This evening, the United States House of Representatives filed its motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit against the unilateral actions taken by the Administration under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Three months ago, Judge Rosemary Collyer rejected a motion to dismiss the case by the Administration. The motion below seeks a final ruling on the merits of the lawsuit.
The motion states the following grounds for relief:
“This case concerns Congress’s exclusive power of the purse: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law . . . .” U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 7. “[T]he facts [of the case] are not in dispute,” Order at 3 (Oct. 19, 2015) (ECF No. 51), including the fact that defendants have been paying to health insurance companies, since January 2014, billions of taxpayer dollars under a program (the “Section 1402 Offset Program”) created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010) (“ACA”), and the fact that those payments began after defendants formally asked Congress for a non-permanent appropriation to fund the Section 1402 Offset Program, and after Congress turned down defendants’ appropriations request.
The legal question now before the Court – the sole remaining question – is whether the billions defendants admit that they have “drawn from the Treasury” and paid to health insurance companies were “in Consequence of [any] Appropriation made by Law,” as required by the Constitution. The answer to that question is an unqualified no, notwithstanding defendants’ many and varied efforts over the past 18 months to fashion a justification for their Section 1402 Offset Program payments. Accordingly, plaintiff United States House of Representatives (“House”) is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).”
The Administration will now have an opportunity to file an opposition to the motion and the House will have an opportunity to file a response. The schedule established by the Court stipulates that the response from the Administration must be filed by January 4, 2016 and the House must file its reply by January 18, 2016.
The Administration also has the ability to file for summary judgment in its own favor. Any cross motion for summary judgment by the Administration must be filed today and any response from the House must be filed by January 4, 2016 and any reply to that cross motion must be filed by January 18, 2016.
Lead Counsel for the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives v. Burwell et al