Budget-minded House Speaker John Boehner said he had no idea what the House's legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) would cost when asked about it on Capitol Hill yesterday, the Washington Blade reports:
During a news conference on Capitol Hill, Boehner said he doesn’t have information on the expenses for defending DOMA — including the cost of any private attorneys — when asked by the Washington Blade about these expenses as well as any planned oversight on these costs.
“I do not have an estimate,” Boehner said. “But we were placed in a position where we were in effect allowing the administration to determine the constitutionality of a bill that passed the United States Congress because they were unwilling to defend it. I don’t think the House had any choice but to take the position that we were going to defend the work that the Congress — and only the courts are in the position of determining the constitutionality of any bill.”
Said Michael Cole-Schwartz of the Human Rights Campaign: "Given that a majority of Americans oppose DOMA and would rather see the Republican leadership tackle jobs and the economy, it’s not surprising that he won’t come clean on this or a number of other unanswered questions about the cases."
Boehner announced the House would be defending DOMA on March 9.
April 18 is the deadline for the House to move to intervene in one of the pending cases challenging DOMA: Windsor v. United States. Earlier this week, lawmakers sent a letter to Boehner demanding a status report on the House plans to defend the disciminatory act.