July 1st, 2014
06:08 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama to Republicans: 'So sue me'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama dared Republicans to follow through on their threats to bring a lawsuit against his administration over his use of executive action.

"Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me," Obama said Tuesday at an event in Washington.

"As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something."

Obama’s defiant attitude comes as House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, plans to propose legislation that could bring a lawsuit against him for implementing executive actions that the GOP contends amounts to a breach of his constitutional power by side-stepping the legislative process.

Obama: Boehner's lawsuit is 'a stunt'

Recently, Obama has ramped up his use of executive authority as a way to bypass a deeply divided Congress, avoiding inaction on issues the White House has made hallmarks of the President's second term agenda.

On Monday, Obama said he would start "a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress."

Poll: Can Obama get the job done?

At Tuesday's event, Obama continued to harp on congressional Republicans to pass legislation - this time pushing them to invest in transportation.

Standing in front of Key Bridge, which connects the city's Georgetown-area to Virginia, Obama continued his stepped-up rhetoric hammering Republican for obstructing action in Washington.

A fundraising first for Obama

Obama proposed a long-term highway construction bill earlier this year that he says would spur job growth.

"It’s not crazy, it’s not socialism," Obama said of his transportation proposal. "It’s not the imperial presidency - no laws are broken. We’re just building roads and bridges like we’ve been doing for the last, I don’t know, 50, 100 years. But so far, House Republicans have refused to act on this idea."

CNN's Mike Ahlers and Rene Marsh contributed to this report.

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soundoff (1,488 Responses)
  1. Fr33th1nk3r

    GOP Extinction III:

    But We Won at the Hobby Lobby

    July 2, 2014 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  2. Anonymous

    didn't I just read "impeach me" ?

    July 2, 2014 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  3. Fr33th1nk3r

    Return of the GOP:

    The Ted Nugent Story

    July 2, 2014 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Bla bla bla. Over Obama next please

    July 2, 2014 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  5. .

    *applause* what a wonderful performance!

    July 2, 2014 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  6. T4J

    Worst President Ever

    July 2, 2014 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  7. Ramader

    Good, as long as congress continues to be the ridiculous stalemate its been its the right thing to do. If you're going to sit there and demonize him calling him "socialist", "monarch" or whatever flavor of the month sayings you have right now, keep doing it.

    The country is a republic, you elect the leaders, the leaders make the laws, interpretations of the laws, and administration of the state. When its leaders aren't doing anything to fix the issues its good to see the executive branch use its power, until the elected representatives start focusing on the real problems, rather than being uncompromising it will continue to happen.

    I don't agree with everything President Obama does, but he has a point in these instances, congress is broken.

    July 2, 2014 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  8. David

    Which Republican Party wants to sue Obama?

    (1) Tea Party GOP
    (2) Gun Nut GOP
    (3) Religious Right GOP
    (4) Neocon GOP
    (5) Reaganite GOP

    I've never seen a party change so much

    July 2, 2014 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  9. Robin Jones

    Next he'll call Boehner out into the schoolyard to beat him up. Very classy.

    July 2, 2014 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  10. AW

    Great Job Obama! Show them how to get something done. If they don't like so what. The republican idiots have been nothing but combative and don't care about middle class who make this country run. Time to go around them!

    July 2, 2014 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  11. mountainlady5281

    I've always believed that a "can do" attitude is what makes America so powerful. Watching this Congress do nothing and watching the US's status in the world dwindle seems to support that view. The President has a job to do and he's doing his best to do it. He tried it their way for 6 years. Now it's time and past time to get the business of America done one way or the other. When Congress wants back into the picture....they can pass a bill or two....one way or the other.

    July 2, 2014 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  12. carl yamaguchi

    Its time we really look at whats happening regardless of political party. No US president should bypass our United States Constitution, threaten our freedoms and bypass the people.

    July 2, 2014 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  13. Jon

    Republicans hate the President more than they love America. So America suffers.

    July 2, 2014 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  14. Lee Ann

    I'm so over Obama.....

