Constitutional Law

House has standing to sue Obama administration over health-law payments, judge rules

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A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled the U.S. House of Representatives has standing to challenge Obama administration payments supporting the health-care law that were made after Congress refused to appropriate the money.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer allowed the challenge to spending on health-care subsidies in a decision (PDF) on Wednesday, report the National Law Journal, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

But Collyer found no standing to challenge a delay in the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, which requires large companies to pay for health insurance for their employees.

The claim allowed by Collyer contends the administration usurped Congress’ “power of the purse” when it made payments to insurance companies to reimburse them for reducing the cost of coverage to low-income policyholders.

Collyer said her decision permitting the suit “will open no floodgates, as it is inherently limited by the extraordinary facts of which it was born.”

The White House plans to appeal.

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