Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Republicans Selectively Endorse the Tenth Amendment

Think Progress

House GOP Secretly Authorized $500,000 To Defend Unconstitutional Anti-Gay Law

By Josh Israel on Dec 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm

It has come to light that House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-CA) secretly approved a $500,000 increase to a contract with a private law firm to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. While the increase was approved in September, neither the public nor the Democratic House minority was informed until this week, Roll Call reports.

The contract now authorizes Bancroft PLLC and former Solicitor General Paul Clement (R) to spend up to $2 million in to defend DOMA — the second increase to what was originally a $1 million cap. The U.S. Department of Justice stopped defending the 1996 law in February 2011 after determining the law to be in conflict with the U.S. Constittuion.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) denounced the increased expense in a statement:

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.

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.

Though Lungren lost re-election in November, the Republicans maintained control of the House — and its operating budget.

At a Thursday press conference — ironically focusing on his view that “Washington has a spending problem” — House Speaker John Boehner was asked about the expenditures. The Ohio Republican angrily responded that if the Department of Justice won’t defend the law of the land, Congress will.

1 reply »

  1. I wouldn’t exactly call that a new low. Actually, it seems like a pretty common low, but its good that Nancy Pelosi on behalf of her party, who’ve always stood with unflinching integrity against politically motivated spending, had the courage to speak out against her long term friends, The Republicans. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t support an underhanded use of public funds for paying attorneys when you could just as easily use that money to round them up and shoot them all in their heads right after their genitals, but is Nancy Pelosi really the best person to quote taking a stand against such measures? I seem to recall her saying a few things that blew the absolute fuck out of my mind when I heard them reaching historically new lows. Surely though, The Democrats will raise enough public funds to counter this moral atrocity, so I’m not really worried. They’ll keep trying until they eventually get what they want, which is the way things ought to be. Just ask Congresswoman Pelosi, if you can stand looking at that plastic old saddlebag called her face for more than a few seconds.

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