On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration had been unconstitutionally spending money to fund the Affordable Care Act.

The particular issue at play, reports the Associated Press, is the $175 billion used to reimburse health insurers, money which had not been specifically appropriated from Congress.

From the AP:

The House argues that Congress never specifically appropriated that money and has denied an administration request for it. It says the administration is spending the money anyway, exceeding its constitutional authority. The administration has said it can spend the money automatically because the law authorizes it.

House Republicans launched the lawsuit in 2014 over Democrats’ objections. The House had already voted dozens of times to repeal all or parts of the law Republicans call “Obamacare.”

In her ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer, a George W. Bush appointee, quoted the Constitution: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

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“Paying out Sec. 1402 reimbursements without an appropriation thus violates the Constitution,” she wrote, according to the L.A. Times. “Congress is the only sources for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one.”

Collyer ordered reimbursements to stop, but will allow for them to continue until the administration has appealed the ruling.


Image via AP.