US House of Representatives votes to sue Obama

A sharply divided US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a Republican plan to file an election-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama contending that he has exceeded his constitutional powers in the way he has enforced the 2010 health care law. Democrats say the lawsuit is a campaign-year stunt designed to draw conservative voters to the polls in congressional elections in November.

They also say it may be a prelude to an effort to impeach Obama, a suggestion which top Republicans say is groundless. Republicans say Obama has gone too far in selectively enforcing parts of the healthcare overhaul, the signature legislation of his presidency, such as by delaying the requirement that many employers provide health insurance for their workers. They say they are protecting the Constitution’s division of powers. Republicans have not laid out a timetable for actually filing the suit.

The House vote was 225 to 201. No Democrats voted for the plan. Speculation about impeachment of Obama has been popular among conservative activists and some lawmakers, despite House Speaker John Boehner’s dismissal of the idea. Democrats have capitalized on the speculation, sending fund-raising pleas to their own supporters warning that Republicans are out to impeach Obama and ruin his presidency. Republicans,who are expected to keep their House majority after November’s elections and hope to gain control of the Senate, say Obama has enforced laws as he wants to, dangerously shifting power to the presidency from Congress.

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