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Comstock fights off criticism for Holman Rule vote

Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock is defending her vote in favor of an overarching rules package in the House of Representatives that includes an old rule enabling lawmakers to cut the pay of federal workers down to as little as a dollar.

The Holman rule, named after Indiana Congressman William Steele Holman, was created in 1876 and allows any member of Congress, including back-benchers, to propose an amendment that would cut a specific federal program or slash the salaries of individual federal employees. Jobs could also be eliminated altogether. Any such amendment to an appropriations bill would have to be approved by a majority of the House and the Senate.

Prior to the new rules package, agency budgets could be reduced, but specific programs and employees were under civil service protections and could not be targeted.

Historically the Holman rule was designed to eliminate patronage jobs, but it was dropped in 1983 after Speaker Tip O’Neill objected to it being used to make spending cuts.

It was revived this go-round by U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.). Reacting to the passing of the rule in his online column, Griffith said, “The Holman Rule is a scalpel, not an axe and it will be used to promote efficiency in government.”

Republican leaders say the rule increases accountability in government. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said it allows Congress to get at places they previously couldn’t before. As a concession to Republicans who opposed to the rule, it will expire in one year unless lawmakers vote otherwise.

Before the package came to the floor, Rep. Comstock tried unsuccessfully to block it. She voted for an amendment sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) to remove it.

After that amendment failed, Comstock, who represents Loudoun and other parts of Northern Virginia, ended up voting Jan. 3 for the overall package, which included the Holman rule.

Local Democrats have knocked Comstock’s vote, accusing her of breaking promises to protect federal workers. Anthony Fasolo, in a Times-Mirror letter to the editor, criticized her for voting for a rule.

“I guess Mrs Comstock is only caught up in the new way politicians do things today; say anything to get elected but then vote the way your party wants you to vote,” Fasolo noted.

Comstock responded by highlighting her efforts to strip the Holman rule from the rules package.

“There was no individual vote on this temporary rule on the House floor. The rule is only in effect for one year on a trial basis,” she said.

Comstock, who represents thousands of federal workers and contractors, defended her record supporting federal employees. A spokesman said she is prepared to take appropriate and aggressive action if the “misguided and ill-informed” rule is used to harm workers.

Comments


Loudoun4Trump - where do you get your information about these thousands and thousands of public employees being “overpaid” and “underworked”? What comparisons do you have to make such a claim against thousands of people, who perform a plethora of functions that literally help keep society and community functioning? Do you say those claims to your neighbors who are government employees? Do you say that to your kids schools teachers? Do you say that to the fireman or EMS who is helping pull you from your wrecked car and saving your life? Do you say that to men and women who maintain the water and sewer plants so that you can drink from your tap and flush your toilet?

And what is your grand plan to privatize all of the essential services that government provides, and what is your data that says it would be “better” or “more cost effective”, and would rid society of “overpaid” and “underworked” employees doing these jobs?

I await your response.


comstock’s witch hunt should include $1 salaries for obstructive congress critters


Very happy BC is putting the taxpayer interests ahead of the bureaucrats…they are overpaid and underworked at every department.  The government is filled with incompetent people who hide under the comfort of a public check…great vote, why would she have to defend this?  smart vote.


This will certainly be remembered a few Novembers hence.  There are very many Federal workers in the 10th district (as Frank Wolf understood and exploited).  Comstock has finally gone too far.

The time to take action against this rule Congresswoman was when you had an opportunity to vote no.


She is as lame and two faced as is T-Rump, Hannity, O’Reilly etc. Must be in their GOP bloodlines..what a disgraceful elected official..


she is not in any way an “independent thinker” who can represent ALL of the voters in her district.  She’s a hard-liner….......period.


Rep. Comstock must feel empowered with what may be a safe Congressional seat where she can vote against the interests of many Federal workers in her district and begin an 1880’s return of a new Spoils System. The twist here is the removal of employees that are ideologically “incompetent” rather than just hiring political supporters that have the favored ideology. Either way results in patronage that results in Federal employees that place ideology over the best interests of the United States.


Her true colors come out.  With lots of feds in the district, she obviously takes them for granted.  Too bad she did stand on principle and vote no.

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