Speaker of the House John Boehner, who holds the purse strings of the country’s wallet, secretly allowed the raising of the budget to pay his hand-picked outside counsel who is fighting attempts to overturn DOMA. Boehner’s “BLAG,” the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group that Boehner has charged with defending DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, is now allowed to pay Paul Clement $2 million or more of your tax dollars to defend DOMA, despite it having been declared unconstitutional many times in federal court.
Adding insult to injury, Boehner’s BLAG secretly increased the budget in September, without even notifying Democrats, who have signed amicus briefs stating the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group in this matter is wholly partisan, as no Democrat supports defending DOMA, nor using tax dollars to do so.
“House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren of California, without consulting Democrats, authorized an increase of the amount of money outside lawyers are authorized to spend to defend DOMA to $2 million,” Chris Geidner reports in a Buzzfeed exclusive:
The news came just hours after Boehner even refused to say if the cap would be raised about $1.5 million, saying only, “If the Justice Department is not going to enforce the law of the land, the Congress will.”
The House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group — which consists of Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer — has taken all its actions to defend the law with the opposition of the two Democratic members.
Pelosi, who has opposed the defense, attacked, “It’s bad enough that Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are wasting taxpayer dollars to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act – and losing in every case. Now, they have reached a new low – signing a secret contract to spend more public money on their legal boondoggle without informing Democrats. Their actions are simply unconscionable; their decisions are utterly irresponsible.”
Pelosi also criticized that the move was made during the fall elections, saying, “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. 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.”
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