Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), one of the few openly gay members of Congress, blasted Republicans on Thursday for re-committing to spending taxpayer dollars on the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Republicans included language in the Rules of the House for the new 113th Congress that authorizes the House legal team, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), to continue fighting on behalf of DOMA in court. The House of Representatives has already spent $1.5 million to defend the law, which prohibits federal agencies from recognizing marriages between same sex couples.
“House Republicans in this rule are seeking to authorize lawyer fees for a costly federal takeover of marriage that would single out legally married couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law,” Polis said on the House floor.
Republicans directed BLAG to defend DOMA in 2011 after the Obama administration declared the law was unconstitutional.
Polis said Republicans were “sticking taxpayers with millions of dollars of unnecessary costs right on day one in the Rule of the House itself.”
“At least when Democrats spend money, we build roads and bridges, educate kids, provide health care,” he continued. “This Republican spending goes right into the pocket of lawyers. Big spending Republicans on day one spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on a federal takeover of marriage and a lawyer stimulus — wrong foot to start off on.”
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[Image via TEDxBoulder, Creative Commons licensed]