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House GOP agrees to $500K hike in cost cap to defend DOMA

CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
Friday, December 14, 2012

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has pledged to continue defending of the Defense of Marriage Act at the Supreme Court as a newly public contract reveals House Republicans secretly agreed to raise the cost cap for doing so to $2 million.

A copy of the agreement obtained on Thursday by the Washington Blade and other media outlets reveals that House Committee on Administration Chair Dan Lungren agreed to raise the cost cap by $500,000. The news was first reported by Roll Call.

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio)
File photo by Michael Key, Washington Blade

The agreement indicates Lungren signed the contract on Sept. 28. But Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Pelosi, said House Democrats had only obtained a copy of it on Thursday — nearly three months later and after Election Day.

Asked by the Washington Blade before the news broke during his weekly news conference whether he backs raising the cost cap beyond $1.5 million, Boehner replied, “If the Justice Department is not going to enforce the law of the land, then Congress will.”

Boehner didn’t answer a follow up question to clarify whether he supports raising the cost cap to pay for defending DOMA as he ended the news conference. His initial response is misleading because the Obama administration has in fact continued to enforce DOMA at the same time as it has declined to defend the statute in court.

In February 2011, the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA against litigation because the president and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder deemed the statute was unconstitutional. Following a party-line vote of the House Republican-led Bipartisan Legal Advisory Panel, Boehner directed House general counsel to take up defense of DOMA in the administration’s stead. The House Committee on Administration hired outside counsel to take the lead in defense of DOMA: Paul Clement, a U.S. solicitor general under former President George W. Bush.

Last week, the Supreme Court signaled it would take a case challenging the anti-gay law, Windsor v. United States, in addition to a lawsuit challenging California’s Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Criticism against House Republicans for continued defense of DOMA came from both LGBT advocates and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

In a statement, Pelosi rebuked Republicans for raising the cost cap to defend the anti-gay law and agreeing to do so secretly without informing House Democrats just before Election Day.

“Hiding this contract from voters in the midst of an election season was a cynical move at best, and a betrayal of the public trust at worst,” Pelosi said. “With Americans focused on the creation of jobs and the growth of our economy, Republicans should not be spending $2 million to defend discrimination in our country. We should be embracing our tradition of equality, advancing our promise of opportunity, and securing justice and equal rights for every American.”

Continue reading at the Washington Blade

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

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43 more reader comments:

  1. And we wonder why our nation has such debts.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:37am
  2. this is disgusting

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:39am
  3. asshole

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:39am
  4. Maybe someone should remind him that Clinton was involved in creating and passing DOMA? Perhaps they’ll want to evoke DOMA purely for that reason. I hate politics.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:41am
  5. Such bullshit. With all this talk of money, debt, and fiscal cliff why would the waste more money on a discriminatory bill. It makes no sense. I can’t wait for the supreme court to over turn this bullshit.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:43am
  6. SCUM OF AMERICA

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:45am
  7. DOMA, the law put into place under Clinton, the man named “The First Black President” that was to solve all the United State’s problems… But was too busy acting out his chemical and sexual addictions while in office. (As a trauma survivor, no one should have been shocked that he acted out his trauma in his adult life.)

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:56am
  8. Sad to say: STUPID OLD WHITE MEN + a few others & their $$$$$$$.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:04am
  9. Yet they were the ones that put the bomb in the treasury room at the pentagon

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:12am
  10. The waste of money that they spent, when trying to repeal Obama’s health care plan more than thirty times, comes into mind. It puzzles me as to why republicans constantly whine about money being wrongly spent when they themselves regularly spend money the wrong way. Stupid is as stupid does.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:23am
  11. So when we’re all panicking over the out-of-control spending and the loom fiscal cliff, the Republicans decide to increase spending on defending a useless act by half a million?!?! FUCKING MORONS!!!

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:32am
  12. Is it Republican $ or our $? If OT was theirs , let them throw it away! Marriage equality is coming anyway!

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:39am
  13. Marylee Hicks, IT’S OUR TAX MONEY.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:50am
  14. To C Cost: I’ve always thought Clinton was merely bowing down to Republicans during some kind of ultimatum or something similar.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:56am
  15. ohh look…our tax dollars at work….protecting some stupid act that has been shot down by state after state…..put that money towards good use…like I don’t know…HELPING THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY!

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:58am
  16. To W Erbes: What “bomb” do you speak of?

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:01am
  17. Should the idiot Boner worry about the cliff instead?

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:21am
  18. For all the ones in defense of marriage act if you don’t want gay/lesbians and transgender to get married DON’T FUCKING MARRY ONE

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:31am
  19. Well for those who bought into the potus and his support of your rights, here’s you chance to speak up and be heard yet again. IF, of course you have the backbone. So why not form yet another Facebook group and sound off to the US Army and the current administration. After all, it’s NOT Bushs’ fault. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/14/15889461-same-sex-wife-of-army-officer-banned-from-joining-fort-bragg-spouses-club?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=3

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:36am
  20. whatever

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:37am
  21. I’m basically paying for the GOP to discriminate against me. The irony.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:09am
  22. What a dick!

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:53am
  23. what the bloody hell is this “ITS AN OUT RAGE” why do we get to stand by while they spend more of our tax dollars defending something that is pointless to have if we want them to stop doing this we have to make our voices heard they have no right using tax payer dollars to defend such things

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:19pm
  24. Unreal! Good thing the Supreme Court, hopefully, can’t be bought!

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 2:11pm
  25. Bigots!! Fire them..they serve THE people which includes tax paying gays!!

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:03pm
  26. Tsk, tsk. That’s half a million that could have gone to deficit reduction.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:04pm
  27. And you wonder where foolish spending really is? Its the politicians, who just go hog wild, put us in debt, and then expect us to work harder and longer to cover their ass. Lets take the money out of their pay for every stupid thing they want to back.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:05pm
  28. What a WASTE of money…

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:06pm
  29. They can’t agree to stop rhe “fiscal clift” but they have no problem w this??

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:06pm
  30. Boy, they came up with a half a million dollars from somewhere awfully quick?? Shame the republican house can not come up with cash so quick to help people or when it is an issue not defending an unconstitutional law they passed

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:07pm
  31. Right on ! Ronn Brown

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:07pm
  32. he needs voted out one more year lets do our part in seeing he is jobless

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:08pm
  33. Impeach Boehner!! Haha

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:08pm
  34. I might implode the next time I hear one of them complain about spending, considering the spending they deem essential is to oppose the equal civil rights of a minority.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:09pm
  35. no amount of money can change anything if more than half of America and GROWING disagrees with you

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:10pm
  36. Gerrymandered districts in Ohio are what created and may likely protect Beohner. This is just a hike…House GOP have now spent 2 million capitalist American dollars this year on this on this “essential” denial of civil equality.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:14pm
  37. Really?????? Worry about All Americans and their futures! This is a waste of money and really waste of GOP time!!!! Let people love who they love!

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:20pm
  38. Of course they did =:? The ignorant think it affects them negatively & will cost ‘em something.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:28pm
  39. Gerrymandered House districts is how Arkansas has all Republican Reps now. This is getting outrageous.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:30pm
  40. We must come together and make our voices heard by our votes at elections.

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 8:34pm
  41. why don’t you worry about the cliff not this you fucking idiot

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:30pm
  42. We’re still having economic trouble, and THIS is what they spend our tax dollars on?

    Posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:48pm
  43. They want financial trouble…they can hold the economy hostage for their rich friends. They need to beat up on gays because empty ideology needs a scapegoat to blame when their policy fails. Smile folks! We’re the scapegoat!

    Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 8:43am