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. tomdavie

    I think the President wins on this issue.

    The Republicans have the right to be angry about the fiat, but it will quickly turn into how disjointed the congress has slowly become after all these years.

    Every member of the House and Senate are perpetually campaigning . They constantly look for faults in the other party and do anything they can do downplay or diminish any accomplishment which might give the party that does so credit .

    The country is slowly turning into a vote-in dictatorship because Congress willfully refuses to do its job. The only one with any actual power to do anything is the president.


    Change the way that people are elected to public office.

    July 2, 2014 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  2. larry

    The Department of Health and Human Services security forces are proudly calling themselves "Brown Shirts." That alone is terrifying in America.

    But even worse, these "Brown Shirts" are threatening to arrest any medical professional who warns the public about the diseases illegal children are carrying. Further, the Obama Administration is having these diseased children transported around the country using public transportation, potentially spreading the illnesses.:

    A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, sources say. [...]

    A former nurse at the camp told me she was horrified by what she saw.

    "We have so many kids coming in that there was no way to control all of the sickness – all this stuff coming into the country," she said. "We were very concerned at one point about strep going around the base."

    Both the counselor and the nurse said their superiors tried to cover up the extent of the illnesses. [...]

    The nurse told me she became especially alarmed because their files indicated the children had been transported to Lackland on domestic charter buses and airplanes.

    July 2, 2014 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  3. mike

    GOP...Sue him then!

    July 2, 2014 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  4. Tiffany Sayers

    Typical reaction from Pres Hope and Change. Since he came into the White House he has been a bully. Funny how he wants to build bridges and roads but always seems to be dividing the people of this country. Thankfully 2016 is not far away. Ultimately I want a President that can transcend this political crapshoot. Here's hoping for a better America for my children. Oh and Michelle I pack healthy lunches and have been for years. Maybe you can send me some of your travel budget for our school district.

    July 2, 2014 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  5. jnpa

    "As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something."
    The President is absolutely correct! Congress should be sued, not Obama. What exactly is Congress getting paid for? To obstruct the President? Obviously, because that is all they do.

    July 2, 2014 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  6. Zon

    Good for him. Mr. President, remind America just how worthless a Republican lead Congress is all the way until November. Maybe if we can take power away from those worthless wing nuts we might be able to get something done.

    July 2, 2014 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  7. Datablade

    Perhaps Obama should talk to Harry Reid about all the Republican bills sitting on his desk that Reid refuses to allow any discussion or voting on, in typical Democrat partisan fashion. It was the Dems who blocked any Republican input when the Dems had control of Congress, creating ill-will between the parties that is only encouraged by Obama, the divider in chief. Sadly both Dems and Repubs seem to be of a "party first" mindset, and the heck with the country.

    July 2, 2014 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    -just overthrow entire congress idiots in next election. These GOP members are cult members, thugs in a simple language. They did not care stringent immigration reform, nor minimum wage hike. Nothing man, nothing. The most horrible congress I ever noticed.

    July 2, 2014 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  9. David justice

    Congress should be fired. They get the big money for being speedbumps. Lumps that obstruct the path of progress in the name of political fueding. Little children having a temper tantrum. Send them home next election without pay.

    July 2, 2014 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  10. Merle McClung

    Good for the President!
    The Republicans got plenty of time for stunts, since they have done nothing for the last four years - the 111th and 112th sessions of Congress will go down in history as the least productive in the number of bills passed and got the lowest score in public approval (9 percent) in the history of the poll.

    July 2, 2014 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  11. hkirwin

    Does his arrogance have no end?

    July 2, 2014 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  12. Don DaMiddle

    Boehner should be careful what he wishes for.
    Our President would WELCOME some judicial review on this matter.
    The primary reason our president has been forced to use executive orders
    is because 60% of the GOP in Congress has signed "PAC Pledges" (in exchange for campaign funding)
    NOT TO NEGOTIATE Bi-Partisan Legislation. "PAC Pledges" are immoral & unconstitutional AT BEST. (probably criminal)
    Judicial review at this time... could give the SCOTUS an opportunity to correct their ruling on Citizens United.
    (The most devastating ruling against Democracy... in American History)

    July 2, 2014 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  13. Bob

    Circumventing the system is not doing good by the people, it's tyranny. The president needs to learn that his word isn't law and that he doesn't get everything he wants. Checks and balances exist for a reason. If your opposition can deadlock your agenda then that means a large enough portion of the country, as evidenced by their government representatives, opposes that agenda and he needs to respect that.

    July 2, 2014 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  14. JP

    America will never live up to its potential as long as the ignorant hillbilly half of this country has so much political influence.It's no wonder the GOP wants to cut education funding.

    July 2, 2014 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  15. jefz

    Economically and politically Obama and his administration remain a disaster for this country.
    If he wants to create jobs, start with the pipeline whose delays have caused not only jobs but the alienation of our once great ally.
    Never has this country suffered such economic and political disasters since the advent of this administration.
    Anything, even impeachment, would be better than letting Obama continue on this disastrous path.

    July 2, 2014 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  16. Pablo123

    OK, so GOP is miffed that POTUS is smarter and ballsier than they are, so will of course sue to stop anything productive from happening in the country. Good thing he did not have to consult with Congress on the Osama bin laden mission, or it would have been bogged down in a vote on Obamacare! Congress, PLEASE do your job. Compromise. Make laws. Serve your nation instead of your party hacks and big money supporters. Grow a set.

    July 2, 2014 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  17. The Prince of Common Cents

    "POW!" Right in the kisser...(go get 'em Mr. President!)

    July 2, 2014 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  18. kerrypenn49

    I am god, Nobody can question my actions, I am above the law.
    Do Not buy into this con. Obama and the democrats will play all kinds of con games between now and Nov. 2014 in the attempt to distract us from their lies, deceptions, failed and bad policies, their corruption and immorality.
    DO NOT FALL FOR Obama's Cons.

    July 2, 2014 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  19. Bobbo

    Any executive actions made by a President can be rescinded by the next President or the next one, or the next one, etc. Those happy with the present style of leadership may not be so pleased in the future. What goes around.............

    July 2, 2014 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Cute. I used to say the same thing to my friends on the fifth grade playground.

    Given Barry's recent record in the courts, you might not think he'd be so anxious to rush back to them. It's been all downhill for him since the actual Obamacare decision.

    July 2, 2014 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  21. Pogostick

    The president is right when he says the Republicans continuously obstruct efforts to improve conditions for the middle class. Our current congress is the least effectve ever, accoring to what I have read, and yet they continue to attck the president for trying to better the country.

    July 2, 2014 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  22. georgeorwell84

    Just because you make something a hallmark of your second term doesn't mean you can throw the constitution aside. What bogus logic. Thanks CNN for advertising another White House talking point.

    July 2, 2014 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  23. mtman19

    The weeper of the house getting some of his own medicine....maybe he could cry some more and tell us what a great job the republicans are doing...wait; this just in!...the Iraq war is President Obama's fault...

    July 2, 2014 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  24. The don

    Impeach would be a better idea.

    July 2, 2014 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  25. LJ

    Here's a thought. Introduce bills without pork.

    July 2, 2014 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
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