GOP bill authorizes lawsuits against Obama

House Republicans are again taking aim at the Obama administration for its failure to enforce laws passed by Congress.

Republicans serving on two committees have introduced legislation that would allow the House or Senate to authorize a lawsuit against the Obama administration.

The ENFORCE the Laws Act is the latest GOP response to complaints that President Obama is willfully ignoring or altering federal law. As examples, Republicans have cited the several delays to ObamaCare provisions and Obama's 2011 decision to delay deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime.

"This administration's disregard for the law has reached an unprecedented level from a constitutional perspective," said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the lead sponsor of the bill.

"We have pursued certain remedies afforded to Congress to address executive overreach but these efforts have been thwarted," he said. "This bill is necessary; it will give Congress the authority to defend this branch of government as the framers and our fellow citizens would expect."

The new bill is cosponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). Each agreed Tuesday that the bill is needed to stop Obama's unilateral decisions to override congressional laws.

"This legislation adds balance to an executive branch that has grown so bloated and convoluted that it now comfortably abuses its power knowing that the complexity of its actions and judicial backlogs will allow it to effectively get away with it," Issa said. "This isn't how the framers of our Constitution envisioned our system working."

The bill is also sponsored by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.), who proposed similar legislation earlier this year. Several other members of Issa's and Goodlatte's committees are also sponsors of the bill, which was introduced with 17 GOP co-sponsors.

Under the bill, the House or Senate could authorize a lawsuit against the executive branch for failing to enforce the law. That would create an expedited procedure for the lawsuit, which would first be heard by a three-judge panel at the federal district court level. Any appeal would be directed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bill is also similar to legislation proposed by Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.). Last month, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said he hoped the House would act soon on Rice's bill, although the introduction of a bill from Issa and Goodlatte could mean GOP leaders are looking to bring that version to the floor.

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