The House Republican leadership’s bill for its legal defense of DOMA is on the rise.
In a modified contract approved Friday, the GOP-led House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) agreed to pay Washington, D.C.-based firm Bancroft PLLC up to $1.5 million for ongoing Defense of Marriage Act litigation.
The $1.5 million cap is triple the amount specified in the original April contract — the veracity of which Democratic leaders had questioned, given the volume of DOMA litigation nationwide.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for House Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi called the new cap “absolutely unconscionable.”
"At a time when Americans are hurting and job creation should be the top priority, it just shows how out of touch House Republicans have become that they would spend up to $1.5 million dollars to defend discrimination in our country,” Pelosi deputy press secretary Drew Hammill said.
The modified contract was signed by House general counsel Kerry W. Kirchner and Paul Clement, lead outside counsel for the litigation and a partner at Bancroft. The former George W. Bush solicitor general was tapped in April to represent the Republican-led BLAG while he was a partner at King & Spalding, though Clement left the Atlanta-based firm after it dropped its contract with the House of Representatives (firm chairman Robert Hays Jr. said the vetting process for the litigation had been “inadequate").
A PDF of the new contract is available here.