McCarthy Moves To Strip Salaries Of Biden Officials
House Republicans are gearing up to strip the salaries of some high-ranking members of the Biden administration as impeachment remains a divisive topic among the caucus.
Congress is preparing to use what is called the Holman Rule, which dates back to 1876 and gives lawmakers the power to reduce, or even strip the salaries of specific federal employees.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reinstated the rule earlier this year and significant names on the chopping block could be Attorney General Merrick Garland, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and members of the Justice Department's Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation team, who are in charge of the Donald Trump impeachment case.
Garland's 2022 salary is $221,400, Mayorkas $203,500 and Wray $172,000.
According to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), this is the way to provide a form of oversight to the 'negligent behavior' of these Cabinet members.
'Utilizing the Holman Rule, combined with pursuing impeachment articles, will better assist Congress in holding rogue federal actors accountable,' said spokesperson for Biggs, Matthew Tragesser.
However, a centrist Republican lawmaker voiced concerns of what precedents this could set in the future for other administrations.
'Let's say Ron DeSantis happens to be the next president and now [Democrats] will be cutting off his Cabinet because they don't like his policies,' they said. 'This keeps getting worse. We need some sanity.'
Rep. Kevin Buck of Colorado echoed similar reservations with impeaching members of the Cabinet rather than going down the Holman Rule path: 'It's not what the Constitution says,' he said.
'You know, people make all kinds of accusations and say, 'We should impeach!' But I haven't seen documents suggesting that [Garland] has in some way altered the plea offered to Hunter Biden.'
Buck suggested, 'If we've got a problem, a policy difference — not high crimes and misdemeanors — with Secretary Mayorkas, the proper procedure is to cut his salary in the appropriations process.'
When the Holman Rule was first proposed, a Party-line vote was conducted in recognition of its power to help the majority in Congress take on the opposing party who have the majority in the Senate and White House—which is the situation House Republicans are in currently.
It remains to be seen how effective using the Holman Rule would be given the Democratic majority in Congress, yet House Republicans are looking for an alternative. Perhaps the way to 'exercise...accountability' may soon be revealed.