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

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    Despite the fact that the enormous red midterm wave that was anticipated this November appears to be somewhat smaller, the majority of analysts continue to predict that Republicans will retake the House from Democrats.

    To regain control of the House, Republicans just require a net gain of four seats.

    A Democratic congressman from Florida named Charlie Crist said last week that he will step down as he runs against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in the November election.

    Because of this, Democrats will be able to hold fewer seats in the House before the midterm elections, which might make it more difficult for them to pass legislation.

    “Today, I’m announcing my resignation from Congress. Casework operations will continue under the Office of Florida’s 13th Congressional District until newly elected members take office in 2023. It’s been a privilege to serve Pinellas in Washington. Read my full statement below,” tweeted Crist along with a screenshot of his entire statement.

    Republicans will begin vigorous oversight of the Biden administration when they take control of the House in November, but a major issue still needs to be resolved: how to persuade witnesses to appear and submit documents if the Justice Department is run by Democrats. Defunding specific bureaucrats who disobey subpoenas is a fresh conservative response to the problem.

    “I think that they don’t have the right to turn down that subpoena. 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,” Rep. Andy Biggs 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.”

    Biggs stated last week that he wanted to modify the Holman rule, a method that has been used to discipline disobedient witnesses before Congress for more than 150 years, on the television program “Just the News, Not Noise.”

    The Holman Rule was established in 1876 and is named for an Indiana congressman who had the idea to allow any member of Congress to attempt to change an appropriations bill in order to single out a particular government worker or eliminate a particular program. A majority of the House and Senate’s members must vote in favor of the legislation.

    The obscure law had been forgotten for many years, but in 2017 House Republicans brought it back to life by allowing any federal bureaucrat’s salary to be reduced to $1 in an effort to compel agencies or programs that refused to slash spending to do so.

    Biggs thinks the regulation might be further adjusted to lower the salary of a government witness who refuses to obey a congressional subpoena.

    He said, “I anticipate further obstruction on the part of Merrick Garland. 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.”

    Biggs said, “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.”

    Due to Democrats’ control of Congress, DOJ was persuaded to bring criminal contempt charges against two former Trump aides. Steve Bannon was found guilty this summer, and Peter Navarro will go on trial in the coming months.

    “But when the White House and Congress were split between the two parties a decade ago during the Obama years, Republicans referred two senior government officials — then-Attorney General Eric Holder and former IRS official Lois Lerner — for criminal contempt, but the Justice Department refused to bring the prosecutions,” according to Just the News.

    If Biggs and his allies win control of the House the next year, they hope to prevent situations like that.

    According to the Holman Rule’s official page on the House website, “by a vote of 156 to 102, the U.S. House of Representatives first adopted the Holman Rule that sought to institutionalize reductions in government spending through changes in House rules of operation.”

    More on this story via The Republic Brief:

    Proposed by the “watchdog of the Treasury,” Representative William S. Holman of Indiana, it modified House Rule 120 which prohibited appropriations “for any expenditure not previously authorized by law.” The only exceptions concerned public works in progress and contingency funds—generally applied as salary raises for government workers.

    The Rules Committee reported a change to Rule 120 that would allow legislative language in relevant appropriations bills to cut federal outlays.

    Holman explained that the Appropriations Committee held the authority under Rule 120 to increase spending, and now “we shall be able to retrench expenditures.” CONTINUE READING…

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