President Barack Obama lambasted Congressional Republicans on Tuesday for failing to bring up his legislative agenda for votes, adding a taunt to lawmakers who object to his use of executive actions: “So sue me.”
Speaking in the shadow of the Key Bridge in Washington to urge Congress to act on funding for the Federal Highway Trust Fund, Obama said the American people have good reason to believe that the nation’s political system is rigged against them.
“So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class—not ideas that are unique to me,” Obama said. “They’re not—you know, this isn’t Obama Bridge. It’s Key Bridge. But the Republicans have said no to raising the minimum wage, have said no to fair pay. They’ve said no to extending unemployment insurance for over 3 million Americans looking for a new job.”
Defending his executive actions a week after Speaker of the House John Boehner pledged to file suit against them, Obama promised he would issue more. On Monday Obama announced that he has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to present him options for curtailing deportations of illegal immigrants as well as another to ban gender-identity discrimination of federal employees.
“And they criticize me for this—Boehner sued me for this—and I told him I’d rather do things with you; pass some laws; make sure the Highway Trust Fund is funded so we don’t lay off hundreds of thousands of workers,” Obama said. “It’s not that hard. Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff.”
“So sue me,” Obama continued. “As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.”