The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to sue President
Barack Obama for allegedly exceeding his constitutional powers, BBC
The 225-201 vote along party lines means House lawyers will now draft legal documents to launch a lawsuit.
Its supporters say Mr Obama exceeded his powers when he delayed an insurance deadline in his healthcare law.
The president himself has dismissed it as a waste of time. "Everyone sees this as a political stunt," he said.
"If they're not going to do anything, we'll do what we can on our own," the president added.
we've taken more than 40 actions aimed at helping hardworking families
like yours. That's when we act - when your Congress won't."
in Congress have complained that Mr Obama has exceeded his
constitutional authority on numerous occasions, in order to bypass
Congress by issuing executive orders.
They object, for instance,
to his order unilaterally easing deportations of some young illegal
immigrants, and the prison exchange that won the release of a US soldier
held captive for five years by the Taliban.
issue in the resolution, which was sponsored by Congressman Pete
Sessions of Texas with the full backing of House Speaker John Boehner,
was Mr Obama's decision to twice delay requirements in his 2010
healthcare overhaul that businesses over a certain size provide their
workers with health insurance.
Mr Obama has been forthright about
his intentions to circumvent the gridlocked Congress when possible,
noting frequently that the Republican-controlled House of
Representatives has declined even to hold votes on Senate-passed bills
on topics from immigration reform to gay rights.
As far back as
January, White House aides began referring to the president's "pen and
phone" strategy - using his telephone to convene meetings at the White
House and his pen to sign executive orders and changes to federal
Every US president since George Washington has
issued executive orders, and Mr Obama has not stood out in the modern
era for the number he has signed.
In his six years in office Mr
Obama has issued 183 executive orders, compared to 291 across George W
Bush's eight years and 381 for Ronald Reagan, according to a study by
the American Presidency Project at the University of California-Santa
But Republicans insist Mr Obama has selectively enforced
laws duly passed by Congress, upsetting the balance of powers written
into the constitution.
"Such a shift in power should alarm
members of both political parties because it threatens the very
institution of the Congress," the Republicans wrote in report
accompanying the House legislation.