The battle in the House of Representatives hit some Democrats in the pocketbook this week, as the firebrand Populist wing of the GOP set up a defunding project to use a ‘golden nugget’ from the Jan. rules package to reduce the government salary of some of Democrat Joe Biden’s key administration figures.
This week, for the first time in the 118th Congress the Holman rule has been used to hold a Biden official accountable for their misdeeds and overreach, but the corporate media is not all that excited about what is unfolding.
Recall, one of the biggest victories over the last few days, according to US Rep Matt Gaetz, is forcing the US House of Reps to address the overspending in Washington DC ‘line by line’ and that opens the door to an agreement that Kevin McCarthy made back in Jan when he became Speaker of the House to address the major concerns of the Republicans who were refusing to vote for him at the time.
A key point to remember is that by going line by line, the clock is running out to fund the government, but the Populists on the Hill do not care how long it takes- because they have a plan to make an impact, and in some major ways- their plan is working.
We wrote about Gatez most recent victory cry over forcing DC to address spending ‘line by line’ instead of as a huge pack, as the rest of our DC civil servants wanted to see, and it gets even better than this, so keep reading:
Here is where it is important to pay attention: The House is actually defunding some of the most weaponized positions in DC:
“Last night, the House unanimously passed my amendment to defund Secretary Mayorkas’ salary to $0 via the Holman Rule. He is in dereliction of his duties and doesn’t deserve a penny more. If my colleagues won’t impeach him and he won’t resign, this is the next step,” US Rep. Andy Biggs Tweeted Thursday.
Anthony Blinken was also reduced down to nothing.
According to The Hill, who reported on Thrusday, “House lawmakers passed an amendment to a Defense spending bill that would reduce Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s salary to just $1, though the provision is unlikely to become law in a piece of legislation that seems doomed to fail.
Speculation is that the Holman Rule could be used against the Department of Jusitce and the FBI.
EASY TO LEARN:
Watch this short video on how some of the House lawmakers is trying to reign in spending with appropriations, here is some excellent commentary on what is happening with the Holman Rule:
HOW IT STARTED:
Background on how the Holman Rule became a key focus of the Populist movement, from Jan. report:
The new rules package approved by the House on Monday night includes a provision that could affect the government workforce, allowing members of Congress to attempt to fire or reduce the salary of Federal employees during the appropriations process.
The Holman Rule, first adopted in 1876 and reinstated by House Republicans for the new Congress, will permit “amendments to appropriations legislation that would reduce the salary of or fire specific federal employees, or cut a specific program.”
It was approved on a mostly party-line vote as part of the new Republican majority’s 55-page rules package. This voice shaped up as the first test of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership after he won the gavel following a grueling 15 rounds of voting.
Any appropriations language passed in the House would require approval by the Democratic-controlled Senate and a presidential signature to become law, so provisions pushed by House Republicans under the Holman Rule likely would face tough sledding.
But Democrats and Federal employee unions expressed alarm over the Holman Rule’s revival, saying it could obstruct the appropriations process and enable Republicans to target Federal workers for political reasons.
“We are all too familiar with House Republican efforts to vilify and punish hardworking federal civil servants for doing their jobs,” nine Democratic House members representing the Washington D.C. region aid said in a statement. They included Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., influential on Federal workforce issues.
The House Democrats raised concerns that Republicans will use the rule to defund law enforcement and attempt to shied former President Donald Trump from criminal investigations, pointing to a recent statement from Rep. Andy Biggs., R-Az., former chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Biggs said: “We have to get the House back, we have to get the Senate back…there are things you can do. You can do a Holman Rule. And what you do is you start defunding some of these bad agencies – the FBI, the DOJ. You use the Holman rule to defund people who have abused their power.”
The Freedom Caucus supported the Holman Rule’s revival but cast the benefits in broader terms, saying it would help Congress hold the Executive Branch accountable.
“Congress has the tools in its arsenal to hold the Biden Administration accountable,” the caucus said in a document calling for changes in House rules. “Democrats eliminated the ‘Holman Rule’ when they took the House because it allows Members to make targeted spending cuts in appropriations funding bills by slashing the funding of specific federal programs or cutting the salaries of individual federal employees (e.g., Dr. Anthony Fauci). Republicans must reimplement the Holman Rule.”
When the Holman Rule first passed in 1876, according to the Congressional Research Service, it “effectively granted the Appropriations Committee authority to include virtually any legislative provision in an appropriations measure so long as it reduced the number and salary of federal officials, the compensation of any person paid out of the Treasury, or the amounts of money covered in an appropriation bill.”
The rule remained in House rules in various forms but was considered relatively arcane until House Republicans reinstated it in 2017. In one instance, they attempted to use it at least twice during the 115h Congress (2017-2019) to abolish the Budget Analysis Division of the Congressional Budget Office, with 89 employees and annual salaries aggregating $15 million.
Republicans also tried to reduce the salary of Mark Gabriel, the Western Area Power Administration Administrator, to $1.29. Both amendments failed to pass.
This is some excellent commentary by economist Dave Bratt, who appeared on the War Room with Steve Bannon, about why it is important to get the spending under control right now:
Here is some coverage of the debates that are unfolding: