By Julian Hattem - 02/16/14 09:59 AM EST
President Obama is creating a “government of one” by ignoring the Constitution and further delaying ObamaCare’s employer mandate, according to Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeThe impact of silence: The incarceration of children who have committed no crime Fidelity denies lobbying for student loan tax break Cruz, Lee question legality of Iran payment MORE (R-Utah).
“The president knows this is wrong and it’s not defensible,” Lee said.
“He’s violating the Constitution. He’s exercising power that doesn’t belong to him; it belongs to the American people.”
Lee added that president’s decision last week was “a shameless power grab that’s designed to help the president and his particular party achieve a particular outcome in an election. And that’s wrong.”
The new delay, announced last week, gives businesses with between 50 and 99 employees an additional year to comply with the law that requires all companies with more than 50 fulltime workers offer health insurance or else pay a penalty.
The employer mandate was originally set to go into effect last month, but was delayed until 2015 last summer. Companies with 100 or more workers will still have to comply by next January under the most recent delay.
The Obama administration has said that the move was simply an administrative decision to help “phase in” the rules.
Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraBecerra: 'Immigrant basher' Trump won't explain how wife became citizen Sunday Shows Preview: Next steps after Trump's rough week Dem tensions explode in Hispanic Caucus over Trump MORE (D-Calif.) defended the initiative on “Fox News Sunday.”
“The president is simply providing small businesses with the flexibility they need,” he said.
Critics have said that the employer mandate delay is symptomatic of a larger trend within the White House to bypass Congress and ignore the law.
Becerra defended Obama’s intention to use administrative action in instances where Congress won’t act.
“I would hope that we would never have a chief executive who would twiddle its thumbs because Congress cant get its act together,” he said. “We need to move”