Rep. Israel Blasts GOP Over Attorney Cost of Obama Suit

Image: Rep. Israel Blasts GOP Over Attorney Cost of Obama Suit Democratic Congressional Caucus Chairman Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. (Kevin Diestch/UPI/Landov)

Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 09:20 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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New York Democrat Rep. Steve Israel has denounced House Republicans for hiring a $500-an-hour legal firm to sue President Barack Obama for excessive use of executive power.

"This outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars is yet another reminder of House Republicans’ misguided priorities," said Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to The Hill.

"Only in John Boehner’s world does it make sense to pay lawyers $500 per hour to work on a partisan lawsuit while refusing to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for hardworking Americans trying to feed their families."

House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller signed a contract on Monday with the Washington, D.C., law firm BakerHostetler to represent the House in its civil suit against the president in a U.S. district court, according to The Hill.

"The president must be held accountable, and the House will continue to act in an open and transparent manner to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution," the Michigan Republican said in a statement.

The deal allows the House general counsel to pay BakerHostetler $500 per hour for "all reasonable attorney time expended in connection with the litigation." The deal says that legal costs will not exceed a "firm cap" of $350,000 that "will not be raised," The Hill said.

The lawsuit centers on the president’s executive order delaying the Obamacare mandate requiring employers with 50 or more workers to provide insurance coverage to their staff.

Last month, the Republican-controlled House passed a resolution giving Speaker Boehner the authority to file a lawsuit.

"The president changed the healthcare law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it," Boehner said last month.

"That's not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own."

Democrats have called on the House GOP to provide exact details on how much the lawsuit will cost taxpayers, The Hill said.

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