MSNBC’s Chuck Todd explains on Meet the Press about a rule one democrat calls the “Armageddon Rule” that is sure to strike fear in the hearts of thousands of federal employees.
This rule, known as The Holman Rule, was reinstated at the same time Congressional Republicans were sneakily attempting to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. While the ethics attempt backfired, The Holman Rule, which dates back to 1876, was revived.
The Washington Post calls the rule “arcane,” and noted that it threatens over 125 years of civil service. “The use of the rule would not be simple; a majority of the House and the Senate would still have to approve any such amendment. At the same time, opponents and supporters agree that the work of 2.1 million civil servants, designed to be insulated from politics, is now vulnerable to the whims of elected officials.” They explain that Virginia Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith was behind the rule’s revival, “who is intent on increasing the powers of individual members of Congress to reassign workers as policy demands.”
The Post goes on to explain why Democrats have fearfully dubbed the rule the “Armageddon Rule,” saying it “could prove alarming to the federal workforce because it comes in combination 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 in some cases seem to be at odds with the mission of the agencies they would lead. ‘This is part of a very chilling theme that federal workers are seeing right now,’ said Maureen Gilman, legislative director for the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal employees.”
Chuck Todd cites this power grab as another example of how we find ourselves in “a brand new era…or…a very old one.”