Florida Delegation Divides on Party Lines Over Suing Obama
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The U.S. House voted on a near party-lines vote on Wednesday on a resolution allowing U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to sue President Barack Obama for altering his signature health-care law without congressional approval. The resolution passed 225-201 with five Republicans joining the Democrats in voting against it.
The Florida delegation broke on party lines with Republicans backing the resolution and Democrats opposing it.
U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., insisted Obama overstepped his boundaries and needed to be reined in.
“The Constitution is clear,” Crenshaw said. “Congress makes the laws; the judiciary interprets the laws; and the president executes the laws. As we’ve all witnessed, however, there is no end in sight to President Obama working around Congress to get what he wants.
“I took an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution, and am compelled to join my colleagues to protect our nation from continuous encroachment on the legislative branch,” Crenshaw added. “President Obama’s blatant disregard for our Constitution has got to stop, and this legislation provides for that accountability. This isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats, it’s about protecting our democracy.”
U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., said Obama was going against what the Founding Fathers intended when they created the presidency.
“Somewhere along the line, the president decided to ignore the Constitution and his oath to ‘faithfully execute’ the laws passed by Congress through his office. By choosing which laws he will enforce and which laws he will not enforce, he is doing exactly what the framers of the Constitution were fighting against,” Yoho said. “This is not the executive branch the Founding Fathers had in mind. The president, by his own actions, has placed Congress and the American people in a position to do two things: We can sit back and watch the president not perform his sworn duty or hold him accountable.”
Yoho said Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate left the House no other options than to sue him.
“There are a lot of important issues facing us, I understand this more than anything, but I cannot sit by and watch our chief executive shred the Constitution, bypass Congress and enforce portions of laws that suit his agenda,” Yoho insisted. “The American people deserve better. This lawsuit is an important step in holding the president accountable, because it does not require the permission of Harry Reid’s Senate. The House has sent bill after bill -- which would be beneficial for America -- to the Senate, only to have it die on Harry Reid’s desk. This lawsuit does not require his permission, for which we should all be thankful.”
Democrats from Florida pushed back against the resolution. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), took to the House floor and said Congress should be focused on other matters, especially as it was heading into the August recess.
“We have a full plate of responsibilities left unfinished," Wasserman Schultz said, pointing to immigration, minimum wage, unemployment insurance and other issues. “Republican leadership in the House cares more about scoring political points against this president than they do about helping America’s middle class families. This is a question of priorities.”
Bashing the “do-nothing Republican Congress,” Wasserman Schultz said some in the GOP planned to go even further. “I have heard too many in the Republican majority raise the specter of impeachment,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Wasserman Schultz wasn’t alone among Democrats attacking the Republicans and playing the impeachment card. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) noted it had raised $2 million after bombarding supporters with fundraising emails.
U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., a top Republican target in November, sent out an email to his supporters and called on them to “send a powerful message against this absurd lawsuit” by contributing to his campaign.
“We need to fight back – let's make it clear that the American people are not going to stand for this ridiculous waste of time and taxpayer money," Garcia wrote supporters. “We have to show that we're united against their games -- chip in now and stand against this desperate political charade.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.