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. Terry

    It's about time the President called out the GOP for their blatant obstructionism. At no time in our history has the Congress acted so shamefully, with so much hypocrisy and contempt for an elected president. Boehner should enter rehab and give the country a break from his incompetence.

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

    A cure for Tea Party. Take a deep breadth. Now hold it in until the law suit against president Obama is filed. That should do it.

    July 2, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. Jamie

    Last time Republicans took a case against a Democrat lawyer in White House it didn't really turn out so well for them, even though it looked like a slam dunk. I'm of course talking about Bill Clinton.

    I bet GOP is going to come out loser again.

    July 2, 2014 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Chris

    How divided is this country? So, think of the two possible outcomes. If the POTUS wins, might as well not have a Congress. If the speaker wins, the POTUS will never work with Congress again. We are out of money. The bickering needs to stop. Both sides need to find some common ground and fix this country.

    July 2, 2014 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Joeseph Eclaire

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

    July 2, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    I don't think to many people reliy on the GOP for guidance on ANY issue the GOP has shown itself to be the laughing stock of politics. It's funny to watch the GOP predicting victory for THEMSELVES in November after doing NOTHING for SIX YEARS and blowing 24 BILLION DOLLARS in 16 days. And continuing to WASTE more TAXPAYERS money on their FAIRY TALE USELESS hearings. Theirs going to be a lot of CANTORS in November.

    July 2, 2014 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  7. Nate

    Obama needs to bring the country together, not pointing the finger at republicans. He should act like the president for ALL americans.

    July 2, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  8. Cindy S

    Yesterday in California the president should have received America's answer to the border and shipping illegal immigrants into America! Hunderds of Californians went to the border crossing and made buses return to Mexico that were busing in illegal immigrants on school buses! The bridge to nowhere Bill was struck down a few weeks ago! Will Americans join in these fights to save OUR Country from out of control politics? MS is fighting back from a corrupt regime that threatens to bury OUR state in Socialism and greed from corrupt and illegal voting. Chicago style politics! Pick your fight now Americans before it is too late and we have a dictatorship with NO MORE VOTING!

    July 2, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  9. Patrick

    The executive orders that Obama have been pushing through do not help the middle class. Obama's statement about middle class families cannot wait for Republicans is false. Obama has used executive order to make policy not to better enforce the existing laws. Obama also forgets that all executive orders are subject to judicial review. The courts can stick down any executive order.

    July 2, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. Alan

    This crap is getting ridiculous.. Not a big fan of Obama but I completely understand his discontent. #JustSaying

    July 2, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. John stone

    You are worst president in 70 years and should be impeached for all th lies you have been caught telling the American people

    You are ruining the country

    July 2, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  12. shiftyvision

    Does this president realize that congress are the peoples representatives? So the people that the population chose to represent themselves are of no significance to him? Wow. All hail King Obama!?

    July 2, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. skyking169

    Impeach Boehner!

    July 2, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. Sdw

    "So sue me". LOL,,,funny but Obama is correct. The GOP helps no one but themselves. I was raised a Republican but will never vote for them ever again.

    July 2, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. DinkyPink

    Good for you Mr. President. We voted him in so that he would work on these things, congress says no, and the people suddenly do not like him anymore. I do not really understand why the lack of respect for this president. He surely isn't the worst we had, and had the potential to be the best if we would have let him do his job. Roads are good. Wish the old white dudes would just come out and admit the "real" reason they are so gung ho about making Pres. Obama appear to be the worst president ever. It has nothing to do with his policy. It has everything to do with color and party. Just admit it Republicans. You wouldn't stand to see a person with even a drop of African American blood be successful and a great leader.

    July 2, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  16. jim

    GOP is working; get Harry Reid to take up House bills. Poor Obama is angry that Congress isn't a rubber stamp. Take a civics class.

    July 2, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  17. Joeseph Eclaire

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

    Well sir you aren't doing much for average American but you are doing more than those obstructionist are.
    You can't say it or won't say it, preferring to side with the 'socialist rant' against you but some of us can and will say, it's simply all because we have a Black person in the White house.

    And some consider you that 'uppity' Black person. As well as you are young and have gone to some of the best schools in America.

    If you really want to break the dead lock tell them you will be putting your upper middle class priorities on hold while you help those who have been hurt the most by over 30 years of shutting down our manufacturing base.

    Even your tax a.k.a. Obamacare doesn't do anything for them.

    You once claim a few years back that you understood the plight of the average American, start showing it. Because your first 90 days in office bailing out the Banks and Wall-Street look no different from the other side helping Big business sell America out for shareholder greed.

    July 2, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  18. Mike

    This is how our President chooses to lead? This is how he conducts himself in the face of "obstruction"? This is shameful. I'm sorry I helped get him elected in 2008.

    July 2, 2014 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  19. dld

    He does have a point. Sign me a Rebublicrat

    July 2, 2014 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Taxpayer

    Obama will decide alone what we all must pay later in taxes. Real Dictator.

    July 2, 2014 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. Santa's Head

    I'm very glad to see actual movement in Washington.

    In the past, the things we remember most went against a swath of people. Lincoln. Roosevelt. Kennedy. They were not perfect, but they pushed the COUNTRY, not suck up to voters or pay from shady industry.

    July 2, 2014 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. TiredOfPaying

    All the Republicans want to do is further enrich the 1% at the expense of the rest of us. If any legislation does NOT do that, then they are against it. For that reason alone Congress deserves to be bypassed. Therefore I applaud the President's attempt to, you know, actually get something DONE!

    July 2, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  23. LaUnika

    Finally!!! Gloves are off, and it's no more butt-kissing President. The stalling and political BS has been stifling. I don't agree with every policy he wants to put in place, but at least he's trying to do something!

    July 2, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. jenn, philadelphia

    The President might need a reminder of what "Congress" is. It is both the House and the Senate. So, in a way, he's correct when he talks about a do-nothing Congress. The Senate hasn't done anything either. Interesting part is how the press and the President seem to forget who runs the Senate.

    July 2, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  25. soulcatcher

    Bravo Mr. President!

    July 2, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
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