The Washington Post reports that the Holman Rule, instituted in 1876, was approved on Tuesday as part of a larger rules package, which deceptively went unnoticed amid the chaos of Republicans’ failed attempt to gut the House ethics office.
The statute allows any member of Congress to propose an amendment to an appropriations bill with the goal of cutting spending to a specific federal program or employee, by reducing their salaries or simply scrapping their positions.
However, the rule is not cut-and-dry as any amendment still has to go through approval with a House majority and Senate.
“This is part of a very chilling theme that federal workers are seeing right now,” Maureen Gilman, legislative director for the National Treasury Employees Union, told the Washington Post.
President-elect Donald Trump’s team in collaboration with the unified Republican government have been quietly devising ways to eradicate civil service protections. In addition to Trump’s promised hiring freeze, plans are underway to end automatic raises, provide meager pensions, and easily nix poor performing employees.
The revived rule has government worker advocates panicking, especially as Trump’s transition team has asked for a list of Energy Department scientists working on climate change.
“The power is there. But isn’t that appropriate? Who runs this country, the people of the United States or the people on the people’s payroll?” Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), creator of the ruling, said in an interview.
In Trump’s America, where those in charge are immersed in corporate greed and disengaged with the needs of everyday folk, it only seems fitting for them to forcibly dictate policy.
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