You may have heard that right before going on vacation, the “House of Representatives passed a resolution … authorizing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to sue President Barack Obama for what they say has been inadequate enforcement of the health care law they oppose.”
The suit would seek to make Obama strictly enforce the Affordable Care Act that Boehner has held some 50 votes to undermine or repeal. Republicans object that the Obama administration has delayed some parts of the law, particularly the mandate on employers who do not provide health care coverage.…
Some Republicans acknowledged the lawsuit's irony. But they argued that even though they oppose the law, it's the president's job to enforce it -- and he hasn't.
An outspoken lawsuit backer is Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.). Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank quoted Rep. Rice, who said he liked suing the President because, “We cannot stand by and watch the president shred our Constitution.” This is the same guy who also supports an “alternative” to Obamacare that would unconstitutionally (according to many Tea Party supporters) interfere with the common law of 50 states by severely limiting compensation to patients killed or injured by medical malpractice. That, he says, is to solve a so-called “lawsuit abuse” problem caused by sick and injured children - as opposed to, say, by members of Congress. Dana Milbank also observed that, “For procedural reasons, Republicans opted to bring the lawsuit bill to the floor paired in debate with a measure to deregulate pesticides.” Irony? Hypocrisy? Toxic? Just plain funny? I say all of the above.
Aside from the lawsuit’s political backstory (i.e., impeachment “lite”), what’s really driving the U.S. House of Representatives up a wall is the President’s use of executive orders to bypass a house of Congress that refuses to act sanely.
Some companies that earn billions of dollars as government contractors are among the worst violators of U.S. labor laws, yet year after year they keep winning new contracts. So President Barack Obama is aiming to end impunity for labor violators by pushing companies to clean up their act if they want to keep taking federal money.
Obama on Thursday will sign an executive order that requires contractors to give their workers more rights to address disputes. Companies seeking large contracts won't be allowed to require their workers to sign agreements saying that an arbitrator, rather than a judge, gets to hear sexual assault or civil rights grievances and make binding decisions. The order also requires that workers be given information each pay period to help them to determine whether their paychecks are accurate, White House officials said. …
The provision barring mandatory arbitration agreements will apply only to new contracts exceeding $1 million, officials said, and will affect disputes brought under the anti-discrimination section of the Civil Rights Act or accusations of sexual assault or harassment. It mirrors protections Congress already has enacted that apply to Defense Department contracts.
Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) championed those protections, as we’ve noted before. This is a great step forward in what we hope will ultimately be a new federal law to ban these forced arbitration clauses altogether.
I can’t wait to hear what House supporters of the crazy Obamacare lawsuit have to say about this new executive order providing victims of discrimination, sexual assault or harassment the right to sue in court. I expect nothing less than full-blown irony, hypocrisy and just plain hilarity!