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Speaker John Boehner Responds to Obama’s “So Sue Me” with “We Must”

The state of politics in America is almost always seen as terrible, no more so now than in years before. However, we have certainly reached a new low when Speaker John Boehner actually threatened to sue the President for overstepping as President and bypassing the Legislative branch of the government. Boehner said the President was acting with “king-like authority” with respect to recent executive actions on the climate, immigration, and other issues (where the President believes that Congress has “failed to act”).

The President actually mocked the lawsuit, calling it “a stunt” and saying on July 1, that as long as Congress is “doing nothing, [he’s] not going to apologize for doing something.” He also said derisively, “So sue me.”

Boehner has replied to that comment in an op-ed for CNN entitled “Why we must now sue the President.” Boehner writes that he doesn’t “take lightly” the idea of suing the President insisting that he has ignored both the law and his oath of office. “But too often over the past five years,” Boehner writes, “the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action….”

Of course, President Obama has only issued 182 Executive Orders since taking office. This is nine more than President George W. Bush issued in his first term and 31 less than President Reagan issued in his first term. In fact, according to data collected by the American Presidency Project, usage of Executive Orders has been on the decline amongst two-term Presidents.

As prescient as the Framers were, the U.S. Constitution never even addresses the possibility that the House would want to sue the president. The National Constitution Center, in a blog post, suggests that the Constitution is based “on the benign assumption that those in national leadership will always find ways to govern, more or less successfully” and takes no clear position on the issue.

The lawsuit only further reinforces the narrative that government obstruction begins (and possibly ends) with the Republicans. The President essentially dared Congress to start voting on legislation that it’s been ignoring as a way to stop his use of Executive action. Rather than calling his bluff, it seems that House Republicans would rather mire the issue of gridlock in the courts, spending taxpayer money and accomplishing nothing that would benefit the people. Whatever you think of the President (or even Senate Democrats) this is the exact opposite of fiscal responsibility.

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.

  • UltraL

    Talk’s cheap, Mr. Boehner. Obviously, any idiot can write an op-ed with vague threats. Oh, yeah, overstepped his bounds with the gigantic number of executive orders (let’s count ’em up), and you really have showed him with the number of bills you’ve passed, er, that is, with the number you’ve blocked (that’s what you’ve bragged about, isn’t it?). So, get to some real work, or bring about your mindless/useless/wasteful lawsuit (kinda’ like passing 50 bills to repeal Obamacare) or STFU. Put up or shut up.

    • Joshua M. Patton

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

    • glogrrl

      George W. Bush: 291 executive orders
      Ronald Reagan: 381 executive orders.

      Please proceed, Mr. Speaker.

  • William Smith

    Do some work you sorry excuse for a man

  • Fausto Montoya

    I see Boehner actually suing the president and loosing ! It is not how many bills we passed but how many we blocked !Said Boehner in a tone of voice that sounded like he was bragging about it ! His insistence on killing The A.C.A. a.k.a. Obamacare and hoe he wasted money and time trying to please his ego ! The part about the POTUS acting like a king actually reflects Mr. Boehner’s lack of desire to work with the Black man in the white house ! Sad but true. We must he said to the President ! That is actually a big change from always saying No ! They must is true ! Yes they must get to work and earn their pay ! Stop waiving your mallet as you brag Mr. Boehner ! That looks like a treat from you to not let the POTUS do his job !

    • Joshua M. Patton

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reading the article. Personally, I would be really surprised if the court would allow the suit to proceed.

  • savetheamericandream

    Good for Obama calling Bonehead out. The GOP agenda ever since 2008 has only been about winning the White House back at the expense of the American people by trying to make Obama look like a do nothing President. The GOP has not realized that their little scheme is going to backfire on them in 2016 bigtime. People are sick and tired of their BS !!!

    • Joshua M. Patton

      Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion. I think it is less about retaking the White House and more about painting the Democrats as inept and power-hungry. One place where the GOP excels is in determining the parameters of “the national conversation.”

  • KC Herberger

    I see this getting a continuance if it does see a court due to the fact we are at war; and proceedings shall resume when if an when a resolution is reached or when The POTUS term is up. which ever comes first. All to find out that in 2016 the case is to be dismissed on utter crap facts and the personal feelings of persecution due to ones political affiliations.

  • LyndaLBD

    Then America needs to sue BOEHNER!!!