[Deschler's Precedents, Volume 8]
[Chapter 26. Unauthorized Appropriations; Legislation on Appropriation Bills]
[A. Introductory Matters]
[§ 4. The Holman Rule]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


[Page 5317-5334]
 
                               CHAPTER 26
 
    Unauthorized Appropriations; Legislation on Appropriation Bills
 
                        A. INTRODUCTORY MATTERS
 
Sec. 4. The Holman Rule

        The Holman rule (Rule XXI clause 2), which had its inception in 
    the 44th Congress, underwent various modifications between 1876 and 
    1911. At times it was dropped completely. The formulation of Rule 
    XXI clause 2, from 1911 until the 98th Congress, and under which 
    most of the decisions contained in this section were made, was as 
    follows: (14)
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14. House Rules and Manual Sec. 834 (1973). See also the note following 
        Sec. 834, House Rules and Manual, for history of the rule.
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        No appropriation shall be reported in any general appropriation 
    bill, or be in order as an amendment thereto, for any expenditure 
    not previously authorized by law, unless in continuation of 
    appropriations for such public works and objects as are already in 
    progress. Nor shall any provision in any such bill or amendment 
    thereto changing existing law be in order, except such as being 
    germane to the subject matter of the bill shall retrench 
    expenditures by the reduction of the number and salary of the 
    officers of the United States, by the reduction of the compensation 
    of any person paid out of the Treasury of the United States, or by 
    the reduction of amounts of money covered by the bill: Provided, 
    That it shall be in order further to amend such bill upon the 
    report of the committee or any joint commission authorized by law 
    or the House Members of any such commission having jurisdiction of 
    the subject matter of such amendment, which amendment being germane 
    to the subject matter of the bill shall retrench expenditures.

    The second sentence of the clause comprises the Holman rule 
exception to Rule XXI, and permits legislative provisions in general 
appropriation bills or amendments, provided the stated conditions are 
met. The exception, of course, is to the prohibition against ``changing 
existing law,'' not to the prohibition against unauthorized 
appropriations.
    A distinction should be noted between provisions meeting the

[[Page 5318]]

 criteria of the Holman rule and ``limitations'' of the kind discussed 
in the latter part of this chapter.(15) Under the Holman 
rule, a provision that is admittedly ``legislative'' in nature is 
nevertheless held to fall outside the general prohibition against such 
provisions, because it accomplishes specified ends. The ``limitations'' 
discussed in later sections are not ``legislation'' and are permitted 
on the theory that Congress is not bound to appropriate funds for every 
authorized purpose.
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15. See Sec. 64-79, infra.
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    Paragraph (b) of Rule XXI clause 2, as amended in the 98th Congress 
narrowed the ``Holman rule'' exception so that it covered only 
retrenchments reducing amounts of money covered by the bill, and not 
retrenchments resulting from reduction of the number and salary of 
officers of the United States or of the compensation of any person paid 
out of the U.S. Treasury. Paragraph (b) also eliminated separate 
authority conferred upon legislative committees or commissions with 
proper jurisdiction to report amendments retrenching expenditures, and 
permitted legislative committees to recommend such retrenchments to the 
Appropriations Committee for discretionary inclusion in the reported 
bill. Paragraph (d) as added in the 98th Congress provides a new 
procedure for consideration of all retrenchment amendments only when 
reading of the bill has been completed and only if the Committee of the 
Whole does not adopt a motion to rise and report the bill back to the 
House.(16)
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16. See Rule XXI clause 2, House Rules and Manual Sec. 834 (1983).
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    In applying the Holman rule, care should be taken, of course, in 
assessing the relevance of those decisions which involved 
interpretation of that rule but which did not reflect the current form 
or interpretation of the rule.(17)
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17. Some of the precedents which would now be found to be inapplicable, 
        for example, are those at 4 Hinds' Precedents Sec. 3846, 3885-
        92; 7 Cannon's Precedents Sec. Sec. 1484, 1486-92, 1498, 1500, 
        1515, 1563, 1564, 1569; and the decision of June 1, 1892, found 
        at 23 Cong. Rec. 4920, 52d Cong. 1st 
        Sess.                          -------------------
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Generally; Abolishing Offices

Sec. 4.1 Legislation to be in order under the Holman rule must be 
    germane, must retrench expenditures, and the language used must be 
    essential to the accomplishment of that retrenchment.

    On Feb. 29, 1932,(18) the Treasury and Post Office 
Departments

[[Page 5319]]

appropriation bill (19) as under consideration. A provision 
was read as follows:
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18. 75 Cong. Rec. 4957, 4958, 72d Cong. 1st Sess.
19. H.R. 9699.
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        The offices of comptrollers of customs, surveyors of customs, 
    and appraisers of merchandise (except the appraiser of merchandise 
    at the port of New York), 29 in all, with annual salaries 
    aggregating $153,800, are hereby abolished. The duties imposed by 
    law and regulation upon comptrollers, surveyors, and appraisers of 
    customs, their assistants and deputies (except the appraiser, his 
    assistants and deputies at the port of New York) are hereby 
    transferred to, imposed upon, and continued in positions, now 
    established in the Customs Service by or pursuant to law, as the 
    