July 1st, 2014
06:08 PM ET
9 years 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.

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"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. ZweiStein

    I saw an election sign on a street corner yesterday. It read "Fighting Obama" and then had two politicians named below. I imagine they are republicans trying to get their message out early. They need not worry, we already know that that is ALL they do, no matter how much it screws up this country.

    July 2, 2014 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  2. Bob

    A joke of a president for a joke of a country...

    July 2, 2014 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  3. Name

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

    July 2, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  4. Barraco Barmer (@BarracoBarmer)

    ...and this is how a dictatorship is started.

    July 2, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  5. JS

    IMPEACH this CRIMINAL! Time for CIVIL WAR against this creep!

    July 2, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  6. Robert

    Good for you Mr. President. Congress has a duty to legislate in behalf of the American people and they are just not doing it! So I support you as I always have.

    July 2, 2014 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  7. miguel

    If Obama wants to act like a Roman Emperor he should read up on history.

    July 2, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  8. norithics

    Remember kids, if Obama does nothing, he's a failure; but if he does something, he's a tyrant!

    July 2, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  9. fromoverhere

    Yes, he gets points for actually trying to do something for the rest of us, who live in the real world of falling-down bridges and pot-holed highways...while people look for work, of confused immigrants who want to work but legally can't, of out-of-control lobbies for guns and oil and insurance, and of hospital bills that only a millionaire could afford. His solutions may be far from perfect, but he seems like the only one in DC who is actually taking action for ordinary Americans.

    July 2, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  10. Beaellie

    Finally....a backbone. Stand up to the "do nothing Congress" and get something done!

    July 2, 2014 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  11. Johnnie Shields

    Way to Go President Obama!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 2, 2014 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  12. Anonymous

    that's my president!!! bravo im with you..

    July 2, 2014 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  13. Johnnie Shields

    The Republican needs to get with in and stop holdiong back progress. Amem.

    July 2, 2014 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  14. LeftandRightOfMiddle

    Why won't Boehner just let legislation go up for a vote? If he thinks Obama is wrong, call him on it by letting the house vote on things that may not get all the GOP behind them. Boehner needs to do his job and let the House of Representatives represent all the people of the United States, not half the people!

    July 2, 2014 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  15. Bill

    Here's the thing...Republicans will bash Obama for his use of executive actions, but they know as well as liberals do, that if a Republican president was having to deal with such a useless, gridlocked Congress, he/she would do the exact same thing. I don't fault for Obama for it, just like I wouldn't fault a Republican president dealing with an equally ineffective Congress for trying to do the same thing. Our biggest threat right now is the inaction and unwillingness of Congress to form bipartisan partnerships and start solving some of the serious issues our country faces. Both parties are to blame IMO and both parties need to forge a solution. Until they do, I'm OK with the President using whatever means he possesses to bypass Congress in order to get things done.

    July 2, 2014 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  16. Paul Revere

    That can be arranged Mr. President.

    July 2, 2014 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  17. Adam

    ask and you shall receive

    July 2, 2014 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  18. Bob

    Hey he's doing what he said he'd do. Can't argue with that.

    July 2, 2014 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  19. Jim

    This man really has no respect for the Constitution or America, does he?

    July 2, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  20. Gary

    I just wish our leaders would act like leaders instead of blaming others for their every failure. I wish that either political party would put the people of this nation before themselves. Sometimes leadership is not so much about getting what you want but instead getting what you need and unfortunately I feel our leaders can't or won't do that for political reasons. Leadership is not about brinksmanship but about grace and we all know there is certainly a lack of grace right now.

    July 2, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  21. Mr. Izz

    Using an executive order to throw $2 billion at a problem that he helped cause will not help middle class families or improve the economy in any way whatsoever. A lot of congress is not happy with the president. That's both sides of the aisle.

    July 2, 2014 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  22. libsforlifelibertyandendlesseverything

    I love how the president always blames repubs. The idea of a check and balance system is so that no one can just do whatever they want which is exactly what he is doing breaking the law in my opinion. I have am represented in congress and you cant bypasd my representation fpor your own wants.

    July 2, 2014 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  23. just me

    Building roads and bridges? Who does this guy think he is? The president or sumpin? Next he'll want sumpin REALLY crazy like clean air or water. And in an election year! Smh ... The nerve of some people.

    July 2, 2014 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  24. travismatthew1970

    Republicans wont work with democrats, democrats won't work with republicans...Republicans refuse to work with Obama....2 term limits on senators, 2 term limits on congressmen/women. 1 term limits on presidents. I for one am sick of the gridlock and bickering amongst the parties. They're all guilty of doing nothing at some level. Unless of course there's something in it for them. Start over with every one of them.

    July 2, 2014 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  25. Gary

    For the record I am strictly independent. I have no need or desire to be affiliated with either political party.

    July 2, 2014 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
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