(CNSNews.com) – The House of Representatives adopted changes to the chamber’s standing rules on Tuesday that “enhance the House’s ability to exercise its ‘power of the purse’,” according to House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA).
The vote was 234 to 193 along party lines, with three Republicans siding with Democrats against the rule changes, which include a restoration of the Holman Rule during the first session of the 115th Congress.
The Holman Rule, which originally dates back to 1876, allows lawmakers to bring an amendment to an appropriations bill directly to the House floor that “retrenches expenditures by (1) the reduction of amounts of money in the bill; (2) the reduction of the number and salary of the officers of the United States; or (3) the reduction of the compensation of any person paid out of the Treasury of the United States.”
Griffith, who spearheaded the successful effort to reinstate the Holman Rule, told CNSNews.com that the rule applies to so-called “mandatory spending” bills before Congress, adding that it was part of the House rules until 1983.
But House Speaker Tip O’Neill axed it during President Ronald Reagan’s first term to thwart Republicans and Reagan Democrats from cutting federal programs, Griffith told CNSNews.
Another rule change adopted by the House requires committee chairmen to make a list all federal programs that are unauthorized but still receiving federal funding.