Wasteful Spending

House Republicans have disclosed how much money taxpayers will pay for their frivolous lawsuit against the president.

House Republicans revealed Monday they will pay an outside law firm $500 an hour to pursue their lawsuit against President Barack Obama, a disclosure that served to ratchet up the political controversy surrounding the GOP’s legal effort.

House Republicans said they had hired law firm Baker & Hostetler LLP and partner David Rivkin to make the legal case that Mr. Obama overstepped his legal authority in implementing the Affordable Care Act.

On the bright side, at least they didn’t hire Paul Clement again.

House Republicans paid Clement $2.3 million to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the Supreme Court. Or perhaps I should say taxpayers paid Clement $2.3 million.

The way House Republicans handled their defense of DOMA is significant because, in this case, they’ve set a “hard cap” on the total amount of money they plan to spend.

The contract signed and released by Rep. Candice Miller (R., Mich.), who chairs the Committee on House Administration, calls for the law firm to be paid $500 an hour in attorney’s fees while litigating the case. It also sets a hard cap of $350,000 for the total that can be paid to the law firm during the contract, which runs until the next Congress takes over in 2015.

House Republicans initially set a “hard cap” of $500,000 when they hired Clement to defend DOMA, but as you may recall they increased the cap three times and ultimately paid him $2.3 million under a final hard cap of $3 million.

Will Baker & Hostetler LLP also see their $350,00 cap lifted?

Perhaps not. The only reason I’m inclined to believe that the initial cap may not be surpassed is because the lawsuit could be thrown out of court before increasing the cap becomes necessary.

Suing Obama

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  • muselet

    Steve Benen this morning:

    In a statement, [House Administration Chairwoman Candice S.] Miller, who signed the contract with the powerful Beltway law firm, said the $350,000 in taxpayer money is a “cap,” which “will not be raised.”

    Uh-huh. Right. If you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. Also:

    It’s worth noting that the choice of BakerHostetler to represent House Republicans – and by extension, us, since we’re paying for this exercise – is probably not an accident. One of the most prominent attorneys touting the anti-Obama lawsuit has been David Rivkin, a veteran of the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations. Rivkin is a partner at BakerHostetler, and the contract stipulates that Rivkin will personally tackle a “substantial portion” of the litigation.

    Benen also points to the millions of dollars that have been spent and will be spent chasing all the non-scandals the Rs have their knickers in a twist over.

    The party of fiscal responsibility, my foot.

    –alopecia

  • GrafZeppelin127

    If my firm took this case — which I don’t think it ever would — I’d have to seriously evaluate my employment options.

  • j hentai

    avaricious scumbags. also on a related note, so much for tort reform.

  • Brutlyhonest

    There is nothing fiscally conservative about the modern republican party.