House Republican leaders have tripled the amount allocated for a legal team arguing in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) from $500,000 to $1.5 million of taxpayer money.
A modified contract between the General Counsel to the House of Representatives and former Solicitor General Paul Clement of Bancroft PLLC sets a cap of $750,000 which can be raised up to $1.5 million.
“It is absolutely unconscionable that Speaker Boehner is tripling the cost for his legal boondoggle to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement.
“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,” Hammill continued.
Reps. Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Charles Gonzales (D-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) released a statement calling the spending “unconscionable.”
“The entire contracting process has lacked any semblance of transparency,” the statement said. They continued:
Our letters of warning and our questions about how any of the numbers were reached and where the money would come from have gone unanswered. Now, we find that Speaker Boehner’s hand-picked lawyers have exhausted the half-million dollars we were told would be the total cost and they need an additional $1 million dollars —- or 300% of the original contract, to continue the work.
This ongoing expense is a complete waste of taxpayer money. We call on the Republican Leadership to explain why they will invest in protecting discrimination and how any of this can put Americans back to work.