Over ninety (and counting) Republican Representatives have signed on to a resolution condemning the Obama Administration’s announcement that it can no longer defend Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court because under review the Department of Justice has determined it is unconstitutional.
The lead sponsor of the resolution is Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), but more notable names found among the cosponsors include Michele Bachman (R-MN), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Mike Pence (R-I).
The resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 25, says Obama has stated himself that he believes marriage is a union between one man and one woman, that Congress overwhelmingly passed the law and that the Obama Admin is continuing to defend laws that barely scraped through Congress such as in “vigorously” defending Obama’s “signature health care” bill, and because (apparently) “the vast majority of Americans believe that marriage should continue to be what it always has been — the legal and spiritual union between one man and one woman” the Department of Justice should be instructed to once again defend the law “in all instances.”
At no point does the resolution touch on the constitutionality of the President’s decision, nor on the constitutionality of DOMA itself. It instead relies on the notion that if something is popular it must necessarily be correct.
The resolution, originally brought up on March 3, has now been sent to the House Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Steve King, who serves on said committee and is a co-sponsor of the resolution, has said that he intends to go one step further and will try to defund the Department of Justice for the cost of the House defending DOMA.
From Iowa Independent:
“President Obama’s decision to abdicate his executive branch responsibility to defend DOMA is a constitutional outrage,” King said. “DOMA is an important law that seeks to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. President Obama’s decision to abandon the law is yet another example of his willingness to politicize the Department of Justice on behalf of favored interest groups.”
King has noted, both in press releases and on Twitter, that his intention is to strip funding from the DOJ if the agency continues to refuse defense of DOMA.
“Since the House will now be incurring legal expenses related to the defense of the law,” he said, “I intend to offer an amendment that will defund the Department of Justice by a comparable amount. The DOJ should not receive funding for work that it is refusing to do.”
Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner last week in which she requested he put a figure on exactly how much it will cost to defend DOMA Section 3, saying that the House of Representatives would be better disposed tackling the issues of job creation and economic stability. Read the letter here.
A bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act is to be reintroduced into Congress on Wednesday.
Take Action: Tell Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.