President Obama on Saturday unloaded on House Republicans’ plan to sue him for executive overreach, calling the move ‘a political stunt’ and a waste of time and money.
In his weekly address, the president tried to paint Republicans as detached from reality and attempted to pit average Americans against GOP leaders such as House Speaker John A. Boehner.
“The Republican plan right now is not to do some of this work with me — instead, it’s to sue me. That’s actually what they’re spending their time on,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s a political stunt that’s going to waste months of America’s time. And by the way, they’re going to pay for it using your hard-earned tax dollars.”
As evidenced by the president’s words Saturday, the White House has come out swinging against the Republican lawsuit, and the Democratic party has been using it as a key part of its fundraising pitch heading into the crucial midterm elections in November.
On Friday, House Republicans released a draft of a bill to authorize Mr. Boehner to sue the president for his decision to exempt businesses from the controversial employer mandate in Obamacare.
The GOP argues the lawsuit is necessary to rein in a president who increasingly brags about his tendency to work through executive action, rather than the traditional legislative process.
“The House has an obligation to stand up for the legislative branch, and the Constitution, and that is exactly what we will do,” Mr. Boehner said Friday.
But Mr. Obama clearly believes his go-it-alone strategy is both effective and a political winner for fellow Democrats. The administration seems to be banking on the fact that, eventually, a voter backlash against Republicans will begin to take root.
The White House also is touting the fact that Mr. Obama has worked around Congress 45 times this year, on everything from higher education to climate-change initiatives. Democrats hope to contrast that record with Republicans’ focus on suing the president.
“Do something, Congress. Do anything to help working Americans,” Mr. Obama said. “Join the rest of the country. Join me. I’m looking forward to working with you.”