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Rice's resolution gone wrong

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After House Republicans failed 47 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, South Carolina’s Rep. Tim Rice (Dist. 7) is now attempting a new angle to defeat it: sue the president.

His method only reveals further failure of Rice and his GOP counterparts, though: a U.S. president can’t be charged with civil damages for actions related to his office. And even if a president could be sued, Rice's arguments are flawed.

Last week Rice composed the “Stop this Overreaching Presidency” or “S.T.O.P.” resolution (H. Res. 442), calling for a “civil action” in response to claims that the White House has overreached its authority in execution of the Act.

In a letter seeking support from other U.S. representatives, Rice wrote “President Obama has adopted a practice of picking and choosing which laws he wants to enforce,” according to Weekly Standard.

The resolution, which calls for civil suit, only attacks the president for seeking to simplify adaptation of the ACA, however.

Its first of four complaints cites allowing renewal of insurance policies that are otherwise regarded as inadequate by Obamacare; however, the exception only pertains to policies that extended from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, 2014, and to better allow complying modifications to be enacted in policy renewals.

The second “S.T.O.P.” complaint cites a delay in enacting ACA requirements for employers to detail employee insurance programs to the IRS. The one-year delay, though, simply allows the reporting to be simplified before full enforcement.

The remaining two complaints pertain to modifications in Medicaid approval included in the ACA, and the offering of temporary status to illegal immigrants whose parents brought them to the U.S. as children.

If passed, “S.T.O.P.” calls for a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to hear the case.

However, no court can.

Even if any of Rice’s claims were valid, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled multiple times that a president is immune from civil liability claims for presidential actions taken while in office.

The bill has over 30 Republican cosponsors, including South Carolina Reps. Mark Sanford (Dist. 1), Joe Wilson, (Dist. 2), Jeff Duncan (Dist. 3) and Trey Gowdy (Dist. 4).

Rice is hosting two Town Hall meetings in his district on December 18, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Aynor Town Hall (630 S Main St in Aynor) and at 1:00 p.m. at the Loris Public Safety Building (3909 Walnut St in Loris).

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