July 1st, 2014
06:08 PM ET
4 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. rizzo

    These are people that literally said their main goal was to obstruct Obama at any turn.

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

    Please fix obamacare. A mess. I am being harmed by it and many other hard worker bees of America while others get nice ride. We need a president who cares about the ones in the middle. We also need to take better care of America. She is being bought and sold by the rich including outside interests while we have homelessness rampant. We can do better as a people and nation.

    July 2, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  3. Rob

    So, as President, his leadership is to implement 3rd grader tactics? America deserves better than this. "Go ahead, call the cops Napoleon!"

    July 2, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. Reality

    A check of the Library of Congress/Congressional Record reveals the 2013-14 Republican controlled House of Representatives passed 114 bills. 114. That sounds like doing "stuff".

    July 2, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. Norma Vessels

    The Republicans have really made it hard for you, I know, but keep on swinging, Mr President. There are more of us that are with you, than there are haters out there, including the Republican House of Representatives. Go get 'em! :-)

    July 2, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. visitor

    Good for him!

    July 2, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  7. WakeTheMediaUp

    Not only sue you, but toss you in jail for using the IRS as a weapon against those who oppose you politically.

    July 2, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  8. Right is wrong

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

    I think that about sums it up.

    July 2, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  9. NameSeano

    Congress should do more. And if the senate doesn't pass it.... The President will have to blame the senate.

    July 2, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Obama 42 Congress 7

    July 2, 2014 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  11. KevininAtlanta

    I don't like the notion of the President trying to do things without the other branches of government getting involved. But, he has a point. Congress has done nothing but waste time and play the blame game. He has the right, under the constitution, to use executive orders as he sees fit. If Congress doesn't like it, then perhaps they should actually do something. I find it funny that Boehner can pump out a bill to sue the president so quickly, yet there is so much stuff sitting in Congress for years that he, nor Harry Reid, will even touch...

    July 2, 2014 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  12. Name David Frierson

    Why can't he compromise and work with Republicans rather than verbally attack? He is the most partisan and unproductive President ever. Arrogant!

    July 2, 2014 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  13. verumestverum

    Didn't Obama just get an historic, 9-0 (unanimous) rebuke by the Supreme Court for abusing his authority by illegally appointing persons to posts in violation of the US Constitution? In light of that, shouldn't he be a bit more humble in the face of the now-established fact that he HAS abused his executive authority?

    July 2, 2014 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  14. Dave M

    Ha! Nice try Mr. President. Most of us know that you are grossly twisting words and truth, as always. Many of the so-called "middle class" (of which I am one), do not agree with you and we believe you are turning this country upside down it what seems like a left-wing conspiracy to destroy the America I grew up with (I'm 60).

    The GOP is not "do nothing" nor are the the "no party" – all labels that you and your leftist brethren are trying desperately to brand them with – no, they are trying to save America and the American constitution and way of life. Every attempt the GOP makes to work with you is thwarted by you. Everything you bring forward you refuse to discuss or compromise.

    I guess there are some that will believe your rhetoric, but I'm not one of them.

    July 2, 2014 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  15. thursdaysox

    I'm behind you Mr Pres, anyone with half a brain can see you're trying your best while the GOP tries to block everything you do. The GOP should be so ashamed of themselves (I know they're not) with what they've done for this country since Obama has EARNED the white house. Which is nothing. Keep it up Obama, do what you can and maybe voters will wake up come election time (again, I know they won't).

    July 2, 2014 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  16. melanieb.

    Should have sued & impeached him years ago. So dang tired of him threatening & ruling like a Tzar. He needs to be stopped and power taken away from him.

    July 2, 2014 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  17. Jerry

    I am a life-long Democrat, but win or lose, Republicans should go ahead and sue this loose cannon (0-Bama).

    0-Bama is the most divisive president América has ever had. The worst part is that Bobble Head Pelosi, Senile Reid and other blinder-wearing Democrats continue to put up with 0-Bama's nonsense and incoherence.

    My fellow Democrats, the "EXPERIMENT" is over and it has been a epic failure (0-Bama).

    July 2, 2014 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  18. Democrat CEO from Texas

    Suing the president because he sidestepped a completely non-functioning congress for the good of the country is an embarrassment to the United States and completely unpatriotic. I would be ashamed to call myself a Republican these days. Hey GOP, all of the doom and gloom that you said was going to happen if he was re-elected has not happened. You were dead wrong!!! Guess what? The economy and job numbers are doing much better. My 15 year old business is having its best year ever. I am very proud of this president. I just wish we as a populace could recognize the good he is trying to do for us instead of being fed a diet of fear, hate, and suspicion from the right -wing media.

    July 2, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  19. Communist in Chief

    Obama is an dictator, plane and simple.

    July 2, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  20. bill

    read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and you wee today's WH--same plans same ideas and they all sound good but there is a motive. IF OBAMA WOULD ENFORCE THE IMMIGRATIOIN LAWS THAT ARE ON THE BOOKS NOW-WE WOULD NOT BE IN THIS MESS. WHEN ISALAM IS GETTING READY TO ATTACK THIS COUNTRY A 10 YEAR OLD HAS NO TROUBLE GOING ALL THE WAY THROUGH MEXICO AND INTO THE UNITED STATES--Obama promised us the borders were secure????? If he would just secure the border-step 2 would be to figure out what to do with those in the country BUT that would not draw attention to king obama?????? sad sad sad

    July 2, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  21. maxmaxwell

    funny, I am middle class, he talks about us. I say sue him into the next life, he may be your Potus, but he stopped being ours a few tears ago. Good luck there barry, true to the liberal agenda you have single handedly ruined this great country with illegals, open borders, people who have to take to the streets to protest the release of illegals onto our streets. Your people sold guns to cartels, your wife who no one elected, messed up our kids lunches. Thanks to you and barry care I now pay a tax of 1400 a month for health ins I was paying 800 for before your nonsense. you can go, tomorrow, would not be soon enough. Oh and no, hillary is not going to get elected to anything except the local PTA.

    July 2, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  22. Cathy

    Mr. Boehner...you've already opened your mouth.....so follow thru....Don't be like Pres. Obama.....retracking, i.e., red line,etc....I sure hope you researched the issue before you opened your mouth...Do as you said!!!! Otherwise, you're like the rest of those politicians, blah, blah, blah,,,,promises, promises...Thank you.!!

    July 2, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  23. John In Western NY

    To those on the left supporting Obama's action, just remember iif the next Republic President does the same thing you need to keep your mouth shut since you support the President acting like a dictator.

    July 2, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  24. Sergeant

    Get 'em Mr. President! This is the Obama I wanted to see 4-5 years ago but I understand why he waited. Great job.

    July 2, 2014 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  25. Roe

    Its about time you grew some gut. You missed my vote twice because i knew you wouldnt be tough untill you got beat down. Thank you my good sir for standing up to the irrational crap finally.

    July 2, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
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