July 1st, 2014
06:08 PM ET
3 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. Anonymous

    House Speaker John Boehner, make it a class action I'll join you!

    July 2, 2014 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  2. bmh@happyme.com

    Here we have a president that is trying to do the right thing - and a bunch of Republicans that, in spite of what is good for the American people, will do anything to oppose our president. I hope the people are paying attention for the next election.

    July 2, 2014 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  3. Matt

    Only the Congress can spend money. For a supposed constitutional law scholar, Obama seems pretty oblivious to that highest law of our land. I say forget suing, he wants to be defiant and challenge, they should impeach.

    July 2, 2014 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  4. Robin Casey

    Go Obama! Congress is not doing their job. Here it is the middle of 2014 and we still do not have immigration reform, climate change, and transportation bills passed. This is not right. Regular employees not doing their job for big companies would be fired. This rule should be the same for congress. It breaks my heart that my country can not come together and solve these problems. What is Obama supposed to do? He can not do nothing. He has to do something. We need action now!

    July 2, 2014 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  5. Leslie Sherman

    House Speaker John Boehner, make it a class action...i'll join you!

    July 2, 2014 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  6. Beth

    No problem, obama. For once the republicans will give you what you ask for. Keep your suit pressed and wear a tie. See you in court.

    July 2, 2014 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  7. Hello

    For being a Constitutional lawyer, this guy has little understanding of it.

    July 2, 2014 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  8. macauguy

    Good for him.

    July 2, 2014 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  9. SixDegrees

    Red meat tossed at the party's base, to get them fired up for the midterms.

    The good of the nation be damned.

    July 2, 2014 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  10. Mainscribe

    Sue him? If it were up to me, we could skip that and send him home...and I dont mean Hawaii.

    July 2, 2014 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  11. innersixx

    The President is a moron.

    July 2, 2014 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  12. John Purple

    Mr. President, could you please, at least just once during the course of your presidency, speak to the American people instead of your base? Thanks.

    July 2, 2014 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  13. Tony C

    Wow. I cannot name a more divisive president. He will not negotiate.

    July 2, 2014 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  14. semaj86

    They couldn't make Obama a "one-term President", and they couldn't repeal healthcare reform. Republicans are sore losers.

    July 2, 2014 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  15. jeff

    I am sick and tired of REPUNLICAN'TS.

    July 2, 2014 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  16. Peter kadiri

    Well i believe the Barack obama administration is trying to do something good by processing undocumented immigrants, if any of those republicans lawmakers or even those protesters from california were seperated from their kids for such a long time am sure they would do anything to get them reunited. i say kudos to president barack obama

    July 2, 2014 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  17. Singing Flea

    Obama is right on with this issue. When the House of Representatives is brought to a complete standstill for years now, due to self pandering leadership, the president has a responsibility to take action. The president cannot possibly be successfully sued for doing what he is empowered by the constitution to do. If the people in this country don't vote these corporate serving buffoons out of office next election, the country has nobody to blame but themselves. Boehner should be the first to go. He is as worthless as a pair of worn out socks full of holes.

    July 2, 2014 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  18. Ruppert Jenkins

    Hmmm. This was Hitler's exact attitude, about 6 months before the fall of Berlin. And, we know what happened next.

    July 2, 2014 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  19. Anna

    good he is doing his job, he is giving the money to people for our own good.

    July 2, 2014 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  20. Sarah Bonner

    Strange to say it, but he's really telling it as it is.

    People are tired of a stalled Congress and the petty refusal to cooperate long enough to actually pass a meaningful bill.

    July 2, 2014 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  21. rcbouch

    Republicans are going out of their way to block any action on anything whatsoever in congress.

    They have left the president with little choice but to take whatever executive actions are possible in order to govern.

    I know that the GOP will cry "foul" at the top of their lungs over this too, and there is some justification for that, but if they are unwilling to govern, then the other branches of government are going to have to pick up the slack.

    July 2, 2014 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  22. mike

    don't do your job, republicans will sue you

    July 2, 2014 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  23. Timmay Southpark

    I give up. I voted for you but you just don't understand the job.

    As a leader, Obama should find a way to work with everyone. Instead his administration continues to alienate two of three branches of government.

    July 2, 2014 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  24. chan

    Dear Obama,
    ...every time you do something you spend/lose just as much money. Shame a lot of people still don't realize that. But SAYING you will do something and doing anything always works well for a sleight of hand.
    PS Both parties are destroying this country. And the people also for not realizing who they really answer to these days...
    Certainly not us...

    July 2, 2014 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  25. BD70

    Good for you Obama! Call them out on their threats!

    July 2, 2014 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
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