The House today passed a bill authorizing a lawsuit against President Obama for executive overreach, with no Democrats crossing over and five Republican defections.
The final tally was 225-201, a vote that came after impassioned floor debate. The GOP “no” votes came from Reps. Tom Massie (R-Ky.), Steve Stockman (R-Texas), Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Walt Jones (R-N.C.).
Jones told The Hill that he voted against the “theater” of a lawsuit because impeachment should be pursued instead.
“Why not impeach instead of wasting $1 million to $2 million of the taxpayers’ money? … If you’re serious about this, use what the founders of the Constitution gave us,” Jones said.
Urging votes for the bill on the floor today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) argued “this isn’t about Republicans and Democrats. It is about defending the Constitution that we swore an oath to uphold, and acting decisively when it may be compromised.”
“No member of this body needs to be reminded of what the Constitution states about the president’s obligation to faithfully execute the laws of our nation. No member needs to be reminded of the bonds of trust that have been frayed, of the damage that’s already been done to our economy and to our people,” Boehner said. “Are you willing to let any president choose what laws to execute and what laws to change? Are you willing to let anyone tear apart what our Founders have built?”
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) quickly blasted out a fundraising email after the vote.
“I just walked off the floor of the House after the Republican majority voted to sue the President of the United States for the first time in our history,” she said in the DNC mailer urging donations. “…With these folks, endless stunts and empty-headed wastes of time have become the norm. After today’s vote, it couldn’t be more clear that it’s time to elect Democrats and send this shutdown/lawsuit crowd packing.”
“They’re not only suing him for doing his job, they are doing it on behalf of the taxpayers,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said today. “Previous lawsuits against the President have cost upwards of millions of dollars.”