Speaker of the House John Boehner has again just secretly raised the “debt ceiling” on the budget of his hand-picked attorney who is defending DOMA in court. This is the third time Boehner has increased the budget for Paul Clement, the attorney whose track record on defending DOMA in federal court is zero wins. In 2011, Boehner promised his “BLAG” – the supposed Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group that is includes Democrats but has a majority of Republicans — to spend up to $500,000 to defend DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
Boehner has consistently — and secretly — raised Paul Clement’s budget, and today he did so again. So much for working on the national debt.
Now, $3 million of your tax dollars are being spent to defend DOMA — a law found unconstitutional by several federal court cases, dozens of federal judges, the U.S. Attorney General, and the President of the United States of America, not to mention countless university law professors.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) “did not find out about BLAG’s new agreement with Clement until after it had already been finalized,” Zack Ford at Think Progress just reported:
They wrote to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to decry the increased spending:
Let us be clear: these steps do not reflect the will of the House or the consensus of the BLAG. Democrats do not support any decisions to invest taxpayer funds in defense of an indefensible law. We remain united in our opposition to any effort to preserve, protect, and defend discrimination in our country.
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. The Republican-appointed, taxpayer-funded legal team has lost in every case. Courts across the nation have stood on the side of justice and equality for all Americans. DOMA is on its way into the dustbin of history.
It would be bad enough if Republicans were losing in court and accepting the result. Yet 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. 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.
Ford adds that “House Republicans voted the defense of DOMA into the House rules earlier this month.”
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