House farce: It wasted precious time on the Obama lawsuit vote

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Congress left for the summer last week after more bickering and poor results — and nothing shows its failure more than the Republican-led House of Representatives voting to seek a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for alleged unconstitutional actions.

The House was supposed to be attending to pressing business. Instead, the vote provoked the usual partisan theater, with Republicans insisting that their action was about Mr. Obama’s executive orders and Democrats saying it was the first step to impeachment.

The vote focused on the order that postponed enforcement of the Affordable Care Act provision requiring businesses to give health care coverage to employees. This was absurdity heaped upon absurdity; Republicans don’t like the health law, yet they are suing over postponing one of its provisions.

Abuse of executive orders is deplorable, but other presidents have been bigger offenders. President George W. Bush signed 291, Ronald Reagan 381 and FDR 3,522. Mr. Obama has yet to hit 190, says The American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Republicans have been resistant to Mr. Obama’s agenda, which has forced him to sign more executive orders to get something done. That makes this suit a variation on the old story about the child who shoots his parents then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he’s an orphan.

The American people are the ones who end up paying for all this. Maybe they should sue the House.

Meet the Editorial Board.


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