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. mrmew55

    All of these apologists for the Repugs should get the hell out of MY COUNTRY – between them and that dangerous joke of a Supreme Court we have entered the same phase as pre-Nazi Germany and I'm sick to death of these fascists destroying the USA!

    July 2, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. rad666

    Obama, "so waste taxpayer dollars to sue me. I'll waste taxpayer dollars to defend myself."

    July 2, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. kevikens

    Guys, I am getting the impression that the president feels that the function of Congress is to pass laws he wants and if it does not, he will implement the laws on his own. Perhaps we should just do away with Congress and go with a monarchy and avoid all the debate and delay. Why bother to have a legislature at all? Why not just trust that the president, any president knows what is best for us?

    July 2, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Xman

    Wow, a President with some b@lls. Nice to see. Thank you, President Obama. Maybe Congress will use your example and start doing their jobs.

    July 2, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Shawn H

    As an attorney, I must say that this is good news for the legal society. As an American, I must say we are doomed when our legislature decides that it will do nothing to make the President look bad. And, that goes for both parties! I believe that this is considered treason in some countries.

    July 2, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. spike1234

    Add operation zero footprint to the list of crimes.

    July 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. agsn

    Wow... so many republican propagandists on CNN. How refreshing:)

    July 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Brhino

    The democrat controlled senate has refused to allow simple discussion on ANY legislation initiated by the house including passing a stinking budget. So how exactly should the republican house proceed? The real obstructionist is Harry Reed. Bottom line, the demos don't want to compromise on immigration, they just want the issue to bash their opposition with. When the demos had all the power, there was zero compromise. Repubs weren't even allowed into the meetings on healthcare. The presidents policy is that he should get everything he wants, right now, or he will bash you and calll you an obstructionist. If the repubs don't start standing up and shutting this BS down, they might as well give up and go home.

    July 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. Liberal...NOT

    Obama has gone from being a terrible president to just plain embarrassing!

    July 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. jo clo

    The republicans don't care about school shootings!
    The republican party hates Americans ... black americans,gay americans, americans who want abortions, americans who oppose gun violence, americans who want a higher minimum wage, imigrant americans, progressive americans etc etc

    July 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. badnews333

    WOW!!! Ever see the commercial where this guy says "I feel like a king"? Well we now have our very own monarch.

    July 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Hillary

    Well since Republicans can't move any legislation, what makes Banner think he can move this?

    July 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Noneya

    If the Republicants can sue Obama for doing his job, then we can arrest Bush and Cheney for war crimes...

    July 2, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. spike1234

    The immigration bill is not doing the right thing. The CBO states that it will bring on 12 years of American wage depression. Hardly the right thing.

    July 2, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Shane

    Sad – just sad that this man represents our country. No wonder the world is on fire – he is impotent and useless. No one has respect for this guy. Remember how the Dem's so blindly followed him – now most are hiding in corners not wanting to admit he is quickly becoming the worst President we have ever had! Oh, and in before someone says anyone who disagrees with him is racist! LOL – big joke

    July 2, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. badnews333

    Like saying "My way or the highway".

    July 2, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Citizen

    Bush using executive action to illegally spy on US citizens and lying about it is fine though.

    July 2, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Noneya

    @Brad Your taxes have gone down. The lie that is fiscal responsibility coming from right-wingers is a joke. The CONservatives in this country have squandered and cheated us for decades, and now they want to play it off like they have something to offer.

    July 2, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. seang

    My major concern is the spin and lies the obama is trying to pass off as fact. He claims congress does nothing, yet congress has attempted to work with obama several times and it always ends up with nothing happening due to obama's unwilling to compromise and meet congress halfway. Take immigration for example, obama pushed for reform, congress was willing to hold vote provided obama remove any sort of amnesty language, he refused, nothing got done. So a more accurate statement would be "congress wont just rubberstamp my proposals, no questions asked". A more accurate depiction is nothing is being done due to an unwillingness to compromise, which is exactly the point the SCOTUS made when the invalidated his recess appointments.

    July 2, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. amtannerjr

    King Obama has spoken! Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, has rebuked the self-proclaimed King, and said that, much to Obama's surprise, that our government has a legislative branch too, and that he must learn to cooperate and compromise (much like he promised to do, and just like his lying about having a transparent administration, amongst his plate of of broken promises and lies!) with the legislative branch, versus just dictating and issuing executive edicts... the irs, the nsa, solendra, bengazi, illegal immigration; the list of abuses of his power are endless..., not to mention his blatant racism, which has totally divided this country!

    July 2, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Judestar

    Bravo, Mr. President! Bravo!

    July 2, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Name

    So I see we have a king now

    July 2, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Terry

    Lets be real here. The republicans say no because Obama says its my way or the highway. Both sides are saying no.

    July 2, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. TB

    Personally I think it's great! Congress has deliberately refused to do a darn thing. I'm not a huge Obama supporter, but I even less of a fan on Congress. They all need to be voted out of office, and really they should all return paychecks for the last two years that they did nothing.

    July 2, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Elliott Carlin

    Interesting to note a number of people support these actions by the President (executive orders) without considering their constitutionality. I realize laws are no longer in vogue; however this President is not merely not securing our borders, he's supporting the overrun of it. This is what is dangerous. But perhaps what is even worse are the RINOs who sit back and watch it all happen. We have no representation any more-and by 'we' I mean those of us who play by the rules. I'm frankly tired of it.

    July 2, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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