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. rs

    I'll always support the politician who is working for me, the voter. The President has called out Boehner and his welfare queen Republicans- they've done nothing for 6 years, and we taxpayers will pay them full salaries until they're dead. They have been a huge waste of time- and are truly anti-American.

    July 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Emma

    Barack Obama is acting like a petty teenager. If he wanted to work with Congress so badly go work with them. Also instead of going to the media to whine about how Congress isn't doing their job, approach Congress directly. Obama has no right to ignore Congress and go over their heads.

    July 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Communist in Chief says:
    July 2, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am
    Obama is an dictator, plane and simple.

    That's "plain" and simple brainiac.

    July 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. ru serious

    What a train wreck absolutely no leadership qualities, nothing but a political hack who has made the poisoned political climate 100 times worse.

    July 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Brad Cantor

    Those on the Right, are in denial. First of all, Obama has used fewer Executive Orders than most other Presidents, including their hero George Bush. Second, the Republican House has done nothing since they took control; absolutely nothing. On the other side, you have the Republican Senate leaders, who from day 1 have "openly" blocked everything this President has tried to do. At the expense of the middle class, which the Republican inaction has destroyed, they have not even allowed debate on the Senate floor.. With our infrastructure crumbling around us, putting all our lives in jeopardy, and the Republicans refusing to do ANYTHING ABOUT IT, I say, you go Obama; pass all the Executive Actions needed to fix our Country

    July 2, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Liberally Challenged

    Sdw, you are what is wrong with America. Voting for party, not person. SMH.

    July 2, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Jack

    Forget a lawsuit, it's time for an impeachment. He has already shown his incompetency as a "constitutional lawyer" when he lost his latest supreme court 9-0. He simply doesn't care what the constitution says.

    July 2, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Proud American Veteran

    Let's end the Republican hypocrisy, people! Vote these bible thumping, women-hating, racist, gun nuts out of office this November! It's the ONLY way to effect some change and it's the only way Republicans will get the message that the majority of Americans do NOT side with them! Vote, people! Vote!

    July 2, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. rs


    The executive orders that Obama have been pushing through do not help the middle class. Obama's statement about middle class families cannot wait for Republicans is false. Obama has used executive order to make policy not to better enforce the existing laws. Obama also forgets that all executive orders are subject to judicial review. The courts can stick down any executive order.
    Do tell. What is the GOP's health care plan, or their plan to raise the minimum wage, or their plan to protect workers' rights, or voting rights or civil right?
    Oh, yeah, they don't have any.

    July 2, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Serious Truth

    Way to bring us together Mr. President. Oh by the way, I am a middle-class American and you surely do not speak for me. So save your lying rhetoric for your next party meeting.

    July 2, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. You Got It

    Obama is one of the biggest frauds this country has seen – right behind the Iraq war, Vietnam, etc.
    And for any Obama supporters still out there – I did vote for him, and now I regret it. If you look at things objectively, Obama has been a horrible President – Hope & Change, Transparency, debt climbing higher than ever, immigration fiasco, Benghazi/Bergdahl/IRS/Fast & Furious/Solyndra scandals – Obama is nothing more than a career politician.

    July 2, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Liberally Challenged

    It's pretty tough for the House to work when the Senate flatly refuses to pass any bill they put forth.

    July 2, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. spqrome

    If Obama had made more executive orders than GW, Clinton, or Reagan, then I would say the lawsuit is justifiable. But considering the fact that he has used executive orders much less than any of those three, it makes it pretty clear that this is nothing more than a political stunt. And stunt is what you use when you've run out of excuses, arguments and ideas. Which is where Boehner and the GOP now find themselves....reduced to pulling stunts.

    July 2, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Mark Anderson

    Obama...you need to leave. You only want to socialize our country.

    July 2, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Whereisthemiddle?

    It's shameful the way people use the word dictator, tyrant, tzar, et all. Please look up these words as you are using them wrong. A real dictator doesn't allow people to sue him. Each time someone called the POTUS one of these words it cheapens the word and make light of real dictators, tyrants, etc.

    July 2, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. btodd

    love all these liberals talking about how the repubs arent doing anything and how great the dems are. you do realize it was the dems who blocked shell and other offshore oil companies pushing further out in the gulf right? you do realize it was obama himself who pledged more than 50mil dollars to the middle east right? did you forget it was your great president who released 5 highly dangerous terroists for a deserter but left 1 of our marines to rot in mexico? you really think this is over highways and bridges and railroads? get real libs...wakey wakey smell the coffee. grant it im republican but if this president was actually doing as great a job as you libs say with this country would be a lot better off...dont blame the repubs. remember the libs ran congress obamas first term and yeah look how great that turned out. do research before you bash stuff. ask yourself this...if you actually work. why did your health insuarance go up after obamacare was passed? hmmm possibly because you have to pay for the others who are too lazy to quit freeloading and actually work. how about price of living? you do realize once minimum wage is raised so will price of living...but hey who am i. i swear a lot of people need to use common sense...wich i could invent it and sell it to everyone. wakey wakey retards. oh yeah lets not forget iraq is about to fall and yet we still standby and do nothing but hey good for obama right?

