Lawmakers can cut individual fed’s pay under new rule
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Mar 22, 2018
House Republicans this week voted to reinstate an old procedural rule from the 19th century that allows House members to propose amendments that reduce the pay of specific federal employees and also eliminate entire positions and federal programs.
The Holman Rule—named after former Indiana Rep. William Holman— was put on the books in 1876, but stripped down by 1885. Though it had a presence in history, for most of the last-century-and-a-half, individual members have not had the power to control specific federal jobs funded through appropriations bills.
The reinstatement of the rule was attached to an unrelated financial services and health policy bill, and some members of Congress are speaking out against the action.
“This archaic tool, also known as the Armageddon Rule, is nothing more than a backdoor way for Republicans to dismantle the federal workforce and carry out political vendettas at the expense of career civil servants,” and “was snuck into legislation,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said in a statement.
Connolly, who represents a federal employee-heavy district, also called the renewal a “cynical and dangerous attack on federal workers.”
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, revived the rule, contending that lawmakers need a tool to make more targeted spending reductions or eliminate positions they deem unnecessary.
In one of his newsletters, where he touted his original proposal to reinstate the rule, he says reinstating Holman will “enhance the House’s ability to exercise its ‘power of the purse’.”