Colorado GOP Delegation All In For Suing Obama

Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

As the Los Angeles Times' Mike Memoli reports, GOP House Speaker John Boehner now has the "authority" to file an unprecedented and likely doomed election-year lawsuit against President Barack Obama, in a move either considered a forestalling of impeachment proceedings or a prelude to them depending on who you talk to:

The House vote to sue President Obama is the first such legal challenge by a chamber of Congress against a president and a historic foray in the fight over constitutional checks and balances.

Wednesday’s nearly party-line vote followed a feisty floor debate and offered a fresh example of how the capital’s hyper-partisanship has led both parties into unprecedented territory, going to new and greater lengths to confront one another…

The House approved the resolution in a near party-line vote, 225 to 201. It authorizes House Speaker John A. Boehner to file suit in federal court on behalf of the full body “to seek appropriate relief” for Obama’s failure to enforce a provision of the Affordable Care Act that would penalize businesses that do not offer basic health insurance to their employees.

That provision’s effective date has been delayed by the administration twice and now won’t fully take effect until 2016. The GOP-led House has voted to repeal the law, even as it seeks to sue Obama for failing to enforce it. [Pols emphasis]

The legal analysis we've seen suggests that this suit will quickly be dismissed as a "political question." The constitutional remedy of impeachment already exists to deal with the GOP's alleged grievances, and the political contrivance of this lawsuit is plainly evidenced by the subject matter–suing to force Obama to "enforce" a law they want to repeal. Despite these questions, all four Colorado Republican members of Congress, Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton, voted to allow Boehner to proceed.

As we discussed yesterday, Boehner's lawsuit against Obama is happening as talk of impeachment in Republican circles ramps up dramatically. Democrats have used prominent Republicans like Sarah Palin calling for impeachment to great effect in the last couple of weeks raising money, while establishment Republicans like Boehner have insisted that no plan to impeach Obama is in the offing. Given Congress' abysmal popularity ratings and the public's cynicism over the gridlocked state of national politics, impeachment talk seems wildly irresponsible–unless you're in the target audience for it. For committed base conservatives who have been getting propagandized for six years about how Obama's presidency means the end of America as we know it, impeachment probably seems like a natural, even overdue development.

Outside the right wing's impenetrable bubble of self-reinforcing groupthink, it sounds like madness. And Republicans like John Boehner, who are tasked today with keeping the "Tea Party's" five-year-old rage productive while simultaneously winning votes from reasonable Americans, know it.

It's tough to say what happens next. Boehner's lawsuit faces very long odds, not just for success but even for public supportOutside the conservative coalition it's a nonstarter, and on the right there are those who say the lawsuit is useless and Republicans should be moving directly to impeachment. If the whole effort blows up in the GOP's face, Republicans in swing races like Gardner and Coffman could well be the ones who pay the price.

46 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Of course they are.  What else could they possibly do…….

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    What are they going to do when their lawsuit gets dismissed as a political question between 1/2 of one branch of the government against another branch?  I'm guessing they will appeal any such dismissal.  Or maybe not.  Perhaps they will simply refile the damn lawsuit every other week in much the same way as they keep re-passing the repeal of Obamacare.

    P.S.  And what happens when the judge who dismisses the suit as a political question points out the obvious.  This isn't even one branch of the government suing another branch; it's only 1/2 of one branch.  Anyone ask Harry Reid if he wants to join in?  In fact, maybe he should move to intervene ….. on the side of the defendant!  That would show just how much of a farce this stunt is.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    For Tipton and Lamborn, this was a no-brainer . . .

    . . . as though it could be anything else?

    For Coffman and Gardner, this was a no-brainer

    . . . as in WTF are you guys thinking???  Aren't you trying to win independent voters in two highly competitive races???

    For Beauprez, this is a no-brainer

    . . . come on out and endorse this vote, right now, today — you're clearly enough of a numbskull to be doing that.

    PS. to Darrel and Darrel (Moddy and AC) — this is exactly the kind of shoot-yourself-in-the-foot tomfoolery that we've come to expect from today's Colorado DAFGOPers — say adios and sayonara to Mssrs. Coffman and Gardner,  boys!

  4. itlduso says:

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

    Oh, never mind……..

  5. CaninesCanines says:

    Oh, what a tangled web we shit and piss…

  6. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    There are only five opinions that matter….

  7. ModeratusModeratus says:

    It's not a contrivance. It's a new way of trying to hold the President accountable for his lawless behavior. It's a way to check the President without impeachment. You'd think Democrats would be all for it.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      When is a contrivance not a contrivance . . . when a bunch of orginalist constitutionalist deep-thinkers . . . come up with a "new way"?

      And the fact that one of our lying shill-for-brains says it's not a contrivance, pretty much confirms the fact that is't nothing but a contrivance.

      Jeezsuz Moddy, all the time to think up this "new way," and no time spent thinking about how to credibily spin it??  Bwahahahahahaha!!!!

