Brady Demands Transparency in Frivolous GOP Lawsuit
July 14, 2014 (Washington, D.C.) Today, Committee on House Administration Ranking Member, Robert A. Brady (D-PA) sent the following letter to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, urging House Republicans to abide by regular order and bipartisan oversight when spending taxpayer dollars on their frivolous lawsuit against President Obama.
Dear Speaker Boehner:
Within the draft resolution to initiate a lawsuit against the President, we learned that you intend to seek authorization to “employ the services of outside counsel and other experts.” Such authority clearly falls under the jurisdiction of the Committee on House Administration, and as such, I am writing to express my expectation that Republicans will be open and transparent about the use of taxpayer money in pursuing this highly dubious and partisan lawsuit.
As evidenced by House Republicans’ conduct in the $2.3 million failed effort to defend the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, strong bipartisan oversight is clearly necessary in any plan to hire outside counsel. The Republican majority must not be permitted to use taxpayer dollars as a slush fund to award a no-bid contract to high-priced, politically connected Republican lawyers without any transparency or accountability to the House or the American people.
Our opposition to the deeply partisan basis of your lawsuit in no way diminishes the need for normal oversight of the terms of any contract signed by Republican Leadership obligating the House to pay millions of dollars to private attorneys. Therefore, I expect you will honor regular order through my committee, even with this highly irregular lawsuit.
The American people deserve to know how and where their tax dollars are being spent, and House Administration Committee Democrats insist on regular consultation and transparency in the selection criteria and process, cost, and lobbying connections of any counsel or experts hired in the name of the House.
Ranking Member, House Administration Committee