Saturday, May 14, 2011

Is John Boehner Breaking The Law?

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives has signed a contract to pay a law firm up to $500,000 (and possibly more) to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. But there's a problem with this arrangement: No one seems to know where that money is going to come from, and at least one lawmaker believes House Republicans may be violating federal law.

In March, the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) voted along party lines to defend DOMA, the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Its decision came after Attorney General Eric Holder announced the administration would no longer argue in support of the law after it concluded that the law is unconstitutional.

At the behest of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House General Counsel has signed a contract with former solicitor general Paul Clement to pay his firm, Bancroft PLLC, at a rate of $520 per hour for the case. If expenses go above the cap of $500,000, there is the opportunity to raise it.

But where is this money coming from?

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