Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi wants an estimated cost to the House to defend the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA).
“It is important that the House
receive an estimate of the cost to taxpayers for engaging private
lawyers to intervene in the pending DOMA cases,” Pelosi wrote in a
letter to House Speaker John Boehner.
Wednesday, a five-member panel appointed by Boehner voted 3-2
along party lines to instruct the House's nonpartisan Office of the
General Counsel to defend the 1996 law, now that President Barack
Obama won't. Obama
instructed the Department of Justice to no longer defend the law,
which bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of
gay and lesbian couples, because he believes parts of it are
Pelosi and fellow Democrat Steny Hoyer
voted against the move.
In the letter, Pelosi questions the
need for the House to intervene.
“There are numerous parties who will
continue to litigate these ongoing cases regardless of the
involvement of the House,” she said. “No institutional purpose
is served by having the House of Representatives intervene in this
litigation which will consume 18 months or longer. As we noted, the
constitutionality of this statute will be determined by the Courts,
regardless of whether the House chooses to intervene.”