House Approves Ability to Reduce Pay of Individual Federal Employees
Federal Times, By: Jessie Bur
The House of Representatives voted to continue a rule that would allow members to cut individual federal employee pay and eliminate agency programs. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
The Holman Rule, first passed in 1876 and named for Indiana Rep. William Holman, was removed from the House rule book in 1983. The rule was then reinstated in the Rules of the House for the 115th Congress, but applied only to the first session or year.
House Freedom Caucus members used the Holman Rule in July 2017 to propose the removal of the Congressional Budget Office’s 89-person budget analysis division, though the amendment was voted down by both Republicans and Democrats.
“This is a page right out of President Trump’s playbook. Reinstating the Holman Rule is no empty threat by the majority. Last year, they used it to attack the Congressional Budget Office. If they can justify political attacks on CBO — the nonpartisan congressional scorekeeper — no one is safe,” said Connolly.
Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., who made reinstatement of the Holman rule a primary goal after his reelection in 2016 and cosponsored the July 2017 CBO amendment, characterized the rule as a key component to Congress’s “power of the purse” in a January 2017 newsletter.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., criticized the resolution’s “lack of procedural order” in a speech on the House floor, as the larger House body was not allowed to make amendments to it before consideration. In addition, Hastings accused those involved with reinstating the rule as intending to scapegoat federal employees.
The resolution including the Holman Rule passed along party lines, with three Republicans voting against it.
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Members of the Illinois Delegation who voted to Reduce Pay of Individual Federal Employees