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Dem Slams Republicans for Tripling Budget for Defense of Gay Marriage Ban

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Rep. Jerrold Nadler, right, is shown before the start of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to discuss the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act on Capitol Hill July 20. (AP)

A top Democratic opponent of the Defense of Marriage Act slammed House Republicans after they reportedly tripled the budget for legal defense of the law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. 

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who's sponsoring a bill to repeal the law, said it is "supremely hypocritical" for GOP leaders to spend more taxpayer money on defending the law at a time of "Republican-sponsored deficit hysteria." 

"It seems that the only jobs program the House is creating is one for high-priced lawyers to defend an unconscionable law," Nadler said in a statement. 

Republicans have stepped up to fight for the law after the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend it in court, deeming it unconstitutional. Republicans reportedly have raised the salary cap for the lawyer defending it from $500,000 to $1.5 million. 

The law dates back to the Clinton administration. At the time, Congress passed it by overwhelming margins. 

Republicans say the Obama administration is the one that should be paying for the defense. 

"The cost of this litigation should and will be borne by the Department of Justice -- which is shirking its responsibility to defend the law," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. 

But Nadler called the sustained legal defense of it unnecessary and unwarranted. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a tweet, called the defense a "legal boondoggle."