By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)
- COMING SOON: The House Republican lawsuit against President Obama will focus solely on Obamacare – not immigration, ABC’s JEFF ZELENY and JOHN PARKINSON note. The focus of the litigation will be the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act. House Republicans decided against including immigration and other executive actions in the lawsuit, officials tell ABC News, to strengthen the legal case and improve the chances of a federal judge allowing the legal action to move forward. “There are many examples of executive overreach by the president, but his actions on the health care law are the ones that give the House the best chance of success in the courts,” according to a draft resolution authorizing the lawsuit. The legislation to authorize the lawsuit will be debated as early as next week in the House, with a vote coming before the end of July.
- FROM THE SPEAKER’S DESK: In a statement released last night, House Speaker John Boehner said: “Today we’re releasing a draft resolution that will authorize the House to file suit over the way President Obama unilaterally changed the employer mandate. In 2013, the president changed the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own.”
- WORD FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: In a counter-statement, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said: “It is disappointing that Speaker Boehner and Congressional Republicans have decided to waste time and taxpayer dollars on a political stunt. At a time when Washington should be working to expand economic opportunities for the middle class, Republican leaders in Congress are playing Washington politics rather than working with the President on behalf of hardworking Americans. As the President said today, he is doing his job – lawsuit or not – and it’s time Republicans in Congress did theirs.”
THIS WEEK ON ‘THIS WEEK’: Attorney General Eric Holder comes to “This Week” Sunday. And the powerhouse roundtable debates all the week’s politics, with ABC News’ Cokie Roberts, ABC News contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, ABC News contributor and Republican strategist Ana Navarro, and ABC News contributor and former Obama White House senior adviser David Plouffe. See the “This Week” homepage for full guest listings. Be sure to use #ThisWeek when you tweet about the program. TUNE IN SUNDAY: http://abcnews.go.com/thisweek
ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: Remember all those changes the White House kept making on Obamacare, the waivers and new rules that kept coming from the West Wing? They are now the sole subject of the lawsuit that House Republicans are preparing to file against President Obama. Speaker John Boehner avoided the temptation of including immigration and a raft of other potential executive actions in the suit. It’s an attempt to strengthen the legal case and decrease the chances a judge will dismiss the suit. A vote by the full House is likely to come in the last week of July. But until then, expect to hear more talk of impeachment. Sarah Palin sparked the latest round of calls this week, which Boehner quickly swatted down. The lawsuit was actually intended to be a political alternative to impeachment — a shiny object for Republicans to take back to their conservative districts and show they are trying to reign in Obama. But to Palin and other back seat GOP drivers, it’s suddenly become a weak measure. The challenge for Boehner is to keep that criticism from spreading through his caucus.
with ABC’s SCOTT WILSON
OBAMA QUOTES ‘THE DEPARTED’ TO EXPLAIN WASHINGTON DYSFUNCTION. President Obama has been slamming Republicans for months for obstructing his efforts to boost the economy. But yesterday, he found a new, creative way to explain the problem, according to ABC’s MARY BRUCE. Speaking in Austin, Texas yesterday Obama invoked the violent Martin Scorsese thriller “The Departed” to explain Washington dysfunction “There’s a scene in the movie where Mark Wahlberg — you know, they’re on a stakeout — and somehow the guy loses the guy that they’re tracking. And Wahlberg’s all upset and, you know, yelling at the guy. And the guy looks up and he says, ‘Well, who are you?’ And Wahlberg says, ‘I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy,’” Obama said. “Sometimes I feel like saying to these guys, ‘I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy,’” he said to laughter and applause from the crowd at the Paramount Theatre in Austin. http://abcn.ws/1q2dUS3
HERE’S WHAT OBAMA WOULD SEE IF HE VISITED THE BORDER. Republicans — and even a few Democrats — have pounced on President Obama for his refusal to visit the U.S.-Mexico border where hoards of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have crossed into the country illegally are being held in overburdened, overcrowded border patrol facilities. There’s no telling for sure whether a presidential visit to the border would be instructive or just “theater,” as Obama said Wednesday, and it would depend on where the president visited. Obama, who visited Texas this week, says he was “not interested in photo ops” and insisted a border visit wouldn’t enhance his understanding of what he, himself, has called a “humanitarian crisis.” ABC’s ERIN DOOLEY describes what the President would see if he went down to the border himself. http://abcn.ws/1tsaJ7w
BOEHNER PINS BORDER CRISIS ON OBAMA’S ‘FALSE HOPE’. House Speaker John Boehner pinned ownership of the escalating humanitarian crisis at the southern border squarely on President Obama, complaining yesterday that the president’s immigration policies have encouraged migrants to stream across our border, ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON reports. Boehner contended that throughout his presidency, Obama has given migrants “false hope” that if they enter the country illegally, they would be allowed to stay. “This is a problem of the president’s own making!” Boehner, R-Ohio, exclaimed to reporters at a news conference at the Capitol yesterday. “He has been president for five and half years. When is he going to take responsibility for something?” While Congress considers the White House’s $4.3 billion supplemental request, of which $3.7 billion is earmarked for the southern border, lawmakers are also debating whether to revise a 2008 law that says the unaccompanied children cannot be sent back to their native countries. http://abcn.ws/1oHa1fY
YOU DON’T SEE THIS EVERY DAY: “House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will be joined by bipartisan Members of Congress [today] at 11:30 a.m. ET to formally sign the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) and send it to President Obama. The bipartisan legislation would improve and streamline job training programs so that those who are out of work can get the skills they need to earn a steady paycheck and get back on their feet. Participants: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Chairman of the House Education & Workforce Committee John Kline (R-MN); Ranking Member of the House Education & Workforce Committee George Miller (D-CA); Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC); Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX).”
