What do you know? After 8-years of no policy but vandalism, the Republicans now intend to break things on a grand scale. Next up, the professional civil service.
House Republicans this week reinstated an arcane procedural rule that enables lawmakers to reach deep into the budget and slash the pay of an individual federal worker — down to a $1 — a move that threatens to upend the 130-year-old civil service.
The Holman Rule, named after an Indiana congressman who devised it in 1876, empowers any member of Congress to offer an amendment to an appropriations bill that targets a specific government employee or program.
Recall, now, that the incoming administration recently sought the names of State Department employees who work on gender issues, and NASA and EPA employees who work on climate issues. Did you wonder … why? Now we can guess: They won’t be fired outright, but their pay will be cut to $1.00/year, and they’ll have no choice to leave.
Imagine the case, as I speculated not long ago, of the mid-level scientist working in Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education. Not a Creationist? He won’t be fired, but he’s going to be living on noodle soup for a while.
The Republicans revived that rule for a reason, and the reason is to quietly get rid of the professional civil service — the well-educated pros who won’t go along with their crazy ideology or the diktats of Congress’ corporate owners. And they will do it while piously insisting, sort of accurately, that they haven’t fired anybody. (This compares closely to the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC. They didn’t fire anybody, but demoted, humiliated, and promised to fire, any non-fundamentalist academic who didn’t resign.)
Seriously: There will be no place for bona fide professionals in this administration. Get out while you can.