It appears President Obama is going to have his hands full with court cases in 2014. First we heard of Sen. Rand Paul’s NSA lawsuit, now we’ve learned of Ron Johnson suing Obama over health care subsidies given to members of Congress for ObamaCare.
“The president doesn’t have the authority and at some point in time he needs to be challenged on that,” the Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron John said at a press conference Monday. “I believe I have an obligation to try and reestablish the checks and balances that our founders put in the Constitution to limit the size and power of our government,” Johnson added.
Johnson filed a lawsuit Monday against the Office of Personnel Management for its policy awarding Washington lawmakers and Capitol Hill staff with ObamaCare subsidies for their health plans, despite not falling anywhere near the income level required for the American people.
“The American people expect … that members of Congress, the political class in Washington, should be fully subject to all of the rules and all of the laws … and that is not the case,” Johnson said.
“[Members of Congress] went running to President Obama for special treatment and they got it,” he added. “That’s completely unfair and completely unjust and that’s what I’m trying to overturn.”
For Ron Johnson to legally prevail in the lawsuit, he will first have to establish that he is personally being hurt by the policy, thus granting the legal standing for him to sue over the policy. According to his aides, Johnson will argue that the unilateral policy is forcing him to be complicit in an act he believes is illegal.
He also says the policy harms him, because it harms his relationship with constituents, who are unhappy with Congress being granted special treatment through government subsidies, despite their income levels.
Johnson further argued the issue in an opt-ed in the Wall Street Journal, in which he wrote Congress’ subjugation under the law “was the confidence-building covenant supporters of the law made to reassure skeptics that ObamaCare would live up to its billing. They wanted to appear eager to avail themselves of the law’s benefits and be more than willing to subject themselves to the exact same rules, regulations and requirements as their constituents.”
Adding to the sentiment congressional members really didn’t read ObamaCare before they voted for it, it wasn’t until the ramifications sunk in that they changed their mind. “That’s when they went running to President Obama for relief,” Johnson wrote.
Senator Johnson was joined at the press conference by Rick Esenberg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, and Paul Clement, the former solicitor general who argued before the Supreme Court that ObamaCare was unconstitutional.
“This is not about whether the subsidies are ok, but about whether the rule of law should be upheld,” said Esenberg.
Johnson has been telegraphing this lawsuit for weeks, hammering the administration for abusing their authority and unfairly granting special breaks for those he deems fit, leaving other Americans out in the cold.
“In this case, members of Congress now are not being held to the letter of the law, and that creates an alienation. It creates a wedge between a member of Congress and their constituents,” Johnson told the Oshkosh Northwestern, late last week.
To round off the legal argument, Johnson will argue to the court that the policy forces a harmful decision upon him, deciding who among his staff does and does not qualified as “official” office employees, as unofficial employees are allowed to stay on the federal health plan already in place.
The lawsuit was filed with a staff member, Brooke Ericson, cited as the other plaintiff in the case who is being hurt by the unfair, arbitrary choice the policy forces Johnson to make.