Rep. Mike Honda: Boehner ‘Overzealous’ In Committing $500,000 to DOMA Defense

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.



Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Jack Newton.


Manuel L.
Manuel L.6 years ago


So, Nancy Pelosi never mentioned the applicability of the Act, even though she is part of the House of Reps. committee that approved defending the Defense of Marriage Act, a current law, whether you like it or not...

But, please read the "Antideficiency Act":

How biased you are that you can't even take the time to inform yourselves:

The Antideficiency Act of 1870 is the law that requires federal agencies to cease operations, EXCEPT IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS, when the president and Congress fail to reach an agreement on funding measures.

The Antideficiency Act is the law that mandates government shutdowns when federal agencies and programs lack appropriated funding. In other words.... if favors Boehner :)

James D.
James D6 years ago

This move by the Weeper of the House goes beyond overzealous, it is most likely illegal according to House Rules. He cannot allot funds for Anything for which an appropriation bill has not be authorized. Plus, the House has council which it can use in these instance already paid for by the taxpayers.

Christopher Fowler

Just more proof that the GOP cares more about power than being responsible.

I don't see them doing the right thing, ever.

If they believe in Doma, then let them spend their own money and not our tax dollars, since this is a very partisan issue.

jeff z.
jeff z6 years ago

Margaret S.
you have a very big misunderstanding of how the US got in this "fiscal" mess to begin with. You see it all started with a republican president named george w bush. by 2006 alone, the national debt was at near 9 trillion dollars up from 3.4 trillion in 2000 under a democratic president. the debt went to over 10 trillion before bush left office. now clinton was given a debt of 3trillion, yet only added .4 trillion to the deficit. how is that? and why did america have such great numbers under clinton? its because he raised taxes on the wealthy and america prospered. contrary to what republicans are telling you that eliminating taxes will create jobs, it doesnt. taxing the wealthy indeed does create jobs and spur economic growth. dont believe me, maybe you should pick up a book and read. its called history and if people dont learn from the past people will continue to make ill choices. just like todays crop of republicans.

Linda T.
Linda T6 years ago

I think if Bohner wants to fight against DOMA he and his flunkies should do it out of their own pockets. Tax payers should never pay for anything that is against the constitution of all men are creaated equal and should be treated as such.

The Other Robert O
Robert O6 years ago

I don't want my tax dollars defending DOMA. Marriage is a Church thing and ought to be left there.

William Grogan
William Grogan6 years ago

Margaret S., you are the only "dunce" here and you're making a fool of yourself!! Both parties had their share in this fiscal mess but the republicans had the greater share during Bush's term. How are you so stupid as to leave that little fact out of your tirade!!?? How you ever manage with such a vacuous space between your ears is beyond me!!!

Terrence D.
Terrence D6 years ago

If the republicans want to persue this course of action make them pay the costs.

Temperance R.

HE's REPUBLICAN...don't ask for INTEGRITY, TRUTH, Consideration of ALL the citizens of the United States. He just wants to do what he wants, like all long as their AGENDA slashes the President's agenda. ANYTHING President OBAMA is for, they will be against, not that he is a DIFFERENT PARTY, but that he is a DIFFERENT RACE!

Nic F.
Nic F.6 years ago

The $500,00 should used to help the poor, hungry, homeless and the sick who need it it, but the "Christians" who care so much about defending marriage as they see it don't care about these people.