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.

Related: Obama’s ‘day in life’ offers opening to tout message and slam Republicans

Obama jokes about 'crack' pies

Obama brushes off clamor over Clinton’s ‘broke’ comments

soundoff (1,488 Responses)
  1. Kevin Hyer

    Being that you can't legally sue a sitting president, Boener is doing nothing but pandering to teapubs. As the saying goes; lead, follow, or GET OUT OF THE WAY! If the congress won't do their jobs, Somebody has to. Kudos for Obama for getting the peoples needs done and moving the country foward. The congress has no, I mean NO! excuse for sitting on their hands and doing absolutly nothing. The most lazy Congress in HISTORY! What is their excuse???

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

    Way to go Obama!

    July 2, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. CongressShmongress

    Hate to say it, but they wouldn't be doing this if Obama was white. There is an undercurrent of racism in everything this Republican Party does. They don't mind negotiating with the President, they mind negotiating with a BLACK President. The last thing the GOP want is to be seen as soft on the race issue among its own constituents. And that, my friends, is that.

    July 2, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. Carol

    Good for Obama. The Republicans have done nothing for the last 6 years, and if anything is going to get done Obama will have to do it himself. The Republicans want to sue Obama for the problems they created!

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

    The House has abdicated its responsibilities by failure to act. To threaten to sue the President for taking actions available under current existing statutory authority is the height of hypocrisy. The President is right to lay down the gauntlet . . . Does Boehner and the House have the suicidal will to pick it up?

    July 2, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Krhod

    This guy needs to be in jail. This isn't a dictatorship.

    July 2, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. Elliott Carlin

    Narcistic President Zero. Even names his dog after himself.

    July 2, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Elliott Carlin

    N Liten'd...EO's for recognizing the Boy Scouts equates with an EO for Immigration Reform? Wow.

    July 2, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Wilbur

    It's not fair for him to tout the middle class. I don't want this to be a political attack on him but his health care plan has been devastating to me. My kids fees went up 1000%. I am not rich. I make about 55K and support a family of 4. My youngest daughter has her heart checked once a year and the co-pay on that alone went form $100 to $900. The premiums went up as well. It's not a hypothetical situation for me but one that takes away from my ability to provide for them and send them to college. It is literally hurting all us.

    July 2, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Johnny B Goode

    I beleive GOPs goals were to make him a "one_term president" and make sure he never gets anything done. They failed at the former but are trying their darndest at the latter. Congress is a joke. They get paid for doing absolutely nothing.

    Nothing offends my sensibility more that a solution to a known problem being shot down without a proper counter. GOP is useless.

    Obama has had to deal with more cr*p than most presidents, maybe because he is black, maybe because he is half foreign blood. But the whole birth certificate thing was stupid and a waste of tax payers dollars and time. They have attacked and disrespected him in ways no other president in my time has ever been.

    I applaud his actions, i was mad because he was too soft in his first term. He tried his darndest to compromise and negotiate with imbiciles ... but the GOP don't want to negotiate they want to burn his administration down at the cost of the american people. Everything he does though done a million times before and on usually a grander scale by republican counterparts throughout history is made a big deal when he does it. Go for it Obama. We need someone fighting for us on capitol hill. The man aint perfect but i genuinely believe his heart is in the right place ... which is mroe than i can say for congress

    July 2, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Ben

    Of course he won't apologize for breaking the law. Why should he when the press and the left want him to break the law as long as it supports their end game. The law means nothing to such people. Except when they can use it against conservatives.

    July 2, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. w

    I love our president. The way he stands up to the evil republicans makes me proud. God bless you Obama.

    July 2, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Cory111

    The poor Republicans that have so much time on their hands, this will at least keep them busy. Go ahead and get Issa and a few other Republicans that have nothing better to do and try and bring the president into court.
    You lost the last two bids for the presidency and will lose it once again in the next election. The party of “NO” will get the same answer at the polls.
    Did Boehner make the statement from his office, the Club Bar?
    Hillary 2016

    July 2, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. phil

    will do Mr. President. nice job making a joke about crack. your incompetence is amazing to see.

    July 2, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Ed

    I don’t understand why Speaker Boehner and his GOP cronies all have their panties in a wad about President Obama using his executive powers while they’re all out campaigning to be reelected and doing absolutely nothing. It’s worth noting that while President Obama used those powers 147 times in his first term, President Bush used those same powers 173 times and President Reagan issued 213 executive orders in their first terms. Can we say ‘hypocrites’ boys and girls?

    July 2, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. exodus84

    Just looking at these comments pretty much proves the ignorance of Americans. You are NOT aware of how the Constitution works. You are NOT aware of the powers of the President. You are NOT aware of the attitude and behavior of the ENTIRE Republican party since Obama has been elected. You are NOT aware of history. In fact, you are NOT aware of very much. This ignorance is why this country is such a mess. Please go back to 8th grade and take the Constitution test again. Please go READ history books to learn cause and effect. The only reason the Republican party is even a viable party today is due to the sheer ignorance, anger, hate and blatant stupidity of so much of the population. It's quite sad.

    July 2, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. Sammy Z

    Boehner's lawsuit is 'a stunt." He can't sue Obama without passing both houses......and then Obama would need to sign it. Yeah....not happening.

    July 2, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    Obama tells the truth-
    ""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."

    and Steve posts...

    Obama. The Great Divider.

    Living in the republicant bubble of hypocracy and ignorance may be good for people like Steve, but it sure causes problems for the rest of us who are stuck in reality.

    July 2, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. JJR

    The corrupt political cartel of Obama has divided the country. 2016 will come not soon enough to prevent more disaster.

    July 2, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. HillClimber

    I am not so concerned about suing Obama, but impeaching him for failure to protect America from this invasion of illegal aliens would be great. We need someone in office who will enforce existing laws, effect mass deportation of illegal aliens, take make my borders secure against continued breach.

    July 2, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Kim

    It's time someone sued King Obama and ended his unilateral rule. If Obama is allowed to continue, then what's the point of the House and Senate. Obama can go after the Supreme Court next, and eliminate them too. Then he can declare himself President for Life.

    July 2, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. JGN

    Which is exactly what President Obama has been trying to address since he was elected, with health care reforms, infrastructure support, and many other programs all of which have been blindly and stupidly blocked by republicans in office. They seem to have had ONE goal only, and that is to try to make Obama fail. One cannot help but see racism at LEAST in part behind these maniacal machinations but in any case now Obama is doing what he should have done in his first four years; stop pretending he can work with them and go ahead with his very pro-America ideas while there is time!

    July 2, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. SKinMD

    Sick and tired of a "victim" POTUS.... with a stand-up routine instead of an honest plan for our country. HE is the one not working across the aisle... what he wants is total agreement with HIS beliefs, not negotiation. HIS Senate leader Reid is sitting on TONS of proposals from the House.... and won't even bring them up for discussion. We used to be a strong country of proud heroes, people who built their own destinies..... not victims at every turn. This POTUS has divided us and become a laughing stock across the globe as a weak, lead from behind symbol of our country. He is NOT a true LEADER. True leaders are not "victims."

    July 2, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. J Perez

    republicans have been obstructionists since the day Obama took over. They still can't stand the fact a Black man beat them, twice , and they are making Americans pay the price.

    Can't wait for the next round of elections so I can vote against every republican running.

    July 2, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Ian

    The GOP have lost their freakin minds, again!!!

    July 2, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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