ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports: Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King says he wants to penalize the Obama administration for its decision to drop a legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act with fresh budget cuts for the Department of Justice.
“We have the authority to do a few things, and one of them is to control the budget,” King said in an interview with ABC News from Frankfurt, Germany, where he has been attending trade meetings this week.
The Iowa congressman, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, echoed criticism leveled by many Republicans, who say President Obama is shirking a duty to defend established law.
“The resources that they would be using to defend the DOMA law in court are not necessary to appropriate to them," he said. "So with open rules on appropriations, that’s an opportunity to bring an amendment that will reduce their budget by an appropriate amount.”
King acknowledged that it is too late to raise the issue in the continuing resolution debate and declined to speculate on the size of his proposed cut, but promised to pursue the idea during negotiations over the FY 2012 budget in the weeks ahead.
“To continue funding a Justice Department that defies their oath to the Constitution and refuses to enforce the laws of the U.S. is a terrible precedent to tolerate," King said. "So the first thing is to send a very strong message by cutting the funding to the Justice Department."
A number of social conservatives have vowed a vigorous defense of DOMA in the wake of the administration's decision and pledged increased pressure on the Obama administration from same-sex marriage opponents.