Speaker of the House John Boehner, a cheerleader for deficit reduction and a balanced budget amendment, opposes almost any spending increases.
But defending the defence of Marriage Act is one area of the budget where he is willing to triple federal funding.
In a speech at the conservative Values Voters Summit in Washington today, Boehner defended a Republican-sanctioned $1 million spending increase to defend DOMA, and threatened to take money away from the Department of Justice to offset the cost.
“We’re going to continue to press to make this the law of the land,” Boehner promised. “If the Justice department isn’t going to defend this act passed by Congress, then we will.”
The spending increase, which went into effect last week, raises the salary cap for Paul Clement, the former Bush solicitor general House Republicans hired in April to defend the 1996 law, which defines marriage as between a man and woman. The Obama administration announced in March that it would no longer appeal three federal court rulings that declared the law unconstitutional.
Earlier this week, House Democrats lambasted Republican leadership for authorizing $1.5 million for DOMA defence, calling it a “complete waste of taxpayer money.”
“It is absolutely unconscionable that Speaker Boehner is tripling the cost for his legal boondoggle to defend the indefensible defence of Marriage Act,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman said in a release. “At a time when Americans are hurting and job creation should be the top priority, it just shows how out of touch House Republicans have become that they would spend up to $1.5 million dollars to defend discrimination in our country.”
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