Washington: The US House Rules Committee on Thursday approved a resolution allowing the full House to vote on authorising a lawsuit against US President Barack Obama, accusing him of abusing executive authority.
The 7-4 vote was split along partisan lines, just as the vote in the full chamber is sure to be. A vote by the whole House is expected next week, Xinhua reported.
The lawsuit has further spawned a fierce debate between the House Republicans and the federal government.
Republicans said the initiative is simply aimed at holding the president accountable for circumventing Congress on a major policy change related to the implementation of Obama's healthcare reform bill. Meanwhile, Obama and congressional Democrats dismissed the suit as an election-year political stunt.
The lawsuit mainly focused on Obama's decision to delay the provisions that require most employers to provide insurance coverage for workers. Republicans said that Obama went beyond his authority by delaying the provision until 2015, after the midterm elections this fall.
The lawsuit, if approved by the full House, would be sent to a federal judge to decide whether the chamber has legal standing to pursue the case.
Legal experts testifying before the Rules Committee last week were split on the question of whether the House was sufficiently damaged by the delay to be granted standing.