A majority of Americans view House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) lawsuit over President Obama’s delayed implementation of ObamaCare’s employer mandate as a “political stunt,” according to a new poll released Monday.
The survey, commissioned by liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change, found 51 percent of voters don’t believe the lawsuit is legitimate, versus just 41 percent who do.
“Congress — and John Boehner personally — already have record low poll numbers. These new findings indicate that the lawsuit against Obama will just reinforce Boehner’s image as an out of touch leader with the wrong priorities,” said Tom Jensen, whose Democratic Public Policy Polling firm conducted the survey.
But Boehner’s office has criticized the White House for dismissing the lawsuit as a “stunt” and knocking the use of taxpayer dollars to fund it.
“Anyone whose boss routinely uses a taxpayer-funded jumbo jet to attend political fundraisers probably ought to lay off that particular talking point,” Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said in a statement.
The survey found that a plurality of Americans — 46 percent — say the lawsuit makes them less likely to vote for Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections. By contrast, 3 in 10 say the lawsuit makes them more likely to vote for the GOP.
Some 58 percent of voters say the suit will not help improve the lives of people like them, and 63 percent say Congress should be more focused on taking action to create jobs.
Still, Republicans might see the lawsuit as worthwhile. The litigation is designed to paint the president as overreaching on executive actions and thrusts his controversial ObamaCare law back into the spotlight.
According to draft legislation unveiled last week, the Speaker’s lawsuit will challenge the administration's decision to unilaterally delay a requirement that firms offer health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty.
Under the law, employers with more than 50 full-time workers must offer health insurance or pay a penalty.
But earlier this year, federal health officials announced that employers with between 50 and 99 workers have until January 2016 to comply with the requirement to offer health insurance or pay the fine. That was on top of a previous delay in July 2013, which pushed back implementation of the penalty for all impacted companies until January 2015.
A Bankrate.com survey released earlier this month found that 44 percent of Americans believe ObamaCare will play a major factor in their voting decisions this fall. Of those who say so, 32 percent are more likely to vote Republican and 26 percent are more likely to vote for Democrats.