House Republicans prevailed in their lawsuit against the Obama administration for funding an Obamacare subsidy program without the proper congressional authorization Thursday, dealing a major blow against the Affordable Care Act.
A federal judge ruled the administration had violated the constitution by allocating funds toward subsidizing low-income Obamacare enrollees’ co-pays and deductibles.
If the ruling sticks, it could be financially crippling to a major part of the president’s landmark health-care legislation. The administration has spent more than $175 million in unauthorized funds on the cost-sharing program.
“Today’s ruling by the DC federal court is an important step toward restoring the separation of powers and stopping President Obama’s power grab,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement. “The Constitution is very clear: it is Congress’ job to write our laws and it is the president’s duty to enforce them. The Constitution is also clear that Congress has the power of the purse—the president cannot spend Americans’ money on his own terms.”
House Republicans said they had denied requests for the appropriations, yet the administration continued to spend on the program.
The court will allow the subsidy program to continue while an appeal is pending.
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