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.

On 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 unconstitutional.

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.”