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House GOP leadership quietly increases cap on DOMA defense to $3 million

Democratic leadership slams Boehner for 'waste of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars'
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives’ continuing effort to defend the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) will soon reach $3 million.

Late Monday, House Democrats learned that Republican leadership had again privately raised the spending cap with attorney Paul Clement and the Washington-based law firm Bancroft LLC to defend DOMA in the U.S. Supreme Court.

A spokesperson for the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) confirmed that Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Chair the House Administration Committee, signed an updated contract to increase the spending cap to $3 million. Previously, the cap was $2,750,000.

The revised contract reads, in part:

“It is further understood and agreed that, effective January 4, 2013, the aforementioned $2,750,000.00 cap may be raised from time to time up to, but not exceeding, $3,000,000.00, up on written notice of the General Counsel to the Contractor specifying that the General Counsel is legally liable.”

The spending increase comes just days after GOP leaders acted to insert language to the Opening Day Rules Package establishing that BLAG “continues to speak for, and articulate the institutional position of, the House in all litigation matters in which it appears, including in Windsor v. United States.”

House Democratic leaders slammed Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday for secretly raising the spending cap — the third time the contract has been adjusted since it original $500,000 cap.

“From the start, the Republican-led campaign to defend DOMA has been a practice in futility and a waste of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a letter to Boehner.

“We believe it is only a matter of time before this offensive law is a discarded relic of a bygone era,” Pelosi and Hoyer wrote. “We look forward to the day when this measure is declared unconstitutional by the highest court in the land and when all of America’s families can know the blessings of equal protection under the law.”

DOMA is the federal law defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for federal for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns.

In March, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Windsor V. United States, a challenge to DOMA brought upon by Edie Windsor, a widowed lesbian.

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13 more reader comments:

  1. I thought we were broke. Evidently we are broke only when it concerns the poor and the elderly.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:09pm
  2. How can they do this without Senate and POTUS approval? Knowing that the majority of Americans disagree with their stand now, are they just begging to be voted out? They are clearly out of touch.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:09pm
  3. The only good thing about this when DOMA reaches SCOTUS it cannot be thrown out on a technicality. We need a ruling killing this law once and for all.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:13pm
  4. Republican’ts don’t want to increase the debt ceiling but they want to spend more and more to defend DOMA. Hypocrites.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:16pm
  5. Republicans spend more money on bullshit then on helping Americans

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:18pm
  6. I can think of lots of better ways to spend 3 million dollars.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:18pm
  7. He needs to go

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:19pm
  8. wow quietly as in secretly.? uumm ya dumb move..republicans are not helping themselves..

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:28pm
  9. they know that they are losing so they are trying everything to win there should be no increased cap for DOMA defense its an unfair and discriminatory act

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:28pm
  10. bye bye in 2014

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 3:35pm
  11. Hey what a sec??? I thought the GOP had an issue with this kind of Government spending??? That 3 million could be spent of the debt or like most government money it could go to the Military… See the Gop doesn’t have problem spending Government money on social issues as long as it social issue they want to happen…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 4:07pm
  12. I hope these idiots are impeached when the Supreme Court declares DOMA unconstitutional.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 4:49pm
  13. I really resent MY tax money defending such a discriminatory law. I certainy DID NOT.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 10:36pm