GOP resolution: Obama delay of employer mandate violated Constitution

A new resolution from Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) charges President Obama with violating the Constitution by delaying enforcement of ObamaCare's employer health insurance mandate.

Garrett's resolution, H.Con.Res. 45, says Obama violated Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution by postponing the provision requiring all companies with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance or face a fine. 

While delaying any provision of ObamaCare might be seen as acceptable by Republicans who despise the law, Garrett said this delay raises serious questions about whether the executive branch can simply ignore laws passed by Congress.

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"Our government depends upon the rule of law," he said Wednesday. "President Obama is in violation of Section 3 of Article II of the Constitution by refusing to enforce the employer mandate provisions of ObamaCare.

"The executive branch, which has no constitutional authority to write or rewrite law at whim, has usurped the exclusive legislative power of Congress," said Garrett.

The text of the resolution reminds Obama that the Constitution says "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States," and that the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

It says laws passed by Congress are not merely suggestions that the president may or may not enforce.

"[T]he executive branch's unilateral decision to delay the implementation of a law sets a dangerous precedent under which legislation that is enacted through the passage of that legislation by the democratically elected Members of Congress and the signing of that legislation into law by the President will no longer have the force of law and will instead be relegated to having the status of a mere recommendation, which the President may choose to ignore," it reads.

The White House announced on July 2 that it would delay enforcement of the key employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act until 2015.

The White House defended the move, saying it was necessary to allow businesses time to comply with the new law and that other provisions will be implemented as scheduled.

But Republicans seized on the decision, saying the move highlighted that the president’s signature domestic legislation was unworkable and should be blocked in its entirety.

“Many have predicted the problems that your Administration now acknowledges, and each provision you delay continues to demonstrate that the entire law is unworkable,” wrote the House GOP leadership in a letter to Obama on Tuesday.

Republican lawmakers have also called for a new cost estimate for ObamaCare in light of the delayed mandate and have vowed to hold another series of votes this summer on repealing the law and its key provisions.