Obama playfully chides Congress as lawsuit moves forward

President Barack Obama talks with a youngster outside Arthur Bryant's Barbeque in Kansas City, Missouri, July 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014 — A relaxed and playful President Barack Obama addressed a partisan crowd at the historic uptown theater in Kansas City yesterday, taking several pokes at lawmakers for suing him while failing to act on a long “to do” list.

“I know they’re not that happy that I’m president,” Obama told the crowd of about 1500 supporters “I’ve only got a couple of years left. Come on, let’s get some work done. Then you can be mad at the next president.”

In reference to Congress, he said, “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time. Come on.”

Obama, who clearly enjoyed the talk and frequently broke out in spontaneous laughter, also addressed the lawsuit the legislature is pushing forward.  “But think about this — they have announced that they’re going to sue me for taking executive actions to help people.  So they’re mad because I’m doing my job.  And, by the way, I’ve told them — I said, I’d be happy to do it with you.  So the only reason I’m doing it on my own is because you don’t do anything.  But if you want, let’s work together.”

Amid roaring applause from supporters, Obama continued, “I mean, everybody recognizes this is a political stunt, but it’s worse than that, because every vote they’re taking like that means a vote they’re not taking to actually help you. When they have taken 50 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that was time that could have been spent working constructively to help you on some things. And, by the way, you know who is paying for this suit they’re going to file?  You.”

Congress, which has earned the nickname “the do-nothing Congress” for failing to pass fewer laws than any other Congress in U.S. recorded history, did manage to pass two actions yesterday.

In a bipartisan effort, Congress passed a bill to reform the Veterans Administration. In a 420-5 vote, the House approved the legislation sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) to spend $17 billion to fix the badly broken system. The bill allows the VA secretary expanded authority to fire employees accused of mismanagement. It also allows veterans to seek medical care from private doctors if they have to wait more than 14 days for treatment.

The House also passed a highly partisan effort authorizing Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) to proceed with a lawsuit against President Obama. The suite alleges that Obama has overstepped the authority granted to the Executive Branch and will focus on the decision by Obama to grant an extra year before forcing employers to provide health care or face a penalty.

The divisive effort passed 225-201. Five Republicans voted against the lawsuit, and no Democrats backed the initiative.

The litigation could eventually lead to a decision by the Supreme Court over the authorities granted by the Constitution to the branches of government.

Historically, courts have demurred on intervening in political disputes between the different branches of government, but it is unclear how this suit will proceed.

Courts will likely examine whether the House suit meets the legal standard showing harm. It is unclear whether the House can show it has been harmed by the decision. This is particularly tricky because the House is suing Obama for failing to enforce a law it has opposed and attempted to repeal.

Additionally, courts are likely to examine whether the House has standing to sue the Executive.

However, both parties are likely to use the litigation as fodder ahead of the November mid-term elections. Obama is already leading the charge, with Republicans sure to follow.

The lawsuit allows more mainstream Republicans to show action against the President without stepping into murky impeachment waters.

Although Boehner has repeatedly refused to consider impeachment, and media outlets suggest Democrats are pushing impeachment talk to undermine serious concerns about Obama, conservative Republicans continue to push the idea. The Twitter hashtag #impeachObama remains active, and some conservative legislators and commentators – including Sarah Palin – say it remains an option.

As politicians gear up for campaigning ahead of the mid-term elections, neither the Executive nor Congress seems particularly popular.

The daily Rasmussen poll shows President Obama with a lukewarm 45 percent approval rate.

However, that number is stellar compared with Congress, which currently enjoys an approval rate hovering around 13 percent as of July 22, according to Fox News.

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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.
  • ShadowBurn

    sueing the president to enforce a law that they tried to repeal. smh. Talk about sitting on your balls.

  • Carol Anne McManus Rubio

    He always laughs but if the crowd really listened, they would not be laughing and clapping back.

  • wilsonsandy2

    Well Obama is going to transform america.
    He’s going to make 11 million people be able to work. In my world it’s
    called mathematics. If you have millions of people looking for work you
    will not be able to find a job when 11 million are added to the job search. 11 million
    will be put on the payroll of the government and that will make our taxes go up. If you think Obama is doing us good you must be a drinker.
    This man is here for one reason and that is to make us weak. Obama
    doesn’t have the spirit or devotion of america. He doesn’t like our
    flag, he doesn’t like christians, he doesnt’ like our allies. He keeps adding more jobs to the government. Where is he gonna get the money to pay
    for the workers? From businesses right? well he is taxing them and
    strangling them with regulations. That means those businesses won’t
    start up any new business’ and most of the wealth is being saved because
    of the reckless and irresponsible president. If Romney had been
    president we would have had plenty of jobs now. Romney was a business man
    and knows how to get things going. The economy will never work when the
    government gets this big. If you think Obama is so great look up
    Operation Choke Point. His DOJ extorts money from banks to fill his
    dept. Obama is a criminal and you know it. He’s arrogant and hates
    congress. He’s paying off people on the democrat side and any republicans
    he can to get them on his side. He is here with George Soros Bill Ayers
    to weaken america. That is why he is president. He lied from the very
    first speech he made to the american people. When government stops
    listening to it’s people it’s time the people reel in the government.
    Obamas vision will never work and we will end up starting over or we
    will be taken over and dominated by a dictator like Hitler. It’s not
    rocket science. Every dept just about in the white house is under
    investigation. This has been the plan of Obama’s all along. So if you think Obama is doing a good job you really don’t know what your talking about.