Obama dismisses Republican lawsuit as 'stunt'

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama, in an interview broadcast on Friday, dismissed as a "stunt" a Republican threat to sue him and refused to apologise for using executive orders that infuriate his critics in Congress.

Speaker of the House John Boehner announced on Wednesday he would file suit against Mr Obama because "the president has not faithfully executed the laws" of the nation.

But Mr Obama took issue with Mr Boehner's announcement, saying the top Republican in Congress declined to specify where the commander-in-chief had failed in that regard.

"You notice that he didn't specifically say what exactly he was objecting to," Mr Obama told ABC News during a visit to Minnesota on Thursday.

"The suit is a stunt," he said.

"I'm not going to apologise for trying to do something while they're doing nothing," Mr Obama said of Republicans in Congress.

Republicans complain that the Senate, controlled by Mr Obama's Democrats, refuses to take up House-passed legislation that would create jobs and improve the economy.

Democrats counter that Republicans are doing everything in their power to sink the Obama presidency.

"What I do worry about is that right now we've got a Republican Party that seems to only care about saying no to me," Mr Obama told ABC.

"What I've told Speaker Boehner directly is, 'If you're really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don't you try getting something done through Congress?'"

Mr Boehner has clashed with Mr Obama for years. "We elected a president.... We didn't elect a monarch or king," Mr Boehner said in his letter to lawmakers announcing his intention to file suit.

Mr Boehner's office said dismissing the suit as a stunt "only reinforces (the) frustration" of Americans who feel Obama has overstepped his authority - from the implementation of the controversial health care law to rules curbing greenhouse gas emissions and the White House's release of five Taliban detainees in exchange for a US Army sergeant's freedom.

"The American people, their elected representatives, and the Supreme Court have all expressed serious concerns about the president's failure to follow the Constitution," Mr Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.