House Dems urge Boehner to provide information on DOMA lawyer contract

“We were also disturbed to learn that the House General Counsel’s office did not seek guidance from the Committee on Ethics regarding the 25 percent discount on non-attorney time provided by the contract, which still provides for more than $500 an hour in attorneys fees to be paid by taxpayers,” the letter continued.

As such, the House Democrats have requested that Boehner instruct the General Counsel to furnish the committee “a list of the hourly rate paid each employee of the Bancroft firm working on the litigation and an explanation on how the blended rate was calculated.”

According to the letter, Brady, Lofgren and Gonzalez also question why neither the Democratic members of the Committee on House Administration nor the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group were advised of the legal firm selection or provided the opportunity to review the contract.

The House Democrats join Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in requesting Boehner’s urgent response. In April, Pelosi sent letters to the Speaker regarding issues of transparency, cost and ethical considerations in the earlier contract with King & Spalding.

“The American people deserve a fuller explanation about the circumstances surrounding the decision to spend $500,000, and most likely much more, of their tax dollars to defend this indefensible statute,” the letter concluded.