House maxes out latest spending cap on DOMA legal defense

Collage of pictures of John Boehner crying.

Yes, I cry at gay weddings too, Speaker Boehner.

A report on your tax dollars at work, courtesy of Chris Johnson at Washington Blade:

On Tuesday, Democrats on the Committee on House Administration made public a report stating the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group — which took up defense of [the Defense of Marriage act (DOMA)] after the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the law in court — has reached expenses totaling out to $1,447,996.73 over the course of fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

That’s just shy of the $1.5 million cost cap that House Republicans set last year to pay private attorney Paul Clement, a former U.S. solicitor general under the Bush administration, to defend DOMA.

Itemized expenses reveal the cost of defending DOMA in court was $702,205.57 in FY-11 and $745,791.16 in FY-12.

And what did Speaker Boehner get for all that money and effort? A great big bucket of fail:

Thus far, Clement has lost in five federal courts against lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of DOMA — most notably after U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals became the first appellate court to strike down the law.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“For more than a year, Speaker Boehner and Congressional Republicans have committed valuable taxpayer dollars to defending discrimination and preserving inequality – only to lose case after case in their effort to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act,” Pelosi said. “There is nothing effective or efficient about this utter abuse of the people’s trust or the public purse; it is simply wasteful and wrong, and Americans deserve better.”

Continues:

“Rather than join Democrats to create jobs and strengthen the middle class, Republicans refuse to abandon their reprehensible fight to deny basic civil rights and justice to an entire group of their fellow Americans,” Pelosi said. “The American people should no longer have to foot the bill for Speaker Boehner’s campaign to appease the most conservative forces within the Republican Party.”

New York Rep. Jerry Nadler:

“Speaker Boehner has wasted more than a year, and more than $1.5 million taxpayer dollars defending DOMA,” Nadler said. “So far, he has lost five cases in a row as every court has ruled that there is no legitimate justification for this law. Every day, DOMA harms thousands of American couples and their children. Instead of wasting taxpayer money defending this unjust law in court, Speaker Boehner should join us in our effort to repeal it.”

Goal ThermometerBut Boehner has created a nice cottage industry for his old friend Paul Clement who apparently doesn’t mind wrapping his long career in defeat and ignobility.

The House will almost certain pass another budget to continue the defense, but declined comment on such to the Blade. Doug NeJaime, a law professor at Loyola Law School speculates when the Supreme Court likely decides to hear the case, costs will rise “considerably.”

This would be an excellent time to remind people of the importance of putting Nancy Pelosi back in the speaker’s chair. Speaker Pelosi’s House will have bigger fish to fry than dictating what Americans should be doing in their personal lives. How about passing some jobs legislation, and creating some paychecks for people who are doing more constructive things than working to deny the civil rights of their fellow Americans?

Let’s take back the House. Please donate $1 to all of our House candidates.


Today’s campaign schedule

On the campaign trail today:

Jill Biden — Cary, Greensboro and Charlotte, NC

OFA field office (Cary)
11:30 AM EDT

OFA field office (Greensboro)
2:30 PM EDT

OFA field office (Charlotte)
5:30 PM EDT

Mitt Romney — Portsmouth and Lebanon, OH

Shawnee State University (Portsmouth)
2:05 PM EDT

The Golden Lamb (Lebanon)
5:45 PM EDT

Paul Ryan — Youngstown, OH

Youngstown State University
10:15 AM EDT

John Boehner — Raleigh, NC

Campaign field office
10:45 AM EDT                                                   


Today’s campaign schedule

Hitting the stump today:

Joe and Jill Biden — La Crosse, WI

Cartwright Center, University of Wisconsin
11:30 AM CDT

Mitt Romney — Richmond, VA

Mobility Supercenter
12:10 PM EDT

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — Lancaster, OH

Lancaster Town Square
5:40 PM EDT

John Boehner — Charlotte, NC

Victory Office
4:50 PM EDT                                                   


Mitt Romney lies. Again.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at the James Koch Farm in Van Meter, Iowa October 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION)

Mitt Romney lies to Iowa.

This is news to all the residents of farm states who watched their Republican members of Congress desperately lobbying Speaker Boehner and House leadership to please bring the farm bill to the floor before taking off for the campaign. That failure isn’t Boehner’s fault at all, says Mitt Romney, it’s President Obama’s.

He also criticized President Barack Obama’s leadership on getting a farm bill passed by Congress.

“People have been waiting a long time for a farm bill,” Romney said, saying the president “has to exert the kind of presidential leadership” to get such a bill enacted.

Romney is so accustomed to lying, he just can’t stop. There isn’t an issue that he won’t lie about. The unfortunate fact for Romney is that there wasn’t a bipartisan failure on this bill at all. The Senate passed its version of the bill with very few problems, back in June with 16 Republican votes. The House Agriculture Committee passed a crappy farm bill, with too egregious cuts to food stamps.

But the nihilists in Boehner’s caucus said no, they wanted deeper cuts and more pain, and that was that. Boehner refused to take up a bill that he could pass, one that Democrats would join him on. Boehner political calculation is the reason there is no farm bill. For the first time in modern history. And Mitt Romney just lied about it. Of course.


John Boehner: Jobs report not good enough

Echoing his fellow Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) argued that the “positive news” in Friday’s jobs report doesn’t change the fact that “job creation is far too slow and the unemployment rate is far too high … after four years of spending, taxing, and red tape, millions of Americans remain jobless, underemployed, or have simply given up looking for work.” 

Read full article >>

Today’s campaign schedule

Looks like pretty everyone—including a couple of Republican surrogates—will be hitting campaign events today, except for the two at the top of their respective tickets. Presumably, debate prep is foremost on their minds.

(Note: “Victory Office” for Republicans seems to be what OFA on the Democratic side seems to be content calling a “field office.”)

Joe Biden — Charlotte and Asheville, NC

The Fillmore (Charlotte)
11:10 AM (EDT)

Justice Center, UNC-Asheville
3:30 PM (EDT)

Michelle Obama — Cincinnati, OH, and Seattle, WA

Duke Energy Convention Center (Cincinnati)
2 PM (EDT)

Fundraiser, Westin Hotel (Seattle)
6:25 PM (PDT)

Paul Ryan — Clinton, Muscatine and Burlington, IA

Clinton County Courthouse (Clinton)
9:10 AM (CDT)

Elly’s Tea & Coffee House (Muscatine)
11:50 AM (CDT)

Victory Office (Burlington)
2:50 PM (CDT)

John Boehner — Naples, FL

Victory Office
10:30 AM (EDT)

John McCain — Pensacola, Niceville and Panama City, FL

Fish House (Pensacola)
2:45 PM (CDT)

Niceville Recreation Park (Niceville)
5:30 PM (CDT)

G Foley’s (Panama City)
8 PM (CDT)

Marco Rubio — Las Vegas, NV

Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa
3:30 PM (PDT)