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House Lawsuit Against Obama Price Tag: Up to $350K

Boehner and House GOP have hired a D.C. firm to handle Obama lawsuit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

D.C. law firm BakerHostetler will handle the House Republicans' lawsuit against President Barack Obama.  

House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., said the firm has been contracted to represent the House in the district court civil suit.  

According to the contract, the lawsuit will cost the House up to $350,000, billed at a rate of $500/hour. "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," Miller said in a Monday statement.  

The lawsuit, authorized on July 30 by the House , calls for the courts to rein in a president who, Republicans contend, has overstepped his authority by unilaterally changing federal law in his implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  

Many legal experts say the lawsuit faces long odds in the courts, but one of the highest-profile constitutional scholars in the country, former Reagan and George Bush lawyer David Rivkin, has said the case has merit — and he's a partner at the firm the Republicans hired.  

Democrats immediately weighed in on the announcement, sharply criticizing the $500 per hour contract as wasteful spending. “This outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars is yet another reminder of House Republicans’ misguided priorities," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y., in a statement. "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."  

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