GOP Lawmakers: Say, Why Didn’t Obama Call a Press Conference When He Delayed the Employer Mandate?

Posted: Jul 17, 2013 2:00 PM

Not only did the White House delay the implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate provision via a series of blog posts (which is embarrassing enough), but they published said blog posts at a time when the administration knew people wouldn’t read them.

Now, of course, Republican lawmakers are asking why:

Republicans are scratching their heads over the White House’s decision this month to announce a major change to President Obama’s health care law through a pair of blog posts.

The Treasury and White House announced on July 2 that it would delay by one year, to 2015, the mandate in the Affordable Care Act that requires companies with the equivalent of 50 or more full-time workers to provide health coverage or pay fines.

But it did not hold a press conference or issue an official statement on the change, which many see as a setback for implementation of “Obamacare.”

Instead, it mentioned the delay about two-thirds of the way down each of its Web postings.

Republicans instantly accused the White House of trying to downplay and shroud the development on the cusp of the July 4 holiday weekend.

Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican, told the House Rules Committee this week that not too many people in Washington would advise the president to roll out big news in that way.

“When you are trying to pull a fast one, it’s sure better not to look like it,” Mr. Cole said. “This mystifies me, I have to tell you. That is political malpractice.”

Obama has never felt particularly duty-bound to uphold the rule of law. Laws are an inconvenience to him, after all. Last week, for example, Peter Wehner wrote a piece in Commentary Magazine documenting the many different ways the president has governed as he pleases, picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which ones to completely ignore:

Both Charles Krauthammer and Ramesh Ponnuru have spoken about the lawlessness of the Obama administration. Examples include (but are not limited to) unilaterally delaying implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, issuing health-care edicts that undermine the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, making unconstitutional “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, refusing to enforce current immigration laws related to illegal immigrants who were brought to America as children, and waving welfare work requirements.

This is all part of a pattern in which Mr. Obama enforces laws he likes and refuses to enforce (or unilaterally alters) laws he disagrees with. I suppose the temptation to act as a potentate is understandable; but it also happens to be illegal. The president, after all, has the constitutional duty to “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed” (see Article II, Section 3 for more).

Now, at least, he’s explicitly being called out for it. Sadly, though, don’t expect any apologies or explanations from the White House anytime soon -- even though Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) publicly wondered “how can [the administration] change the law?” and Charles Krauthammer called the president’s actions “absolutely lawless.” Doesn’t matter. The media has never held him to account.

Why should they start now?

UPDATE: Go read Guy's piece in the Green Room. Stunning.

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