Florida Senator Marco Rubio has called President Barack Obama's decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “regrettable.”

The president recently announced his administration would no longer defend the law because he believes parts of it are unconstitutional. The 1996 law ban federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples and allows states to ignore such marriages from out of state.

On Friday, House Majority Leader John Boehner announced the creation of a five-member panel to consider whether to instruct the House's nonpartisan Office of the General Counsel to defend the law.

The Republican-controlled panel is expected to defend the law in court.

Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, cheered Boehner's move.

“I want to thank Speaker Boehner and the House Republican leadership for taking action to defend this critical law that was enacted by a bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton,” the 39-year-old Republican said in a statement.

“It is unfortunate that President Obama decided to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. While much of the debate in Washington is focused on creating jobs and growing our economy, we should not sit by while this administration makes profound and regrettable decisions based more upon the politics of the day than the words of our Founding Fathers. This law protects one of our most sacred institutions and because of the House’s actions today, it will be defended.”

Gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans also cheered Boehner's move. But six House Democrats, including its four openly gay members, on Friday released a statement in support of the president's decision.