House GOP Hires New Firm to Sue Obama After the First One Bails

Office of the Speaker of the House

The law firm that House Republicans hired to file their lawsuit against President Obama lasted less than a month.

The House Administration Committee announced on Friday that it had replaced the original firm, BakerHostetler, with a new lead attorney, William Burck.

A Republican leadership aide confirmed reports that BakerHostetler had bowed outdue to "political pressure" from its other clients. The lawyer that had been handling the case, David Rivkin, had been retained in part because it was his writings that gave Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hope that the House could succeed in bringing a largely unprecedented lawsuit against the president for circumventing Congress and exceeding his constitutional authority.

Burck has experience in legal battles with senior administration officials, having represented the House Oversight and Government Committee in its lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder.

The terms of the contract remain the same: The House (i.e. taxpayers) will pay Burck $500 an hour and a maximum of $350,000 to file a lawsuit in federal court against the president over his decision to unilaterally delay implementation of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act without permission from Congress.

Democrats, who have assailed the GOP's lawsuit idea from the start, quickly pounced on the change in legal counsel.

From Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.):

We knew that Speaker Boehner's $500-per-hour taxpayer-funded lawsuit was unpopular with the American people. Now, we know it's just bad business."

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