    July 2, 2014 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  15. Jcityboy

    Dyed in the wool conservative here but I agree that Boehner is a useless clown and the lawsuit is a stunt. If he believed what he's trying to peddle here as action we conservatives see right through him. Oh, and I'm a conservative Independent, NOT a Republican. If he really had the courage of his convictions (as our President does, although I disagree with almost everything he stands for), he would use the power of Congress, that troublesome EQUAL branch of government) to use it's ability to check the Executive Branch's abuse of power. Congress controls spending but Boehner is too much of a political coward to even TRY to be a leader. PELOSI did a much better job as Speaker. That said, I implore everyone to just step back and try to recognize the danger of ANY President assuming powers that are not granted to him by our Constitution simply because it's so dangerous, and I really do not care whether that president is a Republican or a Democrat. As for Congress not doing anything, throw them ALL out of office in November and replace them with new Democrats and Republicans. If they cannot cross the aisle (it DOES go both ways), then vote them out. Our Country is, I believe, is in real danger of collapse and omly new people may be able to salvage it.

    July 2, 2014 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  16. mzfitz1215

    Nobody trusts you Mr. President, for once I'm actually siding with the republicans, their constituents voted them in to stop you.

    July 2, 2014 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  17. donkey 2016

    Not a good thing when a president is unable to work with Congress or get Congress. To work with him. M

    NONETHELESS I admire his tenacity to get something done on his own. The Republicans are stonewalling him and the American people are the ones who ultimately pay the price of inaction.

    July 2, 2014 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  18. Girdwoodian

    Not sure what Obama's count is at, but George W signed more executive orders than all of the previous Presidents COMBINED!! Where was the republican uproar then? They're all on the same team anyway, just another distraction tactic to keep the sheep from knowing what's really going on.

    July 2, 2014 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Wow... It's not the presidents job to pass laws or take action with or without congress. Congress is the legislative branch of government. It is their job to enact legislation, or laws. If they aren't, oh well. That sucks, but it's far worse to have one man take matters into his own hands. That's not how this constitutional republic is run. One man doesn't just get to do whatever he wants because of a divided congress. Particularly when his actions and words have played such a huge roll in the partisan divide. How convenient... inflame opposing political parties into a deadlock and then do whatever you want. Real classy, Obama.

    July 2, 2014 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  20. Jonathan

    But what if those roads and bridges you decide to build haven't been requisitioned through the proper legal, constitutional means?

    July 2, 2014 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  21. i12bphil

    He just doesn't get it, does he? How can a supposed Constitutional expert not grasp, not only the system of checks and balances, but also the limitations enumerated to the executive branch. Its clear he has no comprehension of the political system in the U.S.! The President is NOT a position of high and esteemed power where one can rule via fiat! The President is a simple public servant, but from day one he does not seem to understand that. He seems to subscribe more to the divine rule of kings.

    July 2, 2014 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  22. VicMorrow

    The only "fix" needed is for Obama to obey his oath of office and ENFORCE THE DAMN LAW! Stop this catch and release nonsense. Round up the illegal alien invaders and pitch them back across the border immediately after they are captured. Stop flying them around the US. If you get them on a plane, don't stop until it reaches Guatemala.

    July 2, 2014 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  23. Vinney47

    How convenient... inflame the political parties of congress against each other into a deadlock, and then do whatever you want. Real classy, Obama. If congress isn't acting, oh well. That's better than one man taking matters into his own hands.

    July 2, 2014 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  24. David Cohen

    You go boss! Nothing illegal about doing what you can as long as you don't overstep the bounds of the CFR! At least somebody in Washington cares....

    July 2, 2014 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  25. Bill Cooper

    What arrogance. It not that Congress 'failed to act' on Amnesty, they DID act. They said no (and most of the country agreed) Obama is trying to make it seem like Congress, and mostly the Republicans, are refusing to anything but the fact is he's mad that they're not doing what he wants to do....they are not voting the way e wants them to, so he goes around them. I don't agree with the Republicans on much, but this President is out of control.

    July 2, 2014 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
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