Tuesday, October 4, 2011

House Republicans Triple DOMA Defense Cost Cap

Democrats blasted House Republican leaders on Tuesday, Oct. 4, for tripling the cap on the amount of taxpayer money a private lawyer they hire to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act can receive.

Paul Clement would not have been paid more than $500,000 for defending DOMA under the original contract into which House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders had entered. The cap has now been raised to $1.5 million.

“News of the increased payments to DOMA attorneys reached me today, ironically, during a Republican-chaired hearing on a Balanced Budget Amendment, in which Republicans were addressing the apparent need to cut Social Security benefits and programs for the poor,” said New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “Clearly, discriminating against LGBT Americans is a greater priority for them than providing for the welfare of seniors or children.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders joined LGBT rights groups that blasted the increase as hypocritical.

“There seems to be no limit to how much taxpayer money the House Republican leadership is willing to spend to keep this discriminatory law on the books,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “At a time when budgeting is the watchword in Washington, Americans will be rightly aghast at this boondoggle for right-wing lawyers.”

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