KOCH-BACKED GROUP PREVIEWS OBAMACARE PROTEST WITH ‘CREEPY’ VIDEO. Creepy Uncle Sam is back, and he’s coming to the National Mall with a few friends, ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL notes. The conservative group Generation Opportunity, which has financial ties to conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, is planning to bring a circus to the nation’s capital in its latest attempt to convince young American to opt out of the Affordable Care Act. “The ‘Creepy Care-nival,’ like Obamacare itself, comes with a veneer of excitement, but as soon as you begin to experience it, you realize you are being taken for a ride,” the site states. The video features clowns, fire-eaters and strong-men, along with a “dropped coverage” dunk tank and an “exploding premiums” strength test. Creepy Uncle Sam, who appeared in the group’s first ad surprising a woman at her gynecologist’s office, is introduced in the video as the master of ceremonies. The Virginia-based Generation Opportunity hosted tailgate parties on 20 college campuses in 2013 to encourage young people not to enroll in Obamacare. http://abcn.ws/1rXREsg
VETERAN SUICIDES DRAW TEARFUL FAMILIES TO CAPITOL HILL. In an emotional House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing Thursday, a panel of parents decried failures in the VA and the Department of Defense as contributing to the mental pressures that led their sons to kill themselves, note ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN and JAKE LEFFERMAN. “Perhaps none of these hearings have presented the all-too-human face of VA’s failures so much as today’s hearing will,” committee chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said. Jean and Dr. Howard Somers, the parents of Army Sgt. Daniel Somers, spoke of their son’s experience navigating the VA system in Phoenix. “He was told by their mental health department that they had no beds, and he was told there were no beds in the emergency department. Daniel, 30, had largely condemned his experience with the system in his suicide letter published by Gawker 12 days after his death. The panel cited a 2012 Suicide Data report that estimated 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the United States. http://abcn.ws/U5JnEd
MEET THE IMPEACHMENT CROWD: 6 REPUBLICANS WHO WANT OBAMA OUT. Has President Obama’s use of the “pen and phone” to circumvent Congress gotten out of hand? Some members of the GOP seem to think so. Even as the embattled president fights criticism over the escalating humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, the release of Arm. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in return for five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, and the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, a mounting chorus of Republicans are calling for impeachment. With a cast of characters ranging from Sarah Palin to the South Dakota Republican Party, ABC’s ERIN DOOLEY and SCOTT WILSON have compiled a list of the high-profile Republicans who want to kick the president out of office: http://abcn.ws/1mPudiV
SEN. DICK DURBIN ACCUSES SUPREME COURT JUSTICES OF MISLEADING THE SENATE. A recent controversial ruling by the Supreme Court reveals that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito Jr. were less than transparent during their Supreme Court confirmation hearings, a Democratic lawmaker charged Thursday. And the lawmaker, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is none too happy about it, ABC’s JAKE LEFFERMAN reports. The Supreme Court ruling last week in the the Hobby Lobby contraception case, Durbin said, goes against the landmark 1965 privacy case, Griswold v. Connecticut, which both justices vowed to uphold during their confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee nearly a decade ago. Durbin said he always makes sure to ask conservative judicial nominees whether they support the Griswold ruling, which is at the heart of women’s rights issues. “I asked that question repeatedly of Justice Roberts and Justice Alito to make sure that they would honor that same tradition of privacy. The Hobby lobby decision violates that fundamental premise,” said Durbin, who serves on the Judiciary Committee. http://abcn.ws/1kJzYcf
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
BEN & JERRY’S FOUNDER BRINGS POLITICAL FLAVORS TO CAPITOL LOBBYING. Lobbying usually doesn’t come with a side of ice cream. But Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield brought some with him to Capitol Hill Thursday, where he joined Rep. Peter DeFazio to advocate for mandatory labeling of genetically modified food, ABC’s BENJAMIN SEIGEL notes. “One spoonful at a time will change the law,” DeFazio, D-Ore., proclaimed. DeFazio and Greenfield appeared with pro-labeling advocates to protest a bill proposed by House Republicans that would make labeling genetically modified food voluntary. “Companies should be proud to talk about the ingredients they put in their food,” said Greenfield, whose ice cream company is known for their inventive flavors and ingredients. “This is as mainstream of an idea as you can get.” The bill, authored by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, would nullify efforts in several states to require GMO labeling; initiatives he called “misleading” in a Kansas newspaper op-ed. http://abcn.ws/TWbrtp
@Messina2012: POTUS uses a line from 1 of my fav movies to slam GOP “I’m the guy going my job, you must be the other guy.”
@jaketapper: @Messina2012 sisterhood of the traveling pants?
@jasoninthehouse: Is the State Department Prioritizing ‘Pretty Buildings’ Over Preventing the Next Benghazi? http://www.nationaljournal.com/defense/is-the-state-department-prioritizing-pretty-buildings-over-preventing-the-next-benghazi-20140710 … via @nationaljournal