The PJ Tatler

Senator Says Congressional Staff a Roadblock in Getting Support for Obamacare Lawsuit

A Wisconsin senator said he felt some staff of GOP House members were standing in the way of getting more support for his lawsuit against President Obama’s executive overreach.

On Monday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) filed an answer to the government’s motion to dismiss his lawsuit over the Obama administration’s special Obamacare treatment of Congress and its staff.

“The Office of Personnel Management’s rule restoring tax preferred congressional health care subsidies that the Affordable Care Act eliminated reflects a stunning disregard for the law. On Jan. 6, 2014, I filed suit to overturn this executive overreach and uphold the rule of law. This is just one example of the more than 20 unilateral changes made by the president to his own signature piece of legislation, but it was the one opportunity where I believe I had standing to challenge,” he said in a statement. “The administration does not want this case to have its day in court, and as a result, asked the court on March 17 to dismiss my case due to lack of standing.”

Johnson told Fox last night that the OPM “basically did the president’s bidding, really the Senate Democrats’ bidding, in making sure that the federal government, contrary to the stated purpose, stated law, that is Obamacare, could make a tax-deferred employer contribution when they had to purchase their insurance through the exchanges. It’s unfair, it’s unfair treatment, its special treatment, and by the way, the president has no legal authority to change the law the way it did. But that’s really at the heart of this lawsuit. It is the doctrine and separation of powers and the fact that this president has exceeded his legal authority.”

Also filed Monday was an amicus brief signed by 12 senators and 26 House representatives in support of Johnson’s lawsuit against OPM.

Johnson called this “a pretty good job of uniting the Republican Party.”

“Even though this will be contrary to their own financial best interest and the financial best interest of their staff, realize what is at stake here is literally the constitutional balance, the constitutional framework of this nation,” he said of those who signed on to the suit.

But he said there was a reason why he thinks more lawmakers didn’t hop on board.

“I think we had a real problem getting my emails past staff. I know in one case there was actually a House member who agreed to be part of the amicus brief, who when we went to the staff said we can’t sign the authorization form. Had to make call to that member of Congress and make sure he overrode his staff,” Johnson said.

The senator said he’s hoping the case comes before Judge Griesbach in the Eastern District Federal Court in Green Bay for a ruling “within the next three or four months.”