GOP Eyes 146-Year-Old Rule That Could Cut Biden Officials' Pay to $1 If They Refuse to Testify


GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona is floating the idea of using the Holman rule, dating back to 1876, to force Biden administration officials to comply with congressional oversight if Republicans retake control of the House and the Senate in the November midterm elections.

Just the News reported Saturday, “The arcane rule had fallen out of sight for decades, but in 2017 House Republicans revived it to allow any federal bureaucrat’s salary to be cut to $1 in an effort to force spending cuts on agencies or programs unwilling to reduce spending.”

Biggs — a member of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Reform committees — believes it could be applied to reduce the pay of government officials who don’t comply with congressional subpoenas.

“It seems to me that we’re going to be able to hold you in contempt. Our problem, of course, is the contempt law, the way it’s written, we end up having to go to, of all places, [Attorney General] Merrick Garland. That means getting the Department of Justice, trying to get him to help us enforce that subpoena,” the congressman told Just the News.

“We’re probably going to have to look very carefully at how you change that law. Because you can’t go to the enforcer who is not willing to participate,” he said.

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Republicans ran into this problem during the Obama administration with their Fast and Furious investigation as well as the one into former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner for her unit’s targeting of conservative groups.

In 2012, the House voted to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for the DOJ’s failure to turn over documents related to Fast and Furious, the botched Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun-running operation into Mexico.

In 2014, the House also held Lerner in contempt for not complying with its investigation into her unit.

Both Holder and Lerner were referred to the DOJ for criminal contempt, but the agency in both instances did not press charges.

Do you support the use of the Holman rule?

The refusal to act on referrals from Republican lawmakers stands in contrast to the agency charging former Trump administration officials Steve Bannon, who was convicted this summer, and Peter Navarro for failing to comply with subpoenas from the Democrats’ highly partisan House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion.

So if Republicans retake the House in November, they likely will run into an uncooperative DOJ, as they did during the Obama years.

“I anticipate further obstruction on the part of Merrick Garland,” Biggs said. “But we may have to find a way, to devise a way to go around Merrick Garland to get these people to come in. And that’s why I think [what] we need to do first and foremost is reinstate the Holman rule, so that we get to hold people like Merrick Garland responsible.”

“And that Holman rule allows the Congress to basically defund an individual bureaucrat, who is willfully … violating the subpoena power and oversight power of the United States Congress,” he said.

In a July Newsmax interview, the congressman offered the example of the obstruction the DOJ engaged in regarding the “laptop from hell” that belonged to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

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Biggs recounted the official line regarding the laptop kept changing as the public became aware of more information, from saying it didn’t exist, to claiming the laptop was Russian disinformation, to saying it wasn’t a big deal. Now it’s clear that the laptop is real and contains troubling, likely incriminating information.

“It took a lot of courageous people and whistleblowers to come forward, and bring that forward, and in the meantime, the apparatus is basically putting out misinformation to the public while they were suppressing and preventing investigation on the inside,” Biggs said. “That’s the corruption that we see here.”

Biggs told Newsmax he spoke to the ranking members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees and they are “ready to rock-and-roll” and “expose all of this stuff.”

“And if the deep state doesn’t want to let us [investigate] … you defund,” he added. “You reinstitute the Holman rule. ‘You don’t get paid.'”

That’s thinking creatively.

Enough of the deep-state agencies running the show.

It’s time for the people to reassert control.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith