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. Jim Jimson

    "Our number one priority is to make Obama a one term President." Mitch Mconnel

    Now that Republicans have failed miserably at this, when do you think they'll finally get around to putting the needs of the American people somewhere on their list of priorities?

    July 2, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. CnnReader

    You should I either completely approve of a President using Executive Actions so accomplish things or not. An opinion on whether this is right or wrong should not depend on whether or not you like the current President, but rather, is it right? If you support this action, how would you feel if a Republican President decided put in an Executive Action to get some gun issue in? Would that be right?? Probably not.

    July 2, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. Jay

    Mr. Obama needs to stop lying to the American people, and the media outlets need to report on the Do Nothing Harry Reid. He's got way over 50 bills sitting on his desk that he will not bring up for vote. Don't blame Conservatives for doing their job, when the King tyrant Harry Reid is the one doing nothing. I take that back, he tries to push his agenda, and seems to think that he's the one who can craft legislation in the Senate.

    July 2, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. masher

    This is scary! Having come to the USA from a communist country, Obama scares the heck out of me.

    July 2, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. KellyF

    I just love the uninformed here who are calling our president arrogant and accusing him of dividing the country. PLEASE. The GOP left him in the dust before he ever set foot in the White House and have refused to work with our democratically elected president who WON the election TWICE based on the very things they are blocking the president from doing. They have not only turned their backs on Obama, they have turned their backs on the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. Obstruction like this should be criminal. Unless they keep coming up with new and inventive ways to try and STEAL elections by GERRYMANDERING and putting forth unconstitutional bogus voting laws that have ZERO merit, and are SOLELY designed to cancel out votes typically from the Democratic party. The GOP have become nothing more than a band of thugs that do nothing but lie, cheat, and manipulate. The very fact that they are stooping to these tactics says a lot about the reality they are aware of. They are a minority that SICKENS the average American.

    July 2, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. Frank

    Side stepping congress?! I voted for Obama but not for this. Also he wants to side step congress to fix immigration! Now I see why illegals have packed up on the borders. They all know something illegal is going to be passed on their behalf.
    Just put two by two together.

    July 2, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. Mike Hunt

    ""Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me,"

    How Presidential! Can anyone think of a President who spoke like this? Utterly dismissive of anyone who dares to disagree with him.

    King Barry forgets this is a democracy. The House was elected because voters didn't want another Obamacare jammed down peoples throats!

    Barry is a disgrace. He sounds like a whiney 6 year old child.

    July 2, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. DJ Reality

    Look congress is so dysfunctional it is not even funny. Someone in Washington has to do something about our problems. If we can't count on congress who can we. Well at least the President gives a damn and wants to get things done. Congress if useless anymore. They are too darn busy playing politics to worry about America and I blame the republicans for this. At least President Obama is stepping up to fill the void of the best he can. Boehner could not lead a bunch of people down a buffet line let alone do his job!

    July 2, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. espionageaficianado

    Looking back at history this current president isn't doing anything different than previous administrations. But at a certain point one can say enough is enough...I'm sick and tired having illegals come through and we have to feel sorry for because their governments are inept and corrupt. We need to put a halt or moratorium on this for a few years so we can get out proverbial acts together. This country is suffering with problems ranging from loosing a middle class to heavy debt burdens. The country is like the old lady and the shoe; it's tired and needs a fresh makeover by not admitting people who we end up supporting because they lack the language, medical, and educational tools.

    July 2, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. Carl

    Can't stop laughing. A lifelong Democrat, I am looking at Obamacare being changed over and over again by executive order, which us illegal, and My fellow Democrats saying nothing. Then, after illegals overrun overrun our borders, we say nothing about the invasion or lack if border security. After the IRS targets others , we say nothing

    It seems that my Democratic colleagues only concern themselves when Republicans are in the White House. It makes me feel like I am in the company of hypocrites, not Americans like me.

    What is wrong with this picture? I guess it starts with the man I voted for.

