House Republicans will spend $500 per hour on their lawsuit against President Barack Obama, with a “firm cap” of $350,000.
The contract is between the House general counsel, effectively controlled by the majority House GOP, and David Rivkin of the Washington, D.C.-based law firm BakerHostetler. It’s also signed by Rep. Candice Miller, the chair of the Committee on House Administration.
Democrats quickly cast doubt on the $350,000 cap. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pointed out that the House GOP ended up spending some $2.3 million to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court despite initially setting that cap at $500,000. She called it a waste of time and taxpayer money.
“We finally know that Republicans have handed a $500-an-hour, no-bid contract to a Washington law firm for a lawsuit that lays the groundwork for impeachment and rallies the most extreme elements of the Republican Party,” she said. “Americans are tired of election-year stunts. They deserve leaders in Washington who will work to build an economy that works for everyone, not line the pockets of wealthy Washington lawyers and other special interests.”
The House voted late July along party lines to sue Obama for unilateral tweaks to Obamacare which Republicans charge violate the statute. It’s the first time in U.S. history that a chamber of Congress has authorized a lawsuit against a sitting president.
Rivkin, poised to be the lead attorney, worked in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. More recently he represented the 26 states which sued to overturn Obamacare as unconstitutional in the landmark case which came before the Supreme Court in 2012.