No, this is not satire or a joke.
This week House Republicans reinstated a procedural rule created back in 1876 that allows lawmakers to cut the pay of individual federal workers down to $1, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The “Holman Rule” allows members of Congress to propose amendments to appropriations bills that target specific government employees or programs in an effort to cut spending. Reinstating the bill was the brainchild of California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is the House Majority Leader.
McCarthy said, “This is a big rule change inside there that allows people to get at places they hadn’t before.”
Under the rule passed this week in larger rules package, any such amendment that would target an employee or program would have to be passed by a majority of the House and Senate. That makes it unlikely, albeit possible, for lawmakers to reduce a federal worker’s pay.
Democrats and federal employees who worry about how Donald Trump could use it blasted the rule. “This is part of a very chilling theme that federal workers are seeing right now,” Maureen Gilman, the legislative director for the National Treasury Employees Union, told the Post.
The new rule follows requests by the Trump transition team for lists of the names of employees involved in specific programs, such as Energy Department scientists who have worked on climate change.