Stopping The Unelected Bureaucrats: Unleashing The Holman Rule On The Swamp And Deep State

August 1, 2023

By Paul Burton |

Let us diagnose the problem, namely we have bureaucrats that are behaving as an unelected fourth branch of the federal government. It does not matter which agency we look at; they are oversized, bloated with funds allocated for redundancies, and worse, they are using our tax dollars to harass, investigate, and intimidate those that threaten their power.

We have come to the point where a former president has been indicted for acting lawfully regarding documents, and potentially indicted again for what is in essence a treason charge to prevent him from seeking the presidency in 2024. We have candidates for the United States House of Representatives (possibly the U.S. Senate as well) having their bank accounts closed to strangle off the flow of funds to run a campaign. Does anyone believe that the closures of accounts were not directed by these bureaucrats, or at the minimum, like social media companies in the 2020 election cycle, (likely occurring even now in the 2024 cycle) coordinated by and between the companies and the bureaucrats?

How do we stop these appointed office holders and faceless bureaucrats? Step one is restoring stronger investigative powers to the U.S. House of Representatives. Once the bad actors are identified, we de-monetize their offices or divisions in that agency and in some cases, terminate the federal employee abusing the powers of their office. Is this legal? YES!

The Holman Rule (House Rule XXI, Clause 2(b)) was authored by William Holman of Indiana in 1876. The Rule amends appropriations legislation to reduce salaries or fire specific federal employees or cut existing programs (departments / divisions) within an established agency of the federal government.

The Rule was first in effect during the years of 1876 through 1895 and again from 1911 to 1983. Democrats pulled it from the “Rules of the House,” and it was not reinstated again until the 115th Congress (2017-2019). In the 116th Congress, Democrats yanked it from the Rules of the House once again. When Republicans, under the speakership of former Congressman Paul Ryan, took the House in 2017, the Holman Rule was brought back. However, then-Speaker Ryan, didn’t allow the Rule to be used in defense of a sitting president.  

Rational Americans knew by mid-2019, at the latest, that the investigations into the president were politically founded and paid for by the Democratic nominee for president from the 2016 election. So why didn’t the House investigate and terminate the out-of-control bureaucrats? Some cited the only challenge of merit ever made against the Holman Rule in 1946.

At the height of McCarthyism, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the use of the Holman Rule to terminate 39 suspected communists was unconstitutional and cause for such terminations was not met. The Court ruled that terminations based only on political ideology were not cause for termination of a federal employee (while not citing free speech, it was implied). Even given the ruling, the Holman Rule was upheld as constitutional on its merits but was used outside the bounds of the Rule itself.

Effectively, the U.S. Supreme Court left cause-based salary reduction, termination, and liquidation of agency divisions as constitutional. How does that help in the 119th Congress coming into office in 2025? It gives those like me the ability to call for investigations of all federal agencies that are abusing their assigned powers.

Once the individual(s) or division(s) are identified, we can use the Holman Rule to terminate the individual employee or shut down the division in violation for cause. Those causes could be abuse of power, political targeting of opponents, malicious prosecution, and the list goes on and on.

In summation, there are those like me out there that will take the fight to them on your behalf but the funding and votes to win must come from you.

Paul “PT” Burton is a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District.

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