FreedomWorks today praised the inclusion of the “Holman Rule” in the rules package that passed the House of Representatives Tuesday by a vote of 234 to 193. The provision, which is effective only for the first session of the 115th Congress, allows Members to introduce amendments to appropriations bills on the floor of the lower chamber to reduce the size of a federal agency’s workforce or adjust compensation for certain federal employees, who, according to a 2015 study by the Cato Institute, earn an average of 78 percent more than workers in the private sector.
“It’s time to have a serious discussion about the budget deficit and the national debt, which is rapidly approaching $20 trillion, and there is no better way to begin that conversation than the Holman Rule,” said FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon. “The revival of this provision, though temporary, is important because it restores congressional power over the executive branch and could lead to reductions in federal spending.”
Congress first adopted the Holman Rule in 1876. William Holman, a Democrat from Indiana, was responsible for the provision. It was part of the House rules until 1895 and was revived in 1911. The House Democratic majority eliminated the Holman Rule in 1983.
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, has championed the Holman Rule. In April 2016, Rep. Griffith testified on the provision before the Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House. In September 2016, Rep. Griffith urged the subcommittee to adopt the provision for the rules in the 115th Congress.
“Rep. Griffith, who has been the most vocal advocate for the Holman Rule and who persevered despite some opposition inside his own party, deserves the credit for this small victory for the American people. If any deficit reduction happens as a result of the Holman Rule, it will be because of his leadership,” Brandon added.
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