The Washington Post reports that House Republicans have revived an obscure rule that enables them to target individual federal employees by reducing their pay to $1.

 

“House Republicans this week reinstated an arcane procedural rule that enables lawmakers to reach deep into the budget and slash the pay of an individual federal worker — down to a $1 — a move that threatens to upend the 130-year-old civil service.

 

“The Holman Rule, named after an Indiana congressman who devised it in 1876, empowers any member of Congress to offer an amendment to an appropriations bill that targets a specific government employee or program.

 

“A majority of the House and the Senate would still have to approve any such amendment, but opponents and supporters agree that it puts agencies and the public on notice that their work is now vulnerable to the whims of elected officials.

 

“Democrats and federal employee unions say the provision, which one called the “Armageddon Rule,” could prove disastrous to the federal workforce, when combined with president-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the Washington bureaucracy, his call for a freeze on government hiring and his nomination of Cabinet secretaries who seem to be at odds with the mission of the agencies they would lead.”