President Obama announced last week that the employer mandate in Obamacare will be delayed until January 2015. Under the mandate, certain employers must offer health insurance to their employees or face fines.
There's one big problem. The president has no legal authority to delay the mandate.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is among those critical of Obama. "The president doesn't have the authority to rewrite the law after Congress has passed it," Lee told Fox News' Greta Van Sustern. "The president has said he's not ready to implement the law. If he's not ready to implement it, we shouldn't fund it."
The Affordable Care Act clearly states that the employer mandate penalties take effect on January 1, 2014. There are no provisions in the law for the president or Treasury secretary to delay the fines.
This isn't the first time the president or his administration have exceeded their authority or broken the law in order to prop up Obamacare.
Michael F. Cannon at the Cato Institute has compiled a lengthy list of abuses by the administration. Among them...
Obamacare specifically forbids the administration from providing health insurance to members of Congress and their staffs through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. They have continued to do so in violation of federal law out of fear that Congress will reopen the statute.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius waived some mandates for select companies and unions that complained of rising insurance premiums. The law gives her no authority to issue the waivers.
Obamacare provides tax credits and subsidies for the purchase of qualifying health insurance plans on state-run insurance exchanges. However, many states have refused or failed to create the exchanges. The IRS announced it would extend these tax credits and subsidies to the purchase of health insurance in federal exchanges even though they are legally prohibited from doing so.
And the list goes on.
Congress must not allow, and Americans should not accept, a president who consistently thumbs his nose at federal law, the separation of powers and the Constitution.
It is intolerable that the president and his administration make sweeping changes to federal law with absolutely no legitimate authority to do so. These end-runs around Congress cannot be allowed to continue.
Congress should defund Obamacare and do it today. Lawmakers must not let this latest usurpation of their authority stand.
Ideally, the House of Representatives would bring articles of impeachment against President Obama for these abuses. We all know that's not going to happen.
However, the House would be wise to use its oversight abilities to clog up the wheels of the administration. Start congressional inquiries and let the subpoenas start flying. Wrap the president and his cronies in so much red tape and bureaucracy that it brings the crushing wheels of this administration to a grinding halt.
It may be the only way to derail Obama's repeated attempts to declare himself America's first Imperial President.
Greg Belfrage is heard mornings from 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320/107.9.