Boehner’s DOMA Pricetag Reaches $3 Million
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.
Pelosi: If Dems Win The House, DOMA Defense Goes Away
June 7th, 2012
“First of all, we can expect something to go away, like stop spending taxpayer dollars on the Defense of Marriage of Act, which is a waste of money and not the right thing to do,” Pelosi said.
…She said she thinks Republicans believe DOMA is unconstitutional because when they controlled the House under the Bush administration, they tried to pass court-stripping provisions denying judicial review for the anti-gay law and others.
“They had to know that there was a weakness constitutionally in that bill, if they would want to put court-stripping provisions in relating to DOMA and the rest,” Pelosi said. “So, we think they know it’s weak constitutionally.”
ENDA Sit-ins Result in Arrests in DC and San Francisco
March 19th, 2010
In Washington, DC, eight activists arrived for a meeting with the staff of House speaker Nancy Pelosi, demanding that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) be brought to a vote. They then barred the doors and staged a classic, old-fashioned sit-in augmented with modern-day Tweets. After about four hours, police were able to get into the offices and arrest four lesbians for unlawful entry. They were taken to DC Central Cellblock — the same location where Daniel Choi and Jim Pietrangelo were taken following his arrest at the White House – and released without bail. Their court date is April 6. Choi and Pietrangelo were held overnight.
While the protest in Pelosi’s DC office was taking place, another seven or eight protesters occupied her district office in San Francisco. Arrests also took place there. Both events were coordinated by GetEqual.org.