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In a Wednesday letter to the Ohio Republican, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland said they object to Mr. Boehner “secretly increasing” to $3 million a House contract with an outside counsel to defend the law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

“It would be bad enough if Republicans were losing in court and accepting the result. Yet it is the height of hypocrisy for House Republicans to waste public funds in one breath, then claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility in the next,” the Democrats wrote.

“With Republicans willing to take our economy and our country to the brink of default in the name of deficit reduction, there is simply no excuse for any member of Congress to commit taxpayer dollars to an unnecessary — and futile — legal battle.”

IOWA

Paul loyalists quietly in place in GOP groups

DES MOINES — Former Rep. Ron Paul may have exited the political stage, but his legions of followers say they are only getting started.

Loyalists of the two-time Republican presidential candidate from Texas have quietly taken over key state GOP organizations, ensuring fights with the GOP establishment as the party tries to heal from its 2012 defeat and laying the groundwork for a future presidential candidate.

Their new relevance, especially in early caucus states Iowa and Nevada, could clear the way for such a candidate, perhaps the Texan’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. It’s the next step in the group’s ongoing development, from rambunctious malcontents of just a few years ago into more serious party activists bent on reshaping a party they say has drifted from its conservative roots.

TEXAS

State lawmaker pushes law to stop gun ban

A Texas state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would make it illegal for officials to enforce any measures approved by President Obama or passed by Congress that ban so-called assault weapons or limit the capacity of gun ammunition clips, a San Antonio radio station reported.

Republican Rep. Steve Toth said on WOAI 1200-AM that his Firearms Protection Act will make trying to enforce a federal gun ban in the state subject to a $50,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

He plans to file the measure after speaking with state Attorney General Greg Abbott.

“At some point, there needs to be a showdown between the states and the federal government over the Supremacy Clause,” Mr. Toth said. “It is our responsibility to push back when those laws are infringed by King Obama.”

HHS

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