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