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. Scott

    Obama: Pointing the finger at a scapegoat near you.

    July 2, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Ed F.

    GOP = do nothing

    July 2, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. Sean

    Meanwhile Obamacare is bearing its rotten fruits, no different than VA medical "care":

    The Las Vegas woman died Monday, less than two weeks after her family went public with details about Nevada Health Link insurance exchange enrollment troubles that kept her from treatment in January for an aggressive brain tumor.

    Rolain was one of about 150 Nevadans suing Nevada Health Link contractor Xerox for enrollment mix-ups that left them without the health insurance they paid for.

    Rolain is the first to die of complications from an illness said to have gone untreated for lack of coverage. But observers close to her case say she may not be the last.

    “We are worried that this is the first of many Nevadans who have life-threatening issues that may end up in such tragic circumstances. We urge all Nevadans to verify that their insurance is active and in place in light of the many problems that hundreds, if not thousands, of Nevadans have gone through,” Rolain’s law firm, Callister, Immerman and Associates, said in a statement.

    July 2, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    America
    People,

    Just for one minute forget your political affiliation, and social and economical views to examine what is occurring to this country as a citizen of a free-nation.

    Our system of check-and-balances seems to be coming undone. Are you not concerned, as a citizen? One branch of government is becoming larger than the rest, are you not slightly worried? If you are not worried now, then when? At what point will you, as a citizen, become concerned about the actions of this administration?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Right on America – it's well past time we the people stood up to those activist judges legislating from the bench. That said, it's only recently that I've stopped being concerned about "this administration" – ever since "this President" grew a backbone and started doing what the majority of voters elected him to do!

    July 2, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Passport423

    I voted for Obama, in both Presidential elections. But I am really sick of his rhetoric lately and very disappointed in the way he presents himself.

    July 2, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. ritmocojo

    Bonehead should sue himself and his minions for paying back to the U.S. Treasury all of the pay they've received for doing absolutely nothing. Where else in the real world can you get paid what these yahoos receive for doing absolutely nothing? Then these very same clowns come with names like "Takers", in reference to the unfortunate who happen to be on government assistance.

    July 2, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Jodo, what were the nature and substance of the " job creation bills" you cite? Did any of them, by any chance, include de-funding the ACA and providing tax breaks to people who don't need them? Don't just simply throw out a number of vaguely defined " job creation " bills expect anyone not to ask those questions. As far as dishonesty is concerned, denying people access to buying their own insurance is not a form of freedom by any stretch of the imagination. If Harry Reid decides that the legislation coming from the House is not worth taking up, that's not Obama being dishonest, its Reid not wanting to waste his time on the legislative version of babyfood.

    July 2, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Sean

    As Obama says this all snarky and arrogant, his delays with obamacare has caused its first death:

    The Las Vegas woman died Monday, less than two weeks after her family went public with details about Nevada Health Link insurance exchange enrollment troubles that kept her from treatment in January for an aggressive brain tumor.

    July 2, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. FLIndy

    @ABQSage – Is this what leadership is all about? Is taunting the way to bring the country together, to engender respect and loyalty? Why can't a president get beyond partison politics and name calling to work with all elected leaders to accomplish important goals for the benefit of all? This kind of mockery of leadership is the reason no one now believes our government is capable of accomplishinng anything- including most foreign nations.
    _________________________________________________________
    We can say the exact about John Boehner, can't we? Seems to me you are no different than those playing politics. This president has bent over backwards for 5 years to work with this Congress but nothing he did was ever good enough. How can any president work with a Congress that declared on Day 1 of the presidency that their only goal was to make Obama a one-term president and not work with him. President Obama has never made such a declaration about the Congress.

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

    The Griot

    DinkyPink wrote:

    "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."
    -----–

    You've hit the nail on the head. Couldn't have said it better myself.
    =============================================================

    Now be honest with yourselves if at all possible. Would this be OK with you if the President was Republican?

    July 2, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. angel

    Worst president ever according to a recent poll. His defenders defend him because they benefit from the free money the government gives them.

    July 2, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Malory Archer

    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!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Because it didn't work for the first five years he was in office. Because the red’s idea of “compromise” is “do it our way or we shut down government” – and it’s infantile at best to believe otherwise. Arrogant – you bet congressional reds are!

