Know John Boehner (Not Boner).” A confident male does the voice over, and instructs sternly, “It’s Boehner, not boner,” and gives examples of really bad boner jokes such as, “Where ya goin’ Boner?” Kimmel ultimately cracked, “It’s the reason his brother Dick stayed out of politics altogether.”
They do say that the third times the charm. After being turned away from two prominent D.C. law firms Speaker of the House John Boehner has finally found a qualified lawyer who has agreed to lead the Republican’s lawsuit against President Obama.
Jonathan Turley, a constitutional lawyer and professor at George Washington University, has signed on to represent Boehner and the GOP in the lawsuit, an interesting move for the Democrat, who has appeared as a contributor on MSNBC and has publicly spoken of his support of Barack Obama.
“I have agreed to represent the United States House of Representatives in its challenge of unilateral, unconstitutional actions taken by the Obama Administration with respect to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” Turley wrote on his blog announcing his decision. “It is an honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office. As in the past, this posting is meant to be transparent about my representation as well as my need to be circumspect about my comments in the future on related stories.”
Despite being described as a liberal and progressive legal scholar, Turley does hold a number of views that could help Boehner out. For instance, Turley testified in favor of the Clinton impeachment in 1998, and has made numerous statements against President Obama’s use of executive orders, showing a libertarian streak that Republicans are hoping to capitalize on.
Turley will be the third lawyer Boehner’s office has hired to handle this law suit. In September Boehner’s original legal team at Baker Hostetler bowed out, followed by a one month contract with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Sullivan LLP, which dropped the suit after pressure from their other clients in the healthcare field.
The law suit currently revolves around claims that President Obama had overstepped his constitutional authority by creating extensions to the Affordable Care Act without congressional approval. With the White House preparing to introduce some new executive orders regarding immigration reform, Boehner waiting to file the suit in the hopes that parts of Obama’s immigration plan could be added to his charges.
“On matters ranging from health care and energy to foreign policy and education, President Obama has repeatedly run an end-around on the American people and their elected legislators, straining the boundaries of the solemn oath he took on Inauguration Day,” John Boehner wrote in a letter announcing his intentions to sue Obama back in June. “Everywhere I go in America outside of Washington, D.C., I’m asked: when will the House stand up on behalf of the people to stop the encroachment of executive power under President Obama? We elected a president, Americans note; we didn’t elect a monarch or king.”
USCIS Contracting will be posting a solicitation for the requirement of Card Stock used by the USCIS Document Management Division. The objective of this procurement is to provide card consumables for the Document Management Division (DMD) that will be used to produce Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) and Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards. The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total The ordering periods for this requirement shall be for a total of five (5) years. This is a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) supply purchase for commercial items, utilizing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 325211 and Product / Service Code (PSC) 9330. This requirement is for the acquisition of 100% polycarbonate solid body card stock with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and holographic images embedded within the card construction substrate layers, card design service, and storage.
PRCs are, of course, green cards while EADs are work permits, typically issued with a one-year term. Needless to say, the requested supply goes far beyond the demand created by Obama’s last executive amnesty, the DACA program for DREAMers. As of March, 550,000 people had enrolled; even if you assume, say, a million enrollees eventually, that’s 5 million EADs needed at most over the next five years plus, potentially, a million PRCs. Assume another two million work permits issued each year for other guest workers in the normal course of business and add in the current wait list of nearly five million people for green cards. You’re upwards of 21 millions cards needed over the next five years. So what’s that 34 million figure all about?
Per Strong, if you read down into the feds’ solicitation for bids, you find this:
Nine million cards in year one, potentially, to meet “future immigration reform initiative requirements.” Hmmmm. That could, I suppose, refer to a comprehensive bill passed by Congress rather than an executive amnesty ordered by The One. Even if Republicans pass a “security first” bill, they’ll need to make some concession to make it palatable enough for O to sign. (To Democrats, border security isn’t an end in itself.) If they refuse to grant probationary legalization to illegals who are already here, as Dems demand, maybe they’ll compensate by allotting millions more work permits for new guest workers. Even if they allowed an extra million guest workers per year, though, that still wouldn’t be anywhere close to explaining that 34 million number. The only thing that would seem to explain it is O deciding unilaterally to legalize some swath of the 11 million illegals who are already here, making them eligible to work lawfully at American businesses. That would create a huge, sudden demand for ID cards among an enormous population — a “surge,” just as the solicitation describes. Anyone still doubt, then, that he’s going to keep his promise to the left and pull the trigger on executive amnesty in December?