    July 2, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. Rosslaw

    Imagine trying to fix bridges on the verge of falling down or cutting carbon emissions! The nerve. Well, when Boner figures out what he's suing for since he has already punted at one press conference about what he would be suing for, maybe the House can return to the important work of borrowing from sharia law to impose new pre-abortion "educational" requirements like non-medically required invasive ultrasounds legislated by profoundly disturbed teatard legislators who have obviously carried some very scary desires for a long time.

    July 2, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. whatever123

    I LOVE folks that blame one man for all our nations woes. These people believe President Obama has more power than Jesus. And for the silly "Anonymous" guy who blames his slip to lower-middle class on the President; I've moved from lower class to middle class in the past 5 years and plan on being in the upper-middle class by the end of next year. Pick yourself up by the bootstraps and stop blaming your failures on anyone besides yourself. I mean, that's what you would say to a poor person, right???

    July 2, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  13. DC Johnny

    It is amazing how complicit the Democrat leaders in Congress, Democrat-appointed members of the Supreme Court, and liberal citizens support and applaud this blatant exercise of imperial power.

    Absolutely stunning.

    This is one of those times, my Democrat friends, when you are supposed to stand up against your own leaders. This is a clear case when you should rise above the ideology and denounce this activity, even though you may agree with the end result.

    If Madison were here today, he'd vehemently scream for impeachment, as would Jefferson, Washington, Monroe, Mason, and the lot of them. Impeachment and nothing short of it.

    July 2, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. Fred

    I have a much better idea. Impeach him.

    July 2, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  15. Ed F.


    Reagan gave 2.9 million people amnesty.

    July 2, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. Kelly

    Isn't it usually the GOP always bitching about "sue-happy" Americans?

    July 2, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. TnFL

    If I had an identical record to President Obamas', I would not encourage the Congress to sue me. They may do it,

    July 2, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. Vexp

    The Republican politicians, along with their Wallstreet and NRA lobbyists, have done more damages to this country than all the other potential and existing US enemies (Russian, Chinese, Al-Quaeda, etc...). It's them, and not any of the aforementioned enemies, have terrorized miilions of American lives and weakened our nation. They will bring this country down if we, the voters, don't bring them down first.

    July 2, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. Rudy NYC


    Middle class??? This administration certainly has not helped me as we slip farther and farther towards lower middle class. I can't think of one thing he has done to help the middle class.
    He gave the middle class a permanent tax cut.

    July 2, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. Joe B.

    Sue is not the right thing to do. We need to charge with crimes against the American people and send you to prison. This immigration problem is Obama's fault based on his actions in 2008. Now like everything else he touches and destroys, he blames it on other people. Well our founders developed this system for checks and balances. We see this is one President that we should be grateful for the checks and balances.

    July 2, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. Brian McKinsey

    "Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me," Obama said Tuesday at an event in Washington.
    I LOVE IT! BRING IT ON.No more Do nothing Congress. It is time for action. Bravo, Mr. President!

    July 2, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  22. Phillip Andrews

    For a guy who has lost his last four cases before the Supreme Court, this only proves to me he is not as bright as a guy as what he thinks he is.

    July 2, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Valerie

    Seriously? People still believe what comes out of this president's mouth? Yes, things are not getting done but both sides are to blame. If the dems want something the reps block it and vice versa. The only problem here is the blame is being placed on one party. I cannot wait until this man is done with his term. And for all do those people out there that think the reps are only to blame, get your facts straight and stop believing this loon.

    July 2, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. Gabbo

    "Our chef puts crack in our pies" – WORST PRESIDENT EVER ! The polls make it official, at least over the last 70 years.

    July 2, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. Brett Champion

    As the saying goes: the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    Obama's attitude is certainly not the first step we've taken on the road to authoritarianism in this country, but it is a giant leap forward. He might not have any intention of installing himself as a dictator, but his disrespect for both the Constitution and the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches has certainly set a precedent for a less restrained future president to exploit.

    July 2, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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