    July 2, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Asingh

    Amazing how the GOP is talking of suing when they control only on of the 3 legislative branches. They control House only through gerrymandering, otherwise they received less total number of votes polled for Congress than Democrats. They won't compromise, won't pas any bill to stimulate economy, and their only ficus is on repealing ACA. Obama has no option but to take executive orders, and still he has less number of these than any president in last 3 decades. I'll say bring it on.

    July 2, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Kevin

    Reading the comments here it's clear that one of the biggest problems in this country is it's own citizens. The stupidity and clear blindness of people to see what has actually been going on is apalling.
    You can continue to blame Obama for all of this nations problems, but there is nothing he has done to deserve your anger. You want someone to blame? Blame congress. I'm not sure how you can blame thre president when all bills start with them. What is he supposed to do if a bill never gets passed the house??
    America is full of stupid people, and that is becoming clearer every single day.

    July 2, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. The Truth

    I am sorry, can someone point to me in the Constitution when Congress does not pass laws favored by the President the President has the authority to assume dictatorial powers and enact them anyway? I looked and looked but could not find that section, clause or ammendment.

    Now the sarcasm is over, it's not in there. The Constitution is the law of the land, the only thing that can override the Constitution is a change to the Constitution (Congress). The Founding Fathers designed the Consitution on purpose to make Congress the most powerful, Supreme Court the second most and the President a very distant third. The President is supposed to have the ability to do very little on his own. The Founding Fathers actually did not want a President; but conceded one would be needed to act as the face of the Nation, nothing more. As a Constitutional scholar the President knows this, so he is intentionally violating and ignoring the Constitution.

    The sad part is all the posts supporting his actions. These same people probably can not explain or understand how dictators come to power. Everyone learned about the Constitution and what each branch can and can not do in grade school. Smarter than a fith grader these supporters are not. Also you can look at it in two ways. First the people support Congress by voting those memebers in to not pass these laws. Or second, the American People are failing their responsibilities by voting members into Congress who do not act in the voters interests. So which is it? Does not matter whether its first or second, the President is still wrong and conducting serious violations of the Constitution.

    By the bye for those who will now cry the Constitution is old and no longer relevant. If so than everything the Constitution created is no longer relevant, including the President. Game, set, match.

    July 2, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. FLIndy

    President Obama has finally seen the light and is just doing what every other President before him has done with whatever legal authority he has. No matter what THIS president proposes, even if it is a Repub/Tea Party wish list, they will move the goal post and deny him. Anyone who has been paying attention these last 6 years knows this. This Congress will not allow him any successes so he is going it alone to do what we twice voted him in to do. He won FOR his agenda so all you haters need to get over it!!!!!!!

    July 2, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    "speak to the American people instead of your base? " The American People voted for him. You mean could he talk to the Tea Whiners as if they mattered? Ha ha, no. Next question from the Peanut Gallery:
    "I cannot name a more divisive president. He will not negotiate." It is customary in this country, and in many others, for the winner of the election to hold the office. Does he come down to your place of business and tell you how to flip the burgers?
    "what I don't get is why the republicans are trying so hard to prevent themselves from ever getting back into the white house!" They have no candidate better than Sarah Palin, a fool with no education or thoughts, and no plan to undo Cheney's damage except to deny it happened. In other words, they must be this tall to ride, and they aren't this tall anymore. They don't want the White House because they can't handle it. I mean, come on, Mitt Romney and His Dancing Horse? They weren't serious then either.
    Whine, whine, whine. Can you imagine them trying to run the country in this mood? They've all got saggin' ovaries.

    July 2, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. karthurhyer

    When history is written, Obama will stand as one of our best presidents. History is written by the winners and Obama has proven himself against constant inept obstructionism. I'm no sheep, I still disagree with about 30% of what he has done, but that pales compared to his accomplisments.

    July 2, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Earl

    Obama is a schoolyard bully: pointing the finger, idle threats, mocking those that don't do what he says, breaking all the rules. I hope our next president is an adult.

    July 2, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Pugslie

    Go have some more "crack" pie. Big mouth, arrogant attorney with barnyard manners and disrespect for anyone who doesn't agree with him. Reminds me of a former leader...let's see, who was that? The guy who was the head of the Third Reich.

    July 2, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Madoff

    All these phony scandals are intended to discredit a great, Harvard educated President who happens to be too brilliant for the average person to underestand. The VA mess is Bush's fault. The IRS was simply a communication glitch by two staffers in Cincinnati. The President was not responsible for Benghazi – Bush was. And President Obama has saved General Motors, killed bin Laden and created a thriving economy.

    July 2, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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