Representative Mike Honda (D-California) has joined others in asking that House Speaker Boehner give an estimate on just how much he is willing to have the House of Representatives spend to defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, calling Boehner “overzealous” to have already committed $500,000 of taxpayer money without knowing precisely where that money will be taken from.
From On Top Magazine:
“No matter where you fall on the issue politically, it is this committee’s responsibility to ensure that the American people’s tax dollars are spent legally and judiciously,” said Honda during a Thursday House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.
“Is this a case where an overzealous House Speaker committed $500,000 of the American people’s tax dollars to push a partisan and political agenda without having a funding source already in place? If so, do Speaker Boehner’s actions violate the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits involving the government in any obligation to pay money before funds have been appropriated for that purpose.”
“If the Republican Leadership can’t handle the responsibility of properly administering the budget of the House, is it any surprise that the American people are beginning to question how they are handling the budget of the nation? If the message from the last election is to cut spending, then why is Speaker Boehner forcing Americans to pay a high-priced private law firm $520 per hour to defend a Constitutionality-flawed and discriminatory law?”
Minority leader Nancy Pelosi has made a similar ask of Boehner, seeking a figure for how much he thinks the defense will cost.
Boehner has admitted he has no formal estimate but said that he aims to defund the Department of Justice to the tune of what it will cost for the House to defend DOMA, saying: “It is my intent that those funds be diverted to the House for reimbursement of any costs incurred by and associated with the House, and not DOJ, defending DOMA.”
However, the DOJ has said that the money that would have gone into defending Section 3 of DOMA has already been otherwise allocated.
A recent Human Rights Campaign poll found that a majority of Americans believe the House should focus on job creation rather than defending DOMA. Read more about that poll here.
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