The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint Tuesday against House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), alleging that he violated the law and House rules by agreeing to pay an outside law firm $500,000 to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
In the complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), CREW charged that Boehner had violated the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits “making or authorizing an expenditure from, or creating or authorizing an obligation under, any appropriation or fund in excess of the amount available in the appropriation or fund unless authorized by law,” according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The $500,000 contract represents more than 35 percent of the Office of General Counsel’s budget. “With more than two-thirds of the fiscal year having passed, the office will not have sufficient funds to pay for both its remaining salaries and expenses and the DOMA defense,” according to the complaint (PDF).
Boehner could face a fine of $5,000 and two years in prison if found guilty of violating the Antideficiency Act.
How very fiscally conservative of him…