HOUSE ADMINISTRATION DEMOCRATS DEMAND MORE INFORMATION ON CONTRACT TO DEFEND DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT
Washington, DC (April 26, 2011): House Administration Committee Ranking Member Robert A. Brady, joined with fellow Democratic Committee Members Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Charles A. Gonzalez (D-TX), to request additional information from House Speaker John Boehner on recent contract negotiations with law firms related to the Defense of Marriage Act. Most recently, the law firm of King & Spalding withdrew from a contract with the House that has been broadly criticized for “inadequate vetting.”
“We learned yesterday through press accounts of a decision by the law firm of King & Spalding to withdraw from its engagement to represent the House regarding the Defense of Marriage Act,” said Brady, Lofgren and Gonzalez in the letter to Speaker Boehner. “It is abundantly clear that “inadequate vetting” of the contract occurred not only at King & Spalding, as its chairman admitted in withdrawing from the contract, but also in the Congress whose Members were unaware a contract had been signed. We are particularly concerned, as the Democratic Members of the Committee on House Administration, that we were not informed of such a contract nor given the opportunity to review its provisions, including the as much as $500,000 cost.”
The letter requests that all members of the Committee on House Administration have “a full opportunity to review and raise questions” about the provisions of the contract which is now being granted to Bancroft PPLC, and asks for additional details related to the termination of the original contract with King & Spalding, details about the costs of the contract and whether the contract will be reviewed by the House Ethics Committee, specifically in regard to existing lobbying restrictions.
“We should be creating jobs for the American people, not spending half a million taxpayer dollars – and likely more – defending discrimination,” the letter states. “To the extent that the Republican leadership of the House continues to focus on expending taxpayer resources on litigating DOMA rather than focusing on our nation’s urgent needs, the highest standards of transparency, accountability and ethics must be adhered to.”
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