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

soundoff (1,488 Responses)
  1. Darth cheney

    The tin foil hat crowd is out in full force today, I see. We are obviously not doing a good job teaching US government to high school kids.

    July 2, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. hitman

    Liberals are like Xmas tree lights. 1/2 are not bright and the other 1/2 don't work! Something like Gabriel!

    July 2, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Mike

    why should the Republican controlled congress pass bills that they don't like but Obama does? Why should the right always give way to the left? Every time the right moves left to meet in the middle, the left moves farther left and wants more and more. that's why Republicans lost the last two elections, they ran McCain, a sure fire liberal democrat being republican in name only, and Romney, a more left than right republican. When the Republican party is running democrats, it's no wonder the Tea Party started.

    July 2, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. AZHokie22

    All these clowns calling for impeachment. If there were any grounds for it than the GOp would be doing just that, rather than threatening it for years. But they know nothing Obama has proposed is an impeachable offense, and so they keep making hollow threats while they do nothing. And sadly their silly strategy has worked on you mental midgets

    July 2, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. GlenL

    Great leader who just fights with the other party and not for America. If congress does not do exactly as he ask then he is gone to veto the pass anyway.

    July 2, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. mike


    July 2, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. kelly

    they won't. they talk about impeaching him daily; nothing. zero. zip, notta. all talk, no action little boys.

    July 2, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. rs

    Sad for USA

    Mr. Obama has made himself look bad. No President has a right to take that much power and walk in that office and ignore the people voted in by us, Bypass laws and authority and do anything he chooses. If a Republican President did half as much as he has he would be impeached fast. I say Sue and if that don't work Impeach him. Folks better wake up if this kind of power is unleashed on Dems they won't be so happy then.
    Clearly clueless. Bush issued 4 times as many executive orders- and never mind his 300 legislative "signing statements" wherein he notified the Congress why he wouldn't be enforcing the law.
    Here's a hint- Get the Right off it's broad butt and back to work- then you can talk about how much power the President is using to keep our nation going.

    July 2, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |

    Really, maybe Obama has good intentions but he has no clue on how to manage a country. I am not a republican not into politics, but a simple walking citizen. He is bad, a will give him a D all the way!

    July 2, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    critical thinking

    Desperate men say desperate things. Hard to believe that this man is President of the Greatest country.
    What is hard to believe is that if Obama is as bad as Republicans claim that he is, then why is it that he defeated the best that the Republican Party had to offer in a landslide to get re-elected? Sounds like Republicans are worse than bad.

    July 2, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. rs


    Liberals are like Xmas tree lights. 1/2 are not bright and the other 1/2 don't work! Something like Gabriel!
    What about Republicans? 100% of them aren't working. Is the analogy that they are just unplugged?

    July 2, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. kelly

    all talk no action.

    July 2, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. JP

    How childish. In hard times ,.USA need strong leadership and guidance We have none of this coming out of the Whitehouse

    July 2, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Javier

    Not a real shock to see the American people polled are now saying he is the worst President since WWII - Jimmy Carter, you are excused from class

    July 2, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Tom1940

    In his State of the Union Address, when Obama "called out the Supreme Court" on national TV – I thought Roberts would have made Obama pay a "dear price" for that, in overturning Obama Care and stuffing right down his throat (Obama's). Roberts didn't do that. Now chipping away at all of the Obama Legacy, "Hobby Lobby" ruling, on top of the "NRLB" recess appointment ruling, has to cause Obama to grimace and wince a little. When the case (if it has standing in the court), brought by Boehner against the Executive Branch for over-reach in excessive use of Executive Orders – this may be the time Roberts (and the court) get their chance to do a "really stuff it too the Executive Branch, up close and personal! Just have to wait and see. Ruling against the Executive Branch and overturning a boat load of Executive Orders by the Supreme Court, (a while after the November General Election), when the Senate becomes Republican, may be the moment of the total emasculation and in effect castration of a lame duck President, destined to be sitting alone in the White House, the remainder of his 2nd Term, totally unable to do anything save for writing letters of recommendation for his "departing" (as in rats leaving a sinking ship), minions, that will be going "elsewhere".

    July 2, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Steve

    Where are the jobs congressional republicans promised to create in 2010 – still waiting four years later.

    July 2, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    American Worker

    The power of a 'King', Imperial President, ... is in the Loyalist in Congress, Agencies and their employees that they surrounds themselves with.

    An Imperial President has impunity via the loyalist he puts into the DOJ. That appointment is loyal to the President instead of their oath to the People. With such loyalty to the President, all agencies that have loyalist have immunity.

    Impeaching the President is pointless when his successor and agency loyalist remain.

    To end this President's imperial impunity; Congress must remove Attorney General Eric Holder for dereliction of duty. But that will not happen until the People regain sufficient representation in Congress.
    Yikes, that makes a lot of sense. We shouldn't impeach the president because his successor would be more of the same. So let's impeach one of his appointees because we know that his successor would NOT be more of the same.

    July 2, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. daviddavid

    sue him for being...........(CNN) – President Barack Obama tops the list of the worst presidents since World War Two, according to a new national poll.

    July 2, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. tim

    It is a two-sided fence. Lots of comments about the GOP not working with the President, but the President has not worked with Congress either. He has strong-armed Congress in the past, promised concessions for deals promoting his agenda, then re-neged on those deals. All the while he denounces Congress with rhetoric worthy of a candidate, not a sitting President who needs the Legislative branch to accomplish things. He plays the media by pointing his finger and whining about the evil GOP, who 'report' the same.
    Congress sees through the Presidents' tactics, and has decided not to play. Why can't the American people see?

    July 2, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Bill

    To those who say the House is the branch not doing anything: The House has passed more bills (H.R.#) than the Senate (S.#). They stall in the Senate due to Harry Reid not putting them up for vote.

    The president has refused to work with both branches the way Bill Clinton did, and his constant attacks have kept the Congress bitterly partisan. The House passes bills the Senate refuses to vote on, and vice versa.

    A good leader would bridge the divide and unite. This president has done 100% the opposite his entire presidency. I thought it would be awhile before we had a bad president on the level of W, but this one is on the verge of making W look good. All the things people disliked W for, this president has done the same thing, but on a bigger scale.

    July 2, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Amanda

    if congress would actually do something then this wouldn't be an issue. Obama is no more likely to use executive orders that the presidents before him. Roosevelt has some 3000 executive orders during his presidency and no one complained! This is why our government system is failing... those in the roles of leadership are not working together to run this country!

    July 2, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Mick

    Most of you (we) have no idea what it takes to "run" a country. None. Zero. Zilch. Yet you speak as if you do, and as if what you say actually means something to anyone but yourself.

    July 2, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. thisishowitis

    I don't want to sue you obama. I wnat you to go to prison for terrorism and crimes against humanity

    July 2, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. rs

    Meanwhile- Congressional approval stands at 7%- easily the worst Congress ever, right Mr. Boehner?

    July 2, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Bobbi

    what a poor excuse for a president. he has been the worse president ever in history and will go down as the worst in future generations. can't wait for him to leave. take Pelosi, biden, reid, liberas, juan Williams, all with him and watch as the giant volcano in Hawaii erupts..

    July 2, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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