Boehner slapped with ethics complaint

House Speaker John Boehner (file)
House Speaker John Boehner (file)
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

A watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Republican House Speaker John Boehner today over how he spent funds to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims he violated the Antideficiency Act, a law designed to stop officials from overspending.

In a response, Boehner’s office called CREW’s action “stupid” in a statement.

“This ‘complaint’ is off-base and stupid to the point that it creates the appearance of partisanship by CREW. The Speaker expects any cost to be recouped from the Obama Administration Justice Department, which should be defending the law in court. The ‘anti-deficiency act’ has nothing to do with this situation, as anyone with a basic grasp of the law knows.”

In February, the Department of Justice announced it would no long defend DOMA in 10 pending court challenges. Boehner’s office then signed a contract with an outside firm for $500,000 to defend the federal law.

DOMA defines marriages as a legal union between one man and one woman. 

CREW sent the complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Inspector General to investigate. The complaint could eventually get kicked up the chain to the House Ethics Committee.