Boehner threatens to withhold funds from Justice to force DOMA enforcement

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) threatened Friday to withhold funding from the Justice Department unless it agrees to defend a ban on the federal government recognizing same-sex marriages.

“We're going to take the money away from the Justice Department, who's supposed to enforce it, and we'll use it to enforce the law,” Boehner told the conservative Value Voters Summit.

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Boehner is engaged in an ongoing dispute with Attorney General Eric Holder over his refusal to defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama has taken the stance that the law is unconstitutional. While the Justice Department usually defends laws passed by Congress against legal challenges, the Obama administration has stopped defending DOMA while Democrats work to repeal the law.

In March, Boehner announced that if Obama wouldn’t defend DOMA, he would, hiring a private law firm to defend it on behalf of the House.

“As the Speaker of the House, I have a constitutional responsibility. I've raised my hand to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the laws of our country,” Boehner said Friday.

Boehner's remarks came before the socially conservative Value Voters Summit, where members of Congress, presidential candidates and other politicians worked to highlight their stances on same-sex marriage, abortion and the role of religion.

“We will continue and stand up for the Defense of Marriage Act as we fight for victory in the Supreme Court this term,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said.