House Republicans will continue to pay an outside attorney to handle its lawsuit against President Barack Obama.
At the direction of leadership, House General Counsel Kerry Kircher has extended the official contract with Jonathan Turley to pursue legal action against the president through Jan. 3, 2017, at noon — or earlier, should the case conclude by then, according to a document obtained by CQ Roll Call. "Obviously, his work is not done yet," said Speaker John A. Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel, of the decision to extend Turley's contract.
The House last fall approved, along party lines, a resolution to sue Obama for unilaterally changing portions of the 2010 health care law. After two law firms severed their agreements to take on the case due to pressure from other clients, leadership secured Turley's commitment in November . The suit was filed less than 24 hours after Obama unveiled his sweeping executive order to defer the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.
“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,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said at the time.
Democrats, meanwhile, continue to rail against what they deem a partisan stunt.
“The three ring circus of Speaker Boehner’s ‘New American Congress’ continues," Drew Hammill, spokesman for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. "When Rep. Boehner can’t legislate his way, he shuts down the government or hires a $500-an-hour TV personality to file a lawsuit. It’s a shameful use of taxpayer dollars to extend this contract for another two years.”
Related: House Finally Files Affordable Care Act Lawsuit Against Obama The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.