The Holman Rule: Planting the Seeds of Corruption


Dating back to the late 1800s, the Holman Rule is a poorly crafted piece of legislation that provides individual House members with wide latitude to amend appropriations bills on the floor of the House.  The rule also expands what can be amended on the floor, including changes to a specific agency, office, program, or salary of a single position or of the whole agency.  After decades of dormancy, the Holman Rule was recently resurfaced by Virginia Representative Morgan Griffith (VA-9).  This rule is the choice vehicle for ethically corrupt members of congress who seek to purge the operational funding of agencies and programs that run counter to their outside political interests (such as law or regulatory enforcement agencies that keep industry captains and the most powerful people in check). 

In addition, it creates an overlay threat of micromanagement of the executive branch by individual members of congress rather than through the proper committee process.  The Holman Rule destroys congressional transparency and the right of ethical members of congress to perform their duties as mandated by the American people to appropriate the federal government through hearings, substantive debate and study, and testimony by professional witnesses. 

Simply put, any member of congress that supported inclusion of the Holman Rule in the House rules package (the resolution that governs the chamber’s legislative processes) made a public declaration that he or she will place political favors over ethics and transparency and possibly the law.  This rule can do much more than devastate the effectiveness of the federal government and its workforce.  It can destroy our intelligence and defense capabilities, compromise fair banking and commerce, threaten our international prowess, and collapse regional infrastructure and community projects at the whim of one outlier member of congress.     

See if your representative voted for the Holman Rule (here) and tell your Representative to oppose any use of the Holman Rule during any appropriations considerations on the floor of the House.  Any response from your representative other than a full commitment to fight and defeat any use of the Holman Rule is equivalent to a pledge for corruption through the degradation of ethics, transparency and the Constitutional duty of congress to properly fund and administer the United States of America in the legitimate interest of the American people.

Do not be fooled by claims that the Holman Rule is in the interest of cost-savings.  The Holman Rule is nothing more than an expressway for the politically corrupt to commandeer the capability of the executive branch from performing its legal duties, which not only creates a potential violation of Separation of Powers but also it serves as a very un-American attack on upholding a government of, by and for the people.  A vote for the Holman Rule was a vote for corruption regardless of the excuse they give, and it empowers the enemies of American communities, working people and law-abiding businesses across the country.