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Boehner denies contract to defend DOMA violates House rules

Friday, June 3, 2011

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday denied that a contract executed to hire a private attorney to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court was in violation of House rules regarding government contracts.

The Washington Blade reports:

During a news conference, Boehner denied the agreement was in violation of any House rules when asked by the Washington Blade if he’s confident the contract doesn’t violate a law mandating that government-allocated funds be approved through the congressional appropriations process before they’re obligated for any purpose.

“This hiring was approved by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group,” Boehner said. “I’m confident that it complies with all of the rules of the House.”

The five member Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) was comprised of Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) who all voted in favor of directing counsel to defend the statute. The two other members, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), voted against the action.

On April 18, Boehner contracted with former President George W. Bush’s Solicitor General Paul Clement — then a partner in the D.C.-based law firm King & Spalding — to defend DOMA, at a cost of $500,000.

The action was in response to the Obama administration’s announcement that the Justice Department would no longer defend the law in court.

Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) said he believes that Boehner’s agreement could be violating the Anti-deficiency Act, which prohibits “involving the government in any obligation to pay money before funds have been appropriated for that purpose.”

The BLAG has no budget, since it’s not an actual committee, and to date, Congress has not specifically appropriated $500,000 for this case.

King & Spalding eventually reversed its decision to defend DOMA, prompting Clement’s resignation. Clement now works at Bancroft Associates PLLC, where he continues to represent the House in defending DOMA.

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8 more reader comments:

  1. I am so tired of that droppped jaw (……….)

    Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 7:37pm
  2. keywords ….Council of the women of the five nations…

    Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 7:39pm
  3. He’s a disgusting human being.

    Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 7:46pm
  4. No suprise this whole thing with DOMA, and the Medicare Gate, oh yeah and Gay Rights history will not be kind to the Speaker. He the Speaker has let The Gentalmen John Ryan walk granny off the cliff, and through disabled people under the bus. We I got one thing to say to that Yes We Can, Yes We Can, POTUS 44 is going back to 1600 in 2012 and guess what he the Speaker better be ready to become the miority. Republicans must go. Now say it with me ha ha ho ho the REPUBLICANS MUST GO….

    Say it Loud Yes We Can. Yes We Can…

    Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 7:56pm
  5. the american people voted for this slime-ball, I wonder if they realized their mistake yet?

    Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 10:38pm
  6. As he is so adept at, he completely changed the subject. This is a constitutional question, not a House Rules question. The Constitution says that all spending bills must originate in the House and pass the Senate and then be signed by the President. Since this was not in any spending bill, it constitutionally needed a bill of its own to pass the House, Senate and be signed by the President. Since Boehner knew that he couldn’t do this the constitutional way, in typical Repugnantcan fashion, he did it the unconstitutional way. Which also happens to be misappropriation of government funds. Which carries a VERY long jail sentence, not in one of those Club Fed prisons.

    Posted on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 5:36am
  7. Conservabitches

    Posted on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 4:08pm
  8. yall stop Tee Hee hee Yall so crazy LOL but yuh right ! Yikes !

    Posted on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 4:52pm