Speaker John Boehner is ready to take on the White House over the Defense of Marriage Act, pledging to force the issue in the House after the Justice Department announced last week it was abandoning support for portions of the law.
“I’m really disappointed in the President and the Department of Justice in the fact that they’re not going to defend a law that Congress passed overwhelmingly. It’s their responsibility to do that,” he told CBN’s David Brody on Sunday.
Asked if the House would appoint a special counsel to defend the law itself in the White House’s stead, Boehner said, “It’s an option being considered” and added that he would likely have a decision on how to proceed “by the end of the week.”
“I’d be very surprised if the House didn’t decide that they were going to defend the law,” Boehner said. Surprisingly, he suggested that the move was likely beneficial to Democrats in the next election.
“It strikes me as something that’s just as raw politics as anything I’ve seen knowing that a lot of people who believe in DOMA are probably not likely to vote for him and pandering to the other side on this issue,” he said.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) made a similar argument to TPM last week, putting the two in agreement on the political side of DOMA at least.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.