GOP-led House committee votes to authorize lawsuit against Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday took a step toward authorizing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, claiming he has overstepped his executive powers.

In a partisan vote of 7-4, the House Rules Committee approved the legislation, setting it up for consideration by the full House. The legislation already has spawned a bitter debate between Republicans and Democrats less than four months before elections that will determine the political control of Congress next year.

The lawsuit, if approved by the full House, would focus on Obama's actions in implementing his landmark healthcare law known as "Obamacare."

Republicans claim that he went beyond his legal authority and bypassed Congress when he delayed some of the law's healthcare coverage mandates and granted various waivers.

Republicans have been trying to repeal the healthcare law since its enactment in 2010.

(Reporting by Annika McGinnis; Editing by Doina Chiacu)