July 1st, 2014
06:08 PM ET
5 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. mcmon

    I wish the Democrats had enough B-LLS to stand up & say NO.
    Tell this man he is not the King he is elected by the people, but that does not mean he does also have to follow the laws of our land.

    July 2, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. James

    I am as middle class as it gets. What have you done for me since becoming President. My health insurance was cancelled, the country I live is less safe and with a rising national debt the future of my children in this country is in question. Thank you Mr. President. The middle class is better off with you doing nothing.

    July 2, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. tootyfruity

    Fire them all. A unique thought no? Sadly the koolaid drinkers that make up 99.9% of this country's voting population will fail to do anything other than elect the same useless career politicians from the same two now worthless political parties. Instead they'll come to forums, complain to friends, mouth of in the newspaper that things will never change. Of course not, how could they if we the people refuse to take a firm stand and say no more? How to do that? Don't vote for the big parties any longer I've voted alternate every election for the last 16 years, whether that be Libertarian, Independent, etc. Knowing beforehand there was no reasonable chance for my vote to "count". But it did count. It counted against the broken established parties, not for. I refuse to waste my vote to plug the leaking, crumbling dike of political refuse just to select "the less harmful" candidate. How amazingly pathetic we've become that we resort to justifying our votes with such nonsense. Cheers.

    July 2, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. CC333

    I think the American people should stand up and sue him, to put a stop to his continual overreach. I would rather not have a dictator running the country.

    July 2, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. *((&*UIOY

    this is awesome! I vote green but good to know obama has cojones..

    FINALLY!!! GOP obstructionist can go take a hike!!!!! you will have 'core' values but this core is becoming smaller and smaller and more and more fringe.

    this is the best news I have heard in a while!!!!

    right wing obstructionists are antihuman antiprogress and are 100% responsible for US crumbling roads bridges infrastructure failing education falling behind ALL for their antihuman misogynist ideologues.

    HOWEVER, next step is kick out all obstructiionsts, make voting records 100% transparent and somehow restrain out of control supremese as well!!!! no more 'family values' cos. outsourcing to commun!st china etc.

    July 2, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. Gracey

    An incompetent joke. So egotistical and prideful. He should resign on the grounds of stupidity.
    He is doing much damage .. it will take years to fix once he is out.

    July 2, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Phil

    Why do you morons sit here and type a bunch of bullshit blaming Republicans for their problems when the Dems are no better. Rich people elected to an office to uphold what will benifit them personally, not us. Wake up folks.

    July 2, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. roro

    It makes me chuckle when I know the first things to come from the mentality of an Obama (not necessarily a Democrat) supporter is: Koch Bros., climate change, Fox News. It's been my experience that these are uneducated, talk-but-don't-listen people who want to seem like they know what they're talking about but don't have a clue. Therefore, let's not waste good money chasing after bad for education. Education is a process of listening, seeking, and learning. It's unfortunate that there are many who don't go beyond a headline or at least spout off their same response every time.

    July 2, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. bilk7

    Five years of Congressional obstructing and blocking is enough. If the Republicans in Congress refuse to do their job, then the President is right to step in and do what is needed for the American people. We'll do what we can in November to get rid of these obstructionists but we can't wait until then. If the Republicans want to call Obama 'imperial" and sue him, go ahead. Our nation will move on and leave you behind.

    July 2, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Quixote

    To those who ask what the president did during the six months that Democrats had a filibuster proof majority....or the two years when they held both houses.......Wall Street reform, saved the economy from a Great Depression, raised gas milage standards for the first time since the 1980s, and of course, the first significant health care reform since 1965....to name a few......a legacy in and of itself. A better question is....since repubs have held congress hostage for four years.....what have THEY done?

    July 2, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. BD

    This guy... How long are we going to let him and his administration wave their middle finger at the Constitution? One would think his record at the supreme court would be enough to at least make him rethink his understanding of the Constitution.

    July 2, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. bilk7

    "Obama had 2 years where his party controlled the federal government. What did he do?"

    Name: Have you heard of the ACA? It provided a way for uninsured Americans to get coverage.

    July 2, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. SV

    Darn straight Mr. President! I've been waiting for him to stand up to these idiots for 6 years.

    July 2, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. Robert Hinkle

    This Republican Party and this Congress are the worst I have ever seen or read about.

    July 2, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  15. The Truth

    You cannot "bypass" the legislative branch of the government. Every citizen of this country has the right to representation. Doing so is the very definition of tyranny.

    July 2, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Jim

    Barraco Barmer (@BarracoBarmer)
    "...and this is how a dictatorship is started."

    Dictators don't challenge the opposition to contest them in court.

    July 2, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. AmericanPatriot

    This is a president who had a party of opposition that came together to agree to vote against any healthcare overhaul his administration produced BEFORE it was released. Their record since has not been much different.

    It reminds me of a group of middle school students purposely shunning out a kid with a name they don't like, making fun of his heritage and telling each other that he MUST be a terrorist! He MUST follow a different religion than us because he has a name that doesn't sound white-American to us. And now they're doing the middle school tactic of threatening to sue the kid they don't like, with the President saying, like a kid in his situation would, "I am not putting up with your bullying and am calling you out on it."

    And despite the harassment and bullying, the stuff he has been able to do has reduced unemployment, sent Wall Street profits past their previous levels of success, and has provided healthcare access to millions of previously uninsured Americans in need.

    July 2, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. GreyMan

    I like how people say President Obama had 2 years with Dems in control and ask what he did. Well, we were in a senseless war that shouldn't have happened.

    July 2, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  19. phil box

    spoken like a true demigod, or dictator.

    July 2, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  20. Keith

    If congress would get rid of Boehner, then the american people might have a fighting chance

    July 2, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. johnk

    Don't waste time suing, go to the justice department as to these executive orders and challenge them there. The real reason why Obama is doing this is the frustration with the bonehead Congress who can't do much of anything. They waste time and money in doing very little.

    July 2, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  22. GreyMan

    You go ahead and try your civil war idea. My hunch is it won't fly very far.

    July 2, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. Orolandes O'Rourke

    So the Dems had a super majority and could have done anything they wanted to huh?

    Yup. For Four whole weeks.

    See Conservatives fought the victory of Al Franken until July of 2009. Without him they failed to have 60 votes needed to overcome filibuster. And Ted Kennedy died in August of 2009. So from July to August, they sure did. One month. And Republicans have been filibustering everything before and since.

    Obstructionism will kill the nation.

    July 2, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. swannyww

    This is like having a business where the employees refuse to work because of differences of opinion. The President has gone far and above to get agreements from Republicans and found only refusal to do the country's business. Boehner is not the president and was not elected by the people to run the country based on the agenda of his campaign. Blocking the President is blocking the American people's choice.

    July 2, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. Rhope

    Impeach him! Sue Him! Run him outta White house....
    Million Dollar Question: Who will bell the cat??

    July 2, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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