Former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement, the lawyer House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) chose to support the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of Congress, will be paid $520 per hour in taxpayer money up to $500,000, according to a contract his law firm signed with the General Counsel of the House and the House Administration Committee.
Democrats were quick to slam the contract as a waste of taxpayer money.
"The hypocrisy of this legal boondoggle is mind-blowing," Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement. "Speaker Boehner is spending half a million dollars of taxpayer money to defend discrimination. If Republicans were really interested in cutting spending, this should be at the top of the list."
Boehner has said he wants the money the House spends to defend DOMA taken out of the Justice Department's budget. But in a hearing last month, Attorney General Eric Holder said he was "not sure we save any money, frankly" by not defending DOMA.
"The people who would be defending the statute, were we to do that, are career employees of the Department of Justice, who will not be spending their time doing that; they will be spending their time doing other things," Holder said. "I'm not sure that I see any savings as a result of the decision that I announced with the President."