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. Penda

    "So, sue me." This type of comment builds walls and barriers. It is childish and belongs to a pouty, schoolyard bully that strong arm further if it weren't for a playground monitor within view. Thank a to CNN for the courage that is required (these days) to publish such a piece.

    July 2, 2014 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  2. street smart

    Once upon a time the GOP did nothing that they proposed with Newts Contract For America because all they cared abut was kicking Clinton out of office because he lied under oath about knocking boots with Monica.As they did Clinton got up before America & told America that while Congress was wasting time & tax payers $ he was going to continue to work for America the way he had ever since he was elected. The whole thing back fired on Congress, they lost not 1 but 2 Speakers as well as several seats, seats that could have kicked Clinton out of office. Poor Bohner. Poor GOP. Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

    July 2, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. Anonymous

    I don't believe a thing Obama says.

    July 2, 2014 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  4. Keyboard Cat

    Obama is right. Congress has proven to be utterly useless. The GOP tactic of do-nothing and obstruct is getting old. He's doing what he can considering the House has zero interest in doing anything material until he's out of office.

    July 2, 2014 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. oharris30

    he should counter sue congress for not doing their job and stealing taxpayers money, boehner and the repubs are disgusting. they have succeed in dividing this country. thank God Obama is the only person working in washington

    July 2, 2014 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  6. Bill S.

    Really , Middle Class Americans? Don't you mean all the Illegals you want to let into the country?

    July 2, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  7. James

    Obama has issued 182 executive orders to date, in comparison to George W. Bush who issued 291 during his presidency (other presidents have issued much more). Obama has had a divided and dysfunctional Congress from the day he took office, who has blockaded him on just about every effort. Bush experienced much more bi-partisan support after the 9/11 attacks that negated the need for such orders (except time-sensitive ones).

    Just trying to keep things in perspective. If I am missing an important fact, please point it out.

    July 2, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  8. NotOhBamuh

    This is what an imperial president sound like.

    July 2, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  9. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Republicans don't have time to do actual work. They're too busy throwing the biggest itch fit in history. They are doing everything they can to destroy this POTUS. With lots of help from the MSM.

    July 2, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  10. boger

    Good for you!

    July 2, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  11. tbone

    As much as I am not a big fan of the president, I definitely have to agree that the GOP are a bunch of do nuttins, only thing their good at these days or the last 5 years is obstruct, obstruct, and make Obama look bad. I can remember this same group using their same playbook ideas toward Clinton when he was in office because he beaten back the first Bush/Reagan agenda. Party is completely out of ideas and its one of the reasons why I left the Republican party to be an independent. I am not a big fan of the Democrats, but if I had to pick the lesser of the two evils and had to give an A for effort, the Democrats would clearly get an A for trying. I plan to be voting out a lot of incumbents on both sides this coming November. What happened to their golden boy Cantor is a good sign that I hope will get rid of the good ole boy network at least get rid of a few old timers that been in too long.

    July 2, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  12. Sisyphean

    A President isn’t a king, at least not one who is constrained by our wonderfully crafted Constitution.

    The President of the United States has an ability to reject any bill of his choosing; but even then, the Congress may by a super majority override any President’s rejection of a law, thereby creating a law without a president’s signature …it ain’t the other way around, period!

    July 2, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. Joe

    ...yea, he is not making inflamatory statements or further dividing the country like a child would do or anything...

    July 2, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  14. kns413

    Good for you, Obama. Get the job done when obviously the morons on BOTH sides of Congress can't seem to play nice in the sandbox.

    July 2, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  15. RJ

    How can you respect an individual that can not take responsibility for anything? The only thing coming from this pulpit is how bad the republicans are all the time. We live in a democracy and should work together to do what is best for everyone. I see this individual only working for what is best for himself. Look at how the middle class is suffering under this individuals mandate; higher taxes, lower wages, more unemployment (yes the unemployment that is not taken into count). When are the people who are elected going to grow up and work for a more unified country and stop bashing the other folks because one or two things don't go their way. We are our own worst enemy by not compromising and doing what is best for all Americans first.

    July 2, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  16. Joe

    I applaud the President for wanting and trying to get things done! The Republicans' inactions are creating real problems with this country's progress! They can't expect inactions to be good! So, get with it Republicans and try to do something as the President says....! Boehner needs to be out!

    July 2, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Glad to hear him say this. At least one person in Washington is trying his best to earn his pay. The others can go suck eggs as far as I'm concerned. As much time as Boner and the rest of them have wasted trying to tear down Obama, they could have helped this Country get back on its feet. But, they haven't, they didn't, and they won't. This congress is nothing but losers and freeloaders as far as I'm concerned.

    July 2, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  18. iski

    Spoken like a true emperor and his lemmings love him. No sense of direction, no leadership skills, no foreign policy, a domestic policy of spend, spend,spend, but arrogance there is no equal.

    July 2, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  19. Brenda Morrisey

    Obama's arrogance is shameful. Because he can't show an ounce of leadership and work with Congress, he has to overstep his authority and then blame everyone else as usual. It's his fault that 50,000 illegal immigrants have flooded our borders and pushed our services more than they can handle. Isn't an $18 trillion deficit enough?

    July 2, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  20. Brenda Morrisey

    oops... debt

    July 2, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  21. MJ

    What you are doing Mr. President is telling the American people that half the voting population's opinion and views do not matter. All that matters is what YOU want. That is not what the Constitution was all about. It is not what democracy is all about. Flexing your muscles makes you look like a bully and bullies do not work well with others.

    July 2, 2014 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  22. dot8

    The GOP has not allowed Obama to be the leader he's capable of being.

    July 2, 2014 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  23. lerianis

    Right on, Obama. Tell those intransigent Republicans where they can stick it. In this case, I'm on your side.

    July 2, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  24. Leelanau

    Sibilance. Arrogance. Ignorance. That's your President, folks. No wonder the rest of the world doesn't respect us anymore.

    July 2, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  25. Luke5323

    When it comes to the crisis on the border, President Obama has no one to blame but himself. He is the one who promised amnesty to illegal immigrant minors already in the U.S. As a result, tens of thousands of illegal immigrant minors are now flooding across the border.
    Oppose amnesty now. Google this: NUMBERSUSA .
    Once you are registered (join us), go to the "action board"

    July 2, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
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