Johnson was joined by his lawyers, Paul Clement, who argued against the Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Rick Esenberg, the founder, president and general counsel of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. They would be paid through a mix of personal funds and Johnson’s campaign fund, Johnson said.
According to the lawsuit, the OPM ruling “does not treat members of Congress and their staffs like members’ constituents. Instead, it puts them in a better position by providing them with a continuing tax-free subsidy.”
The lawsuit could take months or even years to move through the legal system. Johnson said he filed in Wisconsin because that is where he lives.
Democrats have criticized Republican efforts to kill the subsidy for lawmakers and their aides, saying it is petty and political. Johnson also came under immediate criticism from a fellow Republican.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin called Johnson’s lawsuit an “unfortunate political stunt.”
All Republicans want to repeal Obamacare, Sensenbrenner said, but the lawsuit “takes public attention away from how bad all of Obamacare really is and focuses it on a trivial issue.”
(AP Photo: Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., right, accompanied by attorney Rick Esenberg, left, announces that he has filed a lawsuit to block the federal government from helping to pay for health care coverage for members of Congress and their staffs.)