GOP Pressing White House on Obamacare Mandate Delay

Wednesday, 24 Jul 2013 11:24 AM

By Lisa Barron

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GOP legislators want more precise information about the decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate that requires companies with 50 or more employee to provide health insurance or pay a fine.

The White House announced earlier this month that businesses would have an extra year to comply with the requirement.

Several Republicans on Tuesday questioned whether the decision was constitutional since the law contained statutory deadlines, reports The Hill.

"We also have to ask who was involved in this decision and when it was ultimately made," said Republican Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee. "Was this a last-minute decision with no coordination with other federal agencies? Or was this a carefully orchestrated effort developed long before the decision was announced?"

Roe, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment Labor and Pensions, continued, "The delay provides workplaces a temporary reprieve from an onerous mandate. However, it does not alter the fact the law is fatally flawed."

Shortly after the decision was announced, Roe and Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California, chairman of the Oversight Committee, questioned whether the White House can make the move without approval from Congress.

Roe and Republican Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, also asked the Obama administration's regulatory chief to explain the delay, according to the Hill.

But Howard Shelanski, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs declined, saying it was a policy decision outside the scope of his office's regulatory activities.

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