House Republicans hire legal representation to sue Obama

House Republicans have hired D.C. law firm BakerHostetler to provide legal representation to sue President Obama.

House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.) signed a contract on Monday for BakerHostetler to represent the House in the civil action lawsuit in a U.S. district court against the president. 

"The president must be held accountable, and the House will continue to act in an open and transparent manner to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution," Miller said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT
The contract authorizes the House general counsel to pay BakerHostetler $500 per hour for "all reasonable attorney time expended in connection with the litigation."

However, the contract states that the legal costs will not exceed a "firm cap" of $350,000 that "will not be raised."

Meals, travel expenses and travel time that do not involve work on the lawsuit would not be reimbursed by the House. Under the contract, BakerHostetler must submit a monthly report detailing the expenses to the House general counsel.

In addition, the contract prevents BakerHostetler partners and employees from making any statements or giving interviews to reporters without express permission of the House general counsel.

Before leaving for the five-week August recess, the House passed a resolution along party lines to authorize a lawsuit against the president for his use of executive power. The lawsuit focuses on Obama's delay of the healthcare law's requirement that employers with 50 or more workers provide insurance coverage.

Democrats argued the lawsuit would be an improper use of taxpayer resources. “This outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars is yet another reminder of House Republicans’ misguided priorities. Only in John Boehner’s world does it make sense to pay lawyers $500 per hour to work on a partisan lawsuit while refusing to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for hardworking Americans trying to feed their families," said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The cost of the lawsuit was unclear at the time of the resolution's passage. Miller said during floor debate in July that Republicans wouldn't know until contracts were finalized.

Democrats have demanded the House GOP to provide details on the cost of the lawsuit to taxpayers.

--This report was updated at 3:40 p.m.

More in Healthcare

House votes down ObamaCare’s 30-hour workweek, 252-172

Read more »