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. lovehifi

    Probably explains why Obama is the most divisive President in my life time and the way he governs. What does a community organizer do? What he does not do is organize a community. What he organizes are the resentments and paranoia within a community, directing those feelings against other communities, from whom either benefits or revenge are to be gotten, using whatever rhetoric or tactics will accomplish that purpose.”

    July 2, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. JustASec

    You can separate the pro-Obamas and the con-Obamas here by listening to the right wing talk radio BS talking points spewed by Rush and his bimbos being regurgitated by the cons.

    Kick them to the curb Mr. President. And send that phony Boehner home.

    July 2, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. ML

    There is a Republican majority in Congress Mr. President because many Americans seem to prefer their policy ideas. Your continued, demeaning criticism of them alienates a great many American's as a result. A leader will use his or her personal charm and political capital to influence others to find common ground.. It's a trait this President lacks and as a nation we are less well-served by the office than we deserve.

    July 2, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Obamain2016?

    We could use some road repairs. Anyone notice?

    July 2, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. Kevin

    It amazes me the number of people that have no clue how executive orders work. Obama is not the first to use them and is by far not the top president in the number of EO's used. Look at Bush for that one. But you all didnt complain then about them at all.


    July 2, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. tilly

    It's funny how all of you that hate President Obama constantly call him an idiot, criminal, and what ever adjective you can think of to decribe him. But you are always willing to elect every back woods banjo picking, uneducated, fake christian that says these magic words " TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK ". Get over it that s""t is not going to happen. We as a country are not going back to your good old days.

    July 2, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    @ HenryMiller:

    Dictatorship? Really? We have an Executive branch for a reason, and that reason is not to do the bidding of Lower House of Congress that has largely been passing pointless legislation that does not have the support of a significant plurality of the population. Its all well and good for the whackjob Libertarians to pass their meaningless votes, but they are also supposed to be helping to run the country: when are they going to do that, or do they not understand that most people find their proposals at best entertaining?

    July 2, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. tiredOFtheBS

    here's an idea for all the republicans out there... go see how many Executive Orders little old BUSH wrote into action and then tell me who is abusing power

    July 2, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. TeaPatriot

    King Obama shows his true colors

    July 2, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. Dean

    Often with government, doing nothing IS doing something...preventing bad legislation from becoming law. I'm glad the U.S. House is 'doing nothing'.

    July 2, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. SuperDave

    More Obama comments:
    "Liar liar pants on fire"
    "I know you are, but what am I"
    "I will take my ball and go home if you don't stop"
    "Its my Whire House, you can't tell me what to do"

    July 2, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Allie F.

    America is now paying the price for electing this hubris, inept, lying fraud. He should be tried for TREASON!!!!! We will not have our country remaining when he leaves office...his mission of destruction of the USA will be complete.

    July 2, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. rr

    People calling President Obama a dictator are so sad. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship. No wonder our children are losing educational. Being brought up by parents who don't understand our governmental makeup is sad.
    So sad.

    July 2, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Fr33th1nk3r

    Just to put John Bo-ner's lawsuit in the proper perspective....here are the executive orders issuedby the last several POTUS'. Clearly Boehner is lacking a clue, like much of his voter base....

    Jimmy Carter 320
    Ronald Reagan 381
    George H. W. Bush 166
    William J. Clinton 364
    George W. Bush 291
    Barack Obama 180

    July 2, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. evilllleeeeee

    DOn't apologize for trying something, apologize when it backfires.... and expect to get sued.

    July 2, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. Mary

    Republican OR Democrat – If Congress would do their job and quit all the posturing and blame game stuff, many of the current issues would already be underway to being solved, or at least under control. You can't always solve something immediately – oft times baby steps are needed, then structure things as you go along. O'bama has tried time and time again to get things moving with immigration reform and both parties have stalled things and now once again blaming each other. Instead of spending all this money years ago to fix the border, it is now headed for bandaid measures. Our President has the right attitude – he's going to get blamed no matter what he does, but at least he's trying. Get it together, Congress. If your terms were limited, maybe you would try a little harder!

    July 2, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. GOP FAIL

    Mr. President, the REAL PATRIOTIC people of this country are 100% behind you!! Great Job! Keep it up! And GOD BLESS YOU!

    July 2, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. luvUamerica

    Congress is not divided. It is held hostage by the Republicans. The Do Nothing Republicans.

    July 2, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. Right as Always

    @AW: The childish behavior stems from Congress Republicans. Your anti-Obama bias prevents you from seeing what is very clear to any reasonable person. No president has ever faced this sort of immature opposition. I'm not a big fan of Obama's, but it is nonetheless impressive that he has accomplished anything at all so far with the constant Republican obstructionism and the mega-mess he inherited (two mismanaged wars, the Great Recession and a trillion-dollar deficit).

    July 2, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. AM

    Finally someone that is not afraid of getting things done. We all have jobs to do and we all have timelines, why don't republicans get things done within the timelines given to them, ( and the answer its because they have their own agendas according to their own personal interest) . As an example we can mention the NRA situation. We as Americans want to stop the school massacres, but the republicans still dont want to vote to implement more restrictive measures in the gun control; why?, because they are looking for their own interest.

    July 2, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Bob Manning

    Obama: "Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff."
    Obama: "a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress."

    Allowing illegal immigrants into this country does nothing for middle-class families, other than increase their taxes to support the illegals.

    July 2, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. pvst

    Worst president ever. He loves to divide.

    July 2, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  23. Fr33th1nk3r

    This lawsuit is the current GOP in a nutshell– uninformed, baseless, and overall rooted in the hatred of the thought of a semi-black man with a funny name being in charge.

    July 2, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  24. Put America First

    The president is smart. He knows that he can violate the constitution about as much as he wants and he will not be held accountable. By the time the courts get around to deciding on the issue it is already too late.

    July 2, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. Angel Flying

    Cannot help but laugh at those comments here that call for Obama to be impeached or saying he's doing things illegally. And, just pure hate comments towards the President. This just goes to show how STUPID people are about the Constitution. They take someone else's words and keep throwing them out there as if they know something. But, the truth is, these commentors are IDIOTS and probably the ones who are TeaParty enthusiasts. Now, that is off my chest – HURRAH FOR OBAMA! Go, man, go. We need to get things done in this Country and put a stop to the party of "NO!". Pen those laws and get this Country running again!

    July 2, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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