Federal Manager's Daily Report

The new Democratic leadership of the House has dropped the “Holman Rule,” which in essence allowed the House to use federal appropriations language to cut individual salaries, programs, or office sizes without going through the standard process of having the Appropriations Committee make such decisions as part of spending bills.

The rule is an internal House procedural rule that dates to 1876 and had long lain dormant before formally being dropped in 1983 before being revived two years ago by the then Republican leadership.

The rule was never deployed over those two years, although certain members threatened at least twice to use it, once for example with a goal of abolishing an office of about 90 employees within the Congressional Budget Office. Those plans never were formally brought up for consideration, however.

A group of House Democrats from the Washington, D.C. area who led the effort to remove the rule from the procedures of the new Congress said the move will “end an underhanded GOP tactic to sneak attacks on federal employees into must-pass bills.”