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House GOP Secretly Raises DOMA Defense Budget to $3 Million

John Boehner and House Republicans secretly increased their budget for the legal defense of DOMA to $3 million from its original limit of $500,000, inspiring a blistering letter from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who did not find out about the budget increase until after it was finalized, Think Progress reports.

John_boehnerWrite Pelosi and Hoyer in the letter:

This is not the first time that House Republicans have made a unilateral decision to raise the ceiling on expenditures for this wasteful litigation that supports a discriminatory statute, without any public discussion or advance notice to Democratic members of the BLAG, Members of the House, or the public. This clandestine commitment of taxpayer funds is highly irregular and objectionable, and it must end now.

Let us be clear: these steps do not reflect the will of the House or the consensus of the BLAG.  Democrats do not support any decisions to invest taxpayer funds in defense of an indefensible law.  We remain united in our opposition to any effort to preserve, protect, and defend discrimination in our country.

From the start, the Republican-led campaign to defend DOMA has been a practice in futility and a waste of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.  The Republican-appointed, taxpayer-funded legal team has lost in every case.  Courts across the nation have stood on the side of justice and equality for all Americans.  DOMA is on its way into the dustbin of history.

It would be bad enough if Republicans were losing in court and accepting the result.  Yet it is the height of hypocrisy for House Republicans to waste public funds in one breath then claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility in the next.  With Republicans willing to take our economy and our country to the brink of default in the name of deficit reduction, there is simply no excuse for any Member of Congress to commit taxpayer dollars to an unnecessary – and futile – legal battle.

Via Buzzfeed, Pelosi and Hoyer's letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

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House GOP Approves Funding to Defend DOMA, While Blocking Sandy Relief, Violence Against Women Act

Here are the priorities of House Republicans:

John_boehnerDespite a late-stage intervention by Vice President Joe Biden, House Republican leaders failed to advance the Senate's 2012 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, an embattled bill that would have extended domestic violence protections to 30 million LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants and Native American women.

"The House leadership would not bring it up, just like they wouldn't bring up funding for Sandy [hurricane damage] last night," said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a key backer of the Senate version of the bill, in an interview with HuffPost. "I think they are still so kowtowing to the extreme on the right that they're not even listening to the moderates, and particularly the women, in their caucus who are saying they support this."

They did have time to support further anti-gay discrimination though by authorizing further funding to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

A GOP source told The Huffington Post that, during a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference, lawmakers gave a green light to including language in the 113th Congress rules package that authorizes the House legal team, known as the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), to keep paying outside counsel to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. The proposed House rules package also states that BLAG continues to "speak for" the House in its defense of DOMA...

...A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday slammed Republicans for taking "the extraordinary measure" of using the opening day rules package of the new Congress to authorize themselves to keep defending DOMA.

"Today, House Republicans will send a clear message to LGBT families: their fiscal responsibility mantra does not extend to their efforts to stand firmly on the wrong side of the future," said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

Hammill also noted that the rules package "for the first time" explicitly states that BLAG speaks for the full House on DOMA matters -- something he said is definitely not the case.


Nancy Pelosi Blasts Luke Russert for 'Offensive' Question About Stepping Aside Because She's Old: VIDEO

Russert

A question from NBC correspondent Luke Russert was met with boos and cries of  "age discrimination!" at Nancy Pelosi's press conference this morning announcing her decision to stay on as Minority Leader.

Asked Russert:

"Colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership and hurts the party in the long term. What's your response?"

Snapped Pelosi: "You've always asked that question, but not to Mitch McConnell."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

She added:

The fact is that everything that I have done in my almost decade now of leadership is to elect younger and newer people to the Congress. In my own personal experience it was very important for me to elect young women. I came to Congress when my youngest child Alexandra was a senior in high school and practically on her way to college. I knew that my male colleagues had come when they were 30. They had a jump on me because they didn't have to, children to stay home. Now, I did what I wanted to do, I was blessed to have that opportunity to sequentially raise my family and then come to Congress. But I wanted women to be here in greater numbers at an earlier age so that their seniority would start to account much sooner. And it wasn't confined to women, though. [...]

You've got to take off of that 14 years for me because I was home raising a family, getting the best experience of all in diplomacy, interpersonal skills. No, the answer is no.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Russert defended himself on Twitter: "While Pelosi laughed off my Q as age-ist, many House Ds will privately gripe it hurts caucus that all 3 leaders are 70+....The longer the top 3 stay, the longer it takes to infuse the caucus with new blood like #GOP did w Cantor, Ryan, McCarthy etc."

Continue reading "Nancy Pelosi Blasts Luke Russert for 'Offensive' Question About Stepping Aside Because She's Old: VIDEO" »


Nancy Pelosi to Remain House Minority Leader

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will stay on as House Minority Leader, the Washington Post reports:

PelosiDemocrats say she feels compelled to remain in leadership because the issues Congress is set to tackle are at the core of why she first ran for office.

Pelosi, 72, revealed her decision in a 9 a.m. meeting with House Democrats, surrounded by nearly 40 members of her party who were victorious in elections last week.

“The message is clear from the American people. They want us to work together to get things done. And that’s what these folks are here to do. Just like all of you,” Pelosi said, according to the notes taken a Democrat in the room. “We may not have the gavel, but as I can see in this room, we have the unity.”


Nancy Pelosi Leads Zombie Army, Conducts Animal Sacrifice in New Attack Ad: VIDEO

1_dennis

Rep. Nancy Pelosi's opponent John Dennis is out with a new ad created by Chris Burgard, the guy who made Herman Cain's bizarre "Smoking" ad, and it will be seen everywhere today.

In a reference to her well-known statement about the Affordable Care Act in 2010, in which she said “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," Pelosi stands over her zombie army and says, “We must first gut the sacrifice so that you can find out what is in the sacrifice."

Dennis then steps in to stop the sacrifice.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Romney Uses Nancy Pelosi's Multi-Tasking Against Obama: VIDEO

WoodwardAd

With the Obama administration and other Democrats zeroing in on Mitt Romney's shady tax practices, the GOP candidate's campaign today released an advert using journalist Bob Woodward's recent book on the Obama White House, The Price of Politics, to slam the president as ineffective.

According to the book, and the ad, called "Mute Button", the commander-in-chief had some trouble getting all of his Democratic ducks in a row during the debt ceiling debate because, you know, lawmakers are people too and sometimes they get along and sometimes they don't.

Told by the GOP's narrator, this Democratic discord means Obama is a bad leader and should be defeated in November: "If he cannot lead his own party, how can he lead America?"

Watch the attack AFTER THE JUMP.

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