Boehner Spox: It’s Not The Appropriate Time To Nix DOMA Defense


House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel questions the Obama administration’s decision to halt its legal defense of DOMA.

“While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation,” he said in a statement.

In a letter to Boehner, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote “[o]ur attorneys will also notify the courts of our interest in providing Congress a full and fair opportunity to participate in the litigation in those [DOMA] cases.” Boehner could, in theory, intervene as a third party defendant in those cases, or could sue Holder, or could just make a fuss that amounts to nothing. But there’s no indication yet of what he will actually do..


Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at