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. Peter Gerdeman

    House Republicans, in particular, have done nothing over the last six years. Zip. They should return their salaries for not doing any work. Would GW have tolerated that from the Dems? Nope. So we have a President that gets things done. It will be a long time before the nation every votes for another 'pub in the WH.

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

    Lets all do dope together, thats doiing something kewl

    July 2, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. As if

    Translation: Narcissist has melt down and throws temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way.

    July 2, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. Democratic Republic

    Whether you like what Congress does or not we have these rules and laws in place for a reason. I can understand the frustration he may feel but it does not give him the right to go against the constitution and laws he swore to uphold and protect. No matter what your feelings are on the president this is a very scary road for our country to be traveling and hopefully we can all come to our senses before we go too far.

    July 2, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  5. ztarbod

    The President's arrogant stunt must be aimed at his "base" or something. Something needs to bring him back to the reality most of us have.

    July 2, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. pegasus99

    I believe it was with Congressional authorization that the Executive Order gave the President power to legislate. NO President, IMO, should have this power. The people of the US deserve to have ALL legislation reviewed and either passed or kabash'd by a full Congress. I've never liked EO's and see no need for Congress to allow them to continue. I understand the need to fix immigration, which is horribly broken and NOT serviing the rightful citizens of the US presently, but it is a matter that should be properly debated and a plan developed that best serves our nation and our people. That said, this president IS exercising rights of an Imperial Presidency (think Monarch) and socialism. There is a "happy path" which provides for the general welfare of the people, yet doesn't step all over those who work hard to provide for themselves while helping others.

    July 2, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Politattack

    Headline should be more accurately read as 0bama to America: So sue me.

    July 2, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. As if

    And this is on the heels of the SCOTUS admonishing his overuse of executive powers. So what does Obama do? Keeps doing the same. After all, whats a Narcissist to do...

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

    When the other side is obstructionists to the point where everything comes to a stand still. Something needs to happen.

    GOP is pathetic and I hope the voters are paying attention.

    July 2, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. KellyF

    WTG Mr. President. It's ABOUT TIME! All these Repugs want to do is play games, grandstand and waste everyone's time and tax money on partisan symbolic GARBAGE. Why these people hold any kind of office is beyond me. The obstruction is criminal. I hope future laws will make this kind of behavior grounds for removal from office. If they do not want to do their jobs and earn their paychecks and massive benefits packages, GET OUT of Washington and step aside.

    July 2, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  11. kurt

    Sorry Mr. Obama, but if you click the link to the poll mentioned in this article, it's clear we would rather you do nothing. You've already messed things up enough. Please, sit back, relax, and coast out these last 2 years. We're perfectly content waiting to see if Hilary, Mitt, Christie, etc has at least a shred of competence. You're in way over your head, we don't need you making any more decisions...

    July 2, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  12. Lovechild

    More waste of taxpayer dollars by the twisted GOP whiners and nothing accomplished. Obama will be long out of office by the time any suit gets a hearing. Presidents of both parties have delayed enforcing laws they do not like. It's the same backward mentality of a party that votes down Obama care 40 some times just to make themselves feel good. Boehner looks like a heavy drinker, no wonder having to drown out the disappointment of having such poor policy platforms. The party of NO, but no solutions either.

    July 2, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  13. Pete

    I am no fan of the republicans (nor do I really love the dems) – but this use of executive action is troubling.

    July 2, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. Paul Wyatt

    "so sue me, I got insurance". What a puerile response and guess who pays for his lawyers?

    July 2, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  15. Golden Eagle

    Well....they would but they're not in session....oh wait,...they're not "officially" at recess, they're just incapable of even agreeing on whether or not they're in session or not. Worst congressional body ever and unfortunately most Reps have too much pride to admit it but realize the failure and project that angst onto the Prez instead. Laughable, it's just too bad too many people can't see it for what it is as well.

    July 2, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. Duh

    When will you people figure it out. It doesn't matter if you do "something"...it matters if you do "something right". Give me a break Obama...

    July 2, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  17. Citizen

    A lawsuit is ridiculous but impeachment is the correct response.

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

    If Congress would ditch the elementary school behavior, step up and at least pretend to want to solve these problems instead of lounging around on their pride and egos, maybe this country could move forward. At least this president is attempting to solve the problems. What exactly is Congress doing?

    July 2, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. Sam Wilson

    This president does not like America. He has done everything possible to ruin it as a way to make us in America more equal with the rest of the world. To heck with American exceptionalism.

    July 2, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  20. t2vodka

    I hate to see the president do this, but I understand why he is doing it. Our congress, on both sides of the isle, have made this situation. If congress worked TOGETHER, then the president would not need to do this. Way to go congress, you all need to be fired.

    July 2, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. forGodslove

    Good for you Mr. President. Any other President, congress along with other shallow people in this country will certainly support, but you they will not. They have been fighting against you from day 1 and we ALL know it has nothing to do with your proposals or policies, because they work. Nothing try, nothing gain. We stand with you and we are watching and we will vote again, and our votes WILL allow who we want in office. let the empty barrels make their noise.

    July 2, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. Grace Bugg

    Yes ! It is past time for Republicans to do something to rein in this arrogant resident !! Sue him , cut funding now-you have the power of the purse , continue to say "no" to his unconstitutional acts , speak out loudly against his immigration debacle-his words & actions have caused this -take action NOW

    July 2, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. Sam Wilson

    This president does not like America. He has done everything possible to ruin it as a way to make us in America more equal with the rest of the world. To heck with American exceptionalism. ....

    July 2, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. Bud Carlson

    Abuse of power is not good for any administration. Those of us that are old enough to remember the Nixson fiasco. The shame of a president having to resign for illegal activity. If he hadn't been pardoned by President Ford he would have served time in jail as most of his cabinet did, including the attorney General. The news media raped the Nixson White House and rightly so. I wonder why they (media) have all turned their heads and a blind eye to the illegal activities of Obama and Holder. His dis concern for the Constitution, the laws he promised to uphold and all the scandals have made the USA look like a third world country. The thousands of killed and wounded in Afghanistan are not even important to the media that seemed to make it a headline everyday under the Bush White House. Obama refuses to even try and compromise with the Republicans and many of his own party that do not support his positions on many things. Now he wants 2 BILLION dollars to feed the illegals on the border. Better spent to finish the fence, and place NG to help Border Guards keep the illegals out. The Bush Administration signed the Bill into law allowing the influx of what is now happening. It was a bad law then and it is a bad law now. I support Obama to fix the law if it is to stop the illegals from dropping their children off and leaving them. However with his record we can not trust him to do anything that is legal, especially with Eric Holder in the mix. We elected Obama on his promises and the fact that he is black. It is a sorry thing for the millions of blacks that voted for him only because he is black. When we vote on the basis of the color of a persons skin that makes the person voting a racist.There were many qualified black people who could have been great in the job. We just picked the wrong one!

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

    "Uh oh Mr. President. There you go with your uppity self! 😊😊😊😊" - Read about the stupid legislative stalling the GOP does before you call anyone uppity. In my opinion, them allowing the degradation of our transporatation system just because they don't like who's proposing action is far more "uppity".

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