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White House: GOP suit ‘unfortunate’

The White House says it is “unfortunate” that House Republicans would devote time and energy to filing a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s delay of a provision in his signature healthcare law, as they did Friday.

“At a time where I think the American people want Washington focused on jobs and the economy, the House Republicans choose to sue us, sue the president for doing his job,” spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One.

{mosads}Schultz added that Republicans were using taxpayer resources “for a lawsuit that their own congressional research service could not identify any merit for.”

The GOP lawsuit challenges 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 a 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.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University professor retained by House Republicans, after two law firms ultimately opted against litigating the case.

”Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and rewrite federal law on his own without a vote of Congress. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement.

“If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action.”

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