Exit question: What if the GOP wave in November is bigger than expected? Would that cow him into abandoning his amnesty plans at the last minute? I think his legacy is more important to him at this point, but I can see the last remaining survivors among red-state Democrats in the Senate begging him not to make their lives harder than they already are.
- Open thread: Semi-retired President invokes the Sick And Tired clause of the Constitution
- Breaking: Obama executive amnesty plan bullet points
- Breaking up is hard to do: 3 networks won’t carry Obama immigration speech
More in News
Hoyer: Immigration action may force Republicans to act
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Lubię amerykańską politykę. Wiem, że jest ona, uwaga, znacznie bardziej brutalna niż ta w Polsce czy gdziekolwiek w demokratycznym świecie. Wiem, że kampanie wyborcze w Stanach są najdroższe na świecie (na drugim miejscu… Ukraina!). To może oburza, ale takie po prostu jest (polityczne) życie.
Przepadam za amerykańską polityką, w której kampania wyborcza zaczyna się dzień po wyborach i w której wybory ‒ dzięki rotacji w Kongresie i w Senacie ‒ trwają w zasadzie na okrągło. Jakaż to barwna kampania! Nawet bardziej niż w słynnym filmie USA „Barwy kampanii”.
J.D. Winteregg, walczący o fotel przewodniczącego Izby Reprezentantów rywalizował o to stanowisko z wytrawnym liderem Republikanów Johnem Boehnerem. W kampanii wypuścił pastisz reklamy tabletek na zaburzenie erekcji („erectile disfunction”). Narrator informuje w nim o problemie… zaburzenia wyborczego („electile disfunction”) w następujący sposób: „Może to być kwestia przepływu krwi. W momencie, kiedy polityk jest przy pracy zbyt długo, krew wędruje do głowy i nie potrafi on wykonywać swojej pracy należycie”. Owa niby to reklama kończy się tak: „Jeśli Twój Boehner (po angielsku wzwód to boner ‒ tak gwoli informacji…) trwa dłużej niż 23 lata skonsultuj się koniecznie z lekarzem lub farmaceutą”. Ową reklamę obejrzało na YouTube aż 418 tysięcy widzów. Ale Winteregg jednak przegrał, bo jego republikański rywal nie tyle rozbawiał wyborców, co walił w oponenta niczym Cassius Clay czyli Muhammad Ali.
W ten sposób zwycięski, choć niespecjalnie charyzmatyczny, John Boehner potwierdził opinię naukowców z Uniwersytetu Stanowego w Waszyngtonie ‒ specjalistów od spotów wyborczych, którzy udowodnili, że „czarny PR”, kampania negatywna, straszenie ludzi często działa lepiej niż efektowne filmiki, z których ludzie się śmieją i nawet je zapamiętują. Jest jeden wszak warunek: na taką negatywną czy brudną kampanię może decydować się kandydat, który prowadzi w sondażach.
Kandydat Winteregg przegrał podwójnie. Nie tylko poniósł wyborczą porażkę, ale jeszcze dodatkowo po emisji swojego, ociekającego seksualnymi konotacjami, spotu stracił robotę na katolickiej uczelni.
Zabawna, finezyjna, mniej ostra była w ostatnich tygodniach kampania wyborcza do Senatu w stanie Michigan. Demokraci zarzucali kandydatce Republikanów Terri Lynn Land, że zajmuje się głównie problemami kobiet. Na co prawicowa kandydatka odpowiedziała spotem, w którym mówi: „Kongresman Peters i jego wspólnicy chcą sprawić, byście uwierzyli, że prowadzę wojnę w sprawie kobiet. Naprawdę? Pomyślcie przez chwilę”. W tym momencie pojawiła się skoczna muzyka, najazd kamery na kandydatkę, która popija kawę i spogląda na swój zegarek, by po dłuższej chwili powiedzieć na koniec: „jako kobieta wiem nieco więcej o kobietach niż Gary Peters”.
Demokraci odpowiedzieli na to spotem, który chciał przekonać wyborców, że ów Peters nie jest typowym „człowiekiem Obamy”, który nic tylko podnosi podatki. Spot ów zatytułowali „Oszczędny”. A w nim żona kandydata mówi o mężu: „nie chciałabym go nazwać skąpcem, ale nasza pralka jest starsza od naszych dzieci”. Sam Peters na koniec chwali się, że jego rodzina „wystąpiła w tym spocie za darmo”, a sam pojawia się w podartym swetrze i dziurawych butach. Skrajny populizm? Ale skuteczny, bo to Pan Gary został senatorem, a nie Pani Terri.
No i jak nie lubić amerykańskiej kampanii …
* tekst ukazał się w „Gazecie Polskiej” (19.11.2014)