Pelosi Spokesman: Boehner DOMA Defense Continues Direct Assault on Veterans

Washington, D.C. – Drew Hammill, spokesman for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, released this statement following Speaker Boehner’s decision to intervene in McLaughlin v. Panetta, a case in which eight current or former military servicemembers and their spouses are challenging the constitutionality of DOMA and the definitional portions of Title 38 dealing with military and veterans’ benefits. This case marks the 12th in which Speaker Boehner has intervened.   

“Without a vote or any specific authorization of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), Speaker Boehner is intervening in yet another case regarding the constitutionality not only of Section 3 of DOMA, but also the provisions of Title 38 that cover military and veterans’ benefits.

“In March, Leader Pelosi and Whip Hoyer wrote to Speaker Boehner calling on him and the other Republican members of the BLAG to rescind the unilateral decision to expand their defense of DOMA to cases involving veterans.  It is unacceptable that we have not yet received a response from the Speaker.

“The men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces risk their lives for the country they love and do not deserve to face prejudice, especially from our nation’s elected leaders, when they return home.  Speaker Boehner should grant the request of Leader Pelosi and Whip Hoyer for a vote of the BLAG on the expanded DOMA defense efforts regarding veterans cases and allow the Committee on House Administration and the Ethics Committee to review any new contracts or additional expenditures of taxpayer funds.