Topics: Obamacare

Mike Lee: Latest Obamacare delay is 'lawless' --- 'he is not an emperor'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Executive Branch,Eric Holder,Employer Mandate,Mike Lee

President Obama's latest delay of the employer mandate is yet another "lawless" change to Obamacare, according to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who said Attorney General Eric Holder still hasn't provided the legal basis for the last delay.

"[Obama] has no authority to do that," Lee told the Washington Examiner after his speech on higher education reform at the Heritage Foundation. "He's acting outside of what the law authorizes him to do and this has got to stop. At some point the president of the United States has to recognize that we are a nation that operates under a system of laws. He is not an emperor. He is not a super-legislature. And he doesn't have the power to just trump what Congress does."

Earlier Monday, Obama's team announced "that it would give midsized employers until 2016 to provide health insurance for their workers, delaying another key provision of the Affordable Care Act," per Washington Examiner reporter Brian Hughes.

Holder struggled to identify the basis for President Obama's authority to flout Obamacare's implementation schedule when Lee pressed him on the subject during a recent Senate hearing.

"I've not had a chance to look at, you know, for some time, exactly what the analysis was there, so I'm not sure that I would be able to put it in what category," Holder told Lee on Jan. 29 when asked to ground the original delay of the employer law in a standard three-part test for such unilateral actions by the executive branch.

Lee asked Holder to write him an explanation of the legal analysis that the Justice Department used to justify delaying the employer mandate, which was originally supposed to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. The attorney general has not yet done so.

The Utah Republican said Obama is acting on the weakest of constitutional grounds. "The law says x, and he is trying to do not x, but y," Lee told the Examiner.

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