How much does it cost to sue the president? Half a grand an hour, or a total of $350,000, if you're the House of Representatives.
The House Committee on Administration announced on Monday that it has retained the law firm BakerHostetler and appointed attorney David Rivkin to lead the House's lawsuit against President Obama, which Republicans approved on a party-line vote last month.
According to a copy of the contract posted on the committee's website, the House (i.e. John Q. Taxpayer) will pay a rate of $500 an hour with a "firm cap" of $350,000 for the lawsuit.
As outlined by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House plans to accuse Obama of exceeding his constitutional authority by delaying the employer mandate in his healthcare law without permission from Congress.
Rivkin had argued that House Republicans had a case against Obama, and G.O.P. leaders relied on his legal theory in deciding to pursue a largely unprecedented lawsuit.
The chairwoman of the Administration Committee, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), said in a statement accompanying the release of the contract that the lawsuit was about holding the president "accountable."
No president is above nor should operate beyond the limits of the Constitution. The House of Representatives, using regular order and the powers that the Constitution has provided, calls upon our government’s system of checks and balances and asks the judicial branch to examine the president’s failure to faithfully execute the law. 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.”
Democrats weren't buying it, and the chairman of the party's campaign committee, Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), released a statement calling the contract an "outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars."
This outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars is yet another reminder of House Republicans’ misguided priorities. 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."
Check out the contract below. After all, you're paying for it.