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House Republicans on Friday filed a long-awaited lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of overstepping his executive authority when implementing his signature health care law.
And though the suit is centered on the Affordable Care Act, the GOP moved on the legal action the morning after the president announced he will unilaterally grant temporary relief to millions of undocumented immigrants.
"Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and re-write federal law on his own without a vote of Congress. That's not the way our system of government was designed to work,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action."
The suit, filed against the heads of Health and Human Services and Treasury Department, is centered on the White House decision to delay the employer mandate of the health care law and accuses the administration of unlawfully giving $175 billion to insurance companies.
House Republicans approved a bill authorizing the legal action in a 225-201 vote in July. No Democrats supported the measure.
The suit has been dismissed by Democrats as a politically motivated waste of taxpayer money. The president has said his actions have only been necessary because Republicans in Congress have refused to work with him.
"While the American people want Congress to get serious about creating good-paying jobs and strengthening the middle class, House Republicans are paying $500-an-hour in taxpayer money to sue the President of the United States," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
White House spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said the GOP is wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on a lawsuit "that is without any sound legal basis."
Republicans say the suit is necessary to protect the Constitution.
Earlier this week George Washington University legal scholar Jonathan Turley agreed to represent the GOP in the suit after the other attorneys declined to, allegedly due to political pressure.
NBC's Chris Jansing contributed to this report.