    July 2, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. TomVIO

    I totally agree with someone who said that Obama should bring the country together. However, this is about taking steps to pass bills and reforms. He has asked the congress to act on it, but they clearly stated that they will not work until the elections. The people are paying these congressman to work, not to sit and say that they won't do anything. Therefore, Obama's executive actions are needed.

    July 2, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. furianxo

    I'll tell you why this president has no respect from the conservative side of the United States.... Because he doesn't care one lick about us. If he were a bipartisan president, smart, understood the need to protect this nations history and constitution, made laws that helped EVERYONE, not just some of us, while hurting the other half... and also made EVERYONE, abide by those laws, then, only then, would he be a likable president, by all. Not just by the blinded left wing.

    July 2, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. hkirwin

    Fosung

    The things Obama could do without congress, he has done them and had results. Not so much the things he needs republicans to sign of on.
    ======================================

    ...but you forgot to add "bad", the results were bad.

    July 2, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. marton

    Once again, we see ourselves sniping at each other over "politics as usual" in D.C. Will we ever learn to vote out the incumbents each/every election? Entrenchment and the protection of the 1%/their wealth at all costs (pun intended) has been the endgame too long for our nation's wealthy leaders. It doesn't matter whether they work together or not, the result is always the same: the rich get richer, the rest of us wallow in our whining.

    July 2, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. Malory Archer

    Jodo
    obama is incredibly dishonest when he places all of the blame on the GOP lead House of Representatives.

    Since the Republicans took the majority of seats in the House, the House has passed 240 bills – 40 of which were specifically aimed at job creation. But not one of these 240 bills was allowed to come up for a vote in the Senate. Little Harry decided to block every one of them

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Entirely untrue, but don't let facts stand in the way of a good temper tantrum.

    July 2, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Yeah–hope they sue him–to highlight the Republican Party of Obstruction. They won't do anything–and they are doing their best to see that he can't do anything either. At least it would draw attention to their disgraceful behavior–and gain him a more public platform.

    July 2, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Pete

    Considering that his actions are criminal (treason is a crime) he should be brought up for impeachment, then tried and sent to jail. He has divided this country like no other president, and has used his executive powers unconstitutionally. I truly don't understand how Democrats can stand behind this man. Oh. I forgot. You also supported Clinton.

    July 2, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Ignicio Smith

    Though I side with the Republicans on the Keystone Pipeline, their economic policies, free enterprise zones, fiscal management, control of the NLRB and putting public employee unions in check, Obama is right to stand up to a few of this accomplishments. The Affordable Care Act has obtain the enrollment base and needs some reforms, since a larger pool of people can result in lower premiums, however, the size needs to increase to help the upper income tier people as well. The Republicans are playing a very stupid card in trying to sue the Executive Branch of government. Plus, the executive orders issued by Obama have been less than his predecessors. Until the Republican Party shows moderation and these trial attorney big public employee union Democrats are thrown out office, we have little future.

    July 2, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    Jerry
    I am a life-long Democrat,

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Suuuure you are. If that's the case, why do you start EVERY single post with "I'm a lifelong Democrat"? Me think the lady doth protest too much!

    July 2, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. 1alien1

    chalupa, obama was not the one that promised their party would not let obama pass ANYthing. it was the repubs. all they did was try to make things misserable for the president and the people to show how bad he is. this is just ugly politics being spoon fed to the sheep. again i say, why can't we have the choices americans deserve during election time. i don't care which party it is, just quality candidates. imagine the repubs felt mitt was the answer.

    July 2, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. FLIndy

    @Bill – not sure what middle class families have to do with amnesty. This guy is so in over his head
    __________________________________________________
    Sorry to say, you are just another one who spews your hate without even listening to what is said. The President was talking about his infrastructure bill that he proposed to Congress years ago. The bill would definitely help the middle class by not only creating jobs but improving our failing infrastructure system. Wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 2, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Malory Archer

    Truth hurts doesn't it, reds?

    July 2, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Pair O' Dimes

    I suppose all those people in the House just showed up in DC uninvited? Is POTUS the only elected official, and Executive the only branch of government?

    Americans elected their representatives just as much as they did a president. We did not elect them to rubberstamp the president's agenda, and he has no business taking upon himself their job. My congressman is doing EXACTLY what I voted for him to do.

    July 2, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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