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Boehner’s DOMA Pricetag Reaches $3 Million

Jim Burroway

January 15th, 2013

The House’s so-called Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) has upped the cap for their defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to a cool $3 million. The reason that I’m calling BLAG the “so-called Bipartisan” group is that only one party is driving this train and keeping the other party completely out of the loop. On January 4, the House adopted its rules for the 113th Congress, parts of which authorizes BLAG to intervene in other cases challenging DOMA and to speak for the House before the Supreme Court. At that point, the disclosed price tag was still $2 million, a cap that was revealed in December.

But today it was revealed that the cap was secretly raised by a staggering 50% to $3 million soon after the rules were adopted on January 4. After news broke about the increase, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the only two Democratic members of the group, responded in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):

“We wish to strongly reaffirm our objections to the repeated actions by the Republican leadership to secretly and dramatically increase the contract between the House and outside counsel in arguing to uphold the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in more than a dozen cases,” reads the letter from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

“It is the height of hypocrisy for House Republicans to waste public funds in one breath then claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility in the next,” the letter continues. “With Republicans willing to take our economy and our country to the brink of default in the name of deficit reduction, there is simply no excuse for any Member of Congress to commit taxpayer dollars to an unnecessary — and futile — legal battle.”

House GOP leaders took over the defense of DOMA in Federal Court last year after the Justice Department determined that the law merited heightened scrutiny and was unconstitutional under that standard.

Comments

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Neon Genesis
January 16th, 2013 | LINK

Why is it that the GOP always complains about the evils of Democrats funding Planned Parenthood with federal dollars yet they have no problems with using federal dollars to defend their own pet issues?

Snowman
January 16th, 2013 | LINK

Because they are hypocrites.

Tony
January 16th, 2013 | LINK

If the law doesn’t get defended then it can’t be struck down. We wouldn’t be where we are today if they had never appealed the case. Of course they are wrong in their arguments, but we still need them to be made.

Rob
January 16th, 2013 | LINK

Yea $3 MM is a staggering amount of money.

The US spends $3 MM every 15 seconds, based on the 2012 federal spending;I’d refer to it as the 2012 federal budget if we actually had a budget.

The $3MM this author is outraged over is equivalent to a hand full of sand on a beach that is a football field long and 1 foot deep.

Federal wind subsidies, which enrich an industry that has never and will never make financial sense reached $1.5 billion in 2012, which is 500 times more money than the outrageous $3 MM.

You can argue against the policy, but please do not pretend to be outraged over an amount of money that is rounded off in every single bill that passes through congress. $3 MM is imperceptible against $1 trillion dollar deficit.

DN
January 16th, 2013 | LINK

No, Rob – I’d say we all agree with you that three million dollars is a pittance. The problem we liberal leftist gays (per GOProud, Gay Patriot, et al) are pointing out is that this money is being spent by the party that demands a budgetary offset for every bill not proposed by their party.

The problem we’re reacting to isn’t the amount of spending, but their glaring hypocrisy when it comes to spending even a single dollar. Remember, this is the party where every serious presidential candidate last year stated they would categorically *not* accept a 1:10 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.

Nathaniel
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

I have heard Tony’s point before, but what would happen if the law were simply not defended in the court challenges?

As for spending, an obvious and cheap fix would be for them to admit the indefensibility of the law and pass the Respect for Marriage act.

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