After months of pontificating about government spending, House Republicans have now hired former Solicitor General Paul Clement and his legal team to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, with a contract stating the lawyers' pay could go as high as $500,000. With characteristic audacity, Speaker John Boehner requested that the Justice Department pay the House the money that they would have spent defending DOMA had President Obama not ordered them to stop defending it in February.
So that's your half-million dollars going to keep gay people from getting married. Which is clearly the best thing the government could be working on right now. (Incidentally, the same American populace that's paying for this fiasco is against defending DOMA by a twenty-two point margin.) In even better news, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese says that the litigation will probably actually cost more than $500,000, explaining that:
"There are currently at least nine cases challenging the constitutionality of section 3 of DOMA which bars federal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples… If the House were to intervene in all nine that would mean less than 100 billable hours would be spent per case in order to hit the $500,000 cap. Clearly this fee cap is a lowball estimate that hides the true cost of this litigation."
On the plus side, as my friend Fred pointed out, at least the GOP just created a job.