      I am all for it BTW, your idiots just hoisted Gardner and Coffman by their petards!!!


    • Republican 36 says:

      Please cite the examples of "lawless behavior" you're talking about and be specific about which laws he has violated and precisely how he has violated each one. 

      Frankly, this lawsuit is going nowhere. It will be dismissed by the judge it is assigned to because this is a political question. The House has no standing to sue..

      By the way, where were you when President George W. Bush sent his signing messages to Congress (around 80 times if I remember correctly) announcing he had signed a bill into law but he wasn't going to enforce it in the manner Congress intended. You'd agree, the Republicans in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate in those days were derelict in their duty by not suiing President Bush. Right?

    • ct says:

      So, what?  After you showed your loyalty by so faithfully fawning over the loser Scott Gessler, they reward you by sending you out to defend Boehner's little "I hope this works" political stunt and collosal waste of America's time and money?   

    • I thought Republicans were for taking responsibility.

      Congress can – and has in the past – overridden a President's Executive Orders. All it needs to do is hold a vote. For instance, they could vote to override the EO that delayed the mandate for employers – I would like to see that vote.

      And Congress can, in the event that they believe the President has failed to uphold his Constitutional duties, begin impeachment procedings.

      Given this, the House on its own without the Senate has about zero chance of succeeding in a lawsuit on behalf of Congress. It has about a 0.5% chance of success if the Senate joins in.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      I'm reminded of Andrew Jackson's famous response when McCullough v. Maryland opinion issued from Supreme Court.  The court has issued its decision; now let's see how it's going to enforce it.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Judging by the number of executive orders, his behavior is less lawless than most. It's Boehner's lame attempt to placate the wingers screaming for impeachment by taking some sort of action. You would know that if you weren't just a very basic, simple program. Bet AC knows it but that won't interfere with his spin duties. 

    • Old Time Dem says:

      Dear Right-wing Nutjob:

      The specific action that the suit will focus on is the transition relief for employers from full compliance with the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act until next year.  Under the general authority of Internal Revenue Code § 7805(a), and the specific authority of §§ 4980H, 6055, and 6056, the Department of the Treasury (not the President–the President doesn't promulgate regulations) has all the authority and power it needs to provide the transition relief. It has been the norm for complex tax laws to be phased in, with transition relief provided under Treasury's regulatory authority for decades. It has been done under Democratic and Republican administrations, and has never been treated before as a political issue.

      You really need to find sources of information outside of the right-wing bubble you inhabit because, you know, it makes you seem like you're retarded.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      umm… modster? What do you think of this? 

      Boehner's concern is confusing given that he was House Majority Leader in May 2006, when President George W. Bush chose to waive Medicare Part D's penalties for low-income and disabled seniors who signed up late. "Officials determined that collecting the fees from poor beneficiaries would cost more than the penalties themselves," reported McClatchy. The article goes on to suggest that the Bush administration's move was partially motivated to make sure Congress did not pass legislation permanently removing the late-enrollment penalties.

      There is little evident difference between Obama's unilateral delay of the employer mandate in Obamacare and Bush's unilateral delay of the late-enrollment penalties in Medicare Part D (my emphasis). But Boehner sees one as a threat to the republic while the other passed like a breeze in the night.


      – See more at:

  8. Republican 36 says:

    Cory Gardner Votes in Favor of the Do Nothing House and Continued Gridlock

    The House refuses to compromise on anything and refuses to solve any of nations problems but when the President tries to move forward they want to sue him for using his executive authority. This is nothing more than an attempt to continue the gridlock in Washington which the public is fed-up with and Cory Gardfner voted for it. In short Gardner voted to impose a do nothing policy on the federal government.

  9. Cogito says:

    "There are numerous steps the President can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, …", said John Boehner today.  Oh, right, that's not about Obamacare, it's because House GOPs could not act to address they admit is a problem with a flood of illegal immigrants.  So we'll sue when we think it gets us political points but ask him to do it again when we can't agree on anything ourselves.

  10. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Boehner now says O should unilaterally act on Immigration – I hope the Tea Party picks up on this:

    “There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries.”

  11. Curmudgeon says:

    Today's GOP-

    Too chickenshit to actually attempt impeachment ('cause they know it'd be a loss, and the backlash would be severe);

    Too chickenshit to risk alienating the drooling, jibbering GOTP idiots who are losing their minds at the thought of this uppity President finishing out his term and "getting away with it". 

  12. ct says:
    Balls in box.
    Falls on rocks.
    Knox on balls with rocks in box.
    Rocks on Balls and Balls in box.
    Orangeman got himself in Knots.

    I hope Boehner reads some Dr. Suess from the witness stand.

  13. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Meanwhile, PolitiFact calls Cory a liar regarding his assertion that KXL will create "thousands of jobs" in Colorado.  #nothingbutatool

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