The House of Representatives has agreed to drastically cut Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s Salary amid ongoing budget negotiations that could result in a government shutdown if no compromises are reached.
The amendment, proposed by Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, cuts Lloyd’s salary from over $221,000 to $1.
“Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of Defense of the United States, definitely deserves to be fired,” Greene said in a video statement on Sept. 28. “He failed in Afghanistan, military recruitment is at an all-time low, and he forced 8,000 military troops out of the military because they refused the COVID vaccine. There’s a loss in confidence in Lloyd Austin’s leadership and he deserves to be fired.”
Greene cited the Holman Rule, which was passed in 1876. The rule modifies House Rule 120 and allows members of Congress to reduce the salaries or fire specific members of the federal government by amending appropriation legislation. The rule also gives Congress the power to cut specific programs.
“This is the first one introduced. And as a matter of fact, it’s the first time the Holman Rule has been used in years,” said the representative. “The Holman rule is a very important tool that Members of Congress can use to fire federal government officials.”
Lloyd has angered many conservative representatives for his abortion travel subsidization policies as well as his claims that the military has members with extremist views.
Greene’s amendment is part of the defense spending bill currently under negotiation in the House.
Republicans have floated the idea of invoking the Holman Rule in the past. Wisconsin Congressman Tom Tiffany suggested the rule could help increase federal accountability while appearing on Fox Business in April.
While discussing FBI Director Christopher Wray and the revelations that his agency had been “developing sources” within Catholic Churches to supposedly fight domestic terrorism, Tiffany said the Holman Rule would be used to “defund a bureaucrat whose abusing their job” by taking their salary “down to a dollar.”
“We need to start using the Holman Rule, I believe, in Congress to go after specific bureaucrats that are doing things like this, like targeting Catholics,” said the congressman. “It is unconscionable that this is happening. … We need accountability.”
Greene and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz informed House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Representative Kay Granger in June that they would use the Holman Rule to defund the Office of the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“The ATF has even made it a matter of official policy to shut down gun stores by making perfection the standard in record keeping – a standard the ATF itself could not meet,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter that was obtained by the Daily Caller. “The ATF has shown itself incapable of operating within the confines of its statutory authority, and we must force a change.”
South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace suggested the rule should be used to cut Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ salary in response to his department’s failure to meaningfully manage illegal activity at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“People are sick of inaction against elected officials who betray their oath and refuse to do their jobs,” she said during an interview in July. “Congress is given the power of the purse by the Constitution, and if the president’s Cabinet secretaries won’t do their jobs, we should consider using any tool, including the Holman Rule, to defund them and their ability to do further damage. … Do your damn job or Congress will act.”
Despite the amendment’s passage, Greene has indicated she is unlikely to vote for the bill because it includes sending additional funding to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, per USA Today.