- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner took a victory lap Thursday after a federal judge cleared the way for his chamber to pursue its lawsuit against President Obama over how he funded a little-known part of his health care law.

“I cannot overstate how big a victory this is for limited government and our first principles,” the Ohio Republican said at his weekly press conference. “Time and again the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and to rewrite laws on his own without a vote of the Congress.”

U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, presiding in Washington, said Wednesday the House has legal standing to pursue claims the administration injured Congress as an institution when it continued to dole out cost-sharing payments under the Affordable Care Act even though lawmakers had not approved them.

“If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to do so as well,” Mr. Boehner told reporters.

The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed last November that challenged Mr. Obama’s moves to twice delay the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate on employers, and to reimburse insurers who have reduced co-pays and deductibles for qualified Obamacare enrollees as a condition of participating in the state-based health care exchanges.

Republicans said Congress never authorized the reimbursement money, and indeed specifically rejected an administration request for that spending, so by moving ahead anyway Mr. Obama violated Congress’s constitutional power of the purse.

Judge Collyer, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, said the House lacked standing to sue over delays to the mandate, because a chamber of Congress can’t show an actual injury from the way the president carries out the law.

But she said House can pursue its lawsuit over spending, because that involves fundamental questions of separation of powers.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said it was an “astounding” decision that will be overturned on appeal, arguing the courts do not want to become an arbiter of political fights between the other branches.

“It was an interesting decision, because it was unprecedented in our entire history,” she said.

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