>It looks like the House GOP isn’t ready to abandon its social agenda just yet. According to The Huffington Post, Speaker John Boehner plans to hold a meeting of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to vote on how to address the Defense of Marriage Act in court. The group would include Boehner, Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Democratic Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
Boehner released a statement on his website, explaining the GOP’s stance, which in part said:
It is regrettable that the Obama Administration has opened this divisive issue at a time when Americans want their leaders to focus on jobs and the challenges facing our economy. The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts — not by the president unilaterally — and this action by the House will ensure the matter is addressed in a manner consistent with our Constitution.”
Just as some background: DOMA was signed into law in 1996 by former Pres. Bill Clinton and requires the federal government not to recognize same sex marriages. It also allows states not to recognize same sex marriages from other states. A federal judge in July ruled the law unconstitutional, but the Obama administration’s Justice Department filed an appeal under the argument it was tasked with defending all federal laws. The administration last month abandoned its stance and decided not to defend the law in court.
I find it hil-ar-ious that Boehner is once again dragging the issue of gay marriage back into the spotlight when most Americans indeed are worried about an economic turnaround they have yet to feel, rising gas prices, rising health care costs and a continued lag in the job and housing markets. It is regrettable that Boehner has opened this divisive issue at a time when our country has more pressing issues to tackle.
As the political cynics we are, we all know Boehner’s decision isn’t surprising or out of left field. Boehner and company probably are feeling a little insecure about their chances of seeing a successful run in the lower chamber and want to solidify the support of the social issue voters, an influential group that’s been ignored since the rise of the TEA Party movement.
Boehner’s decisions, though, won’t move the country forward and out of its economic funk, which was one of the underlying reasons voters catapulted the Republicans to success in the house. An attempt to keep DOMA on life support will only alienate middle-of-the-road voters who are coming to grips with the realities of the 21st century economy that won’t guarantee them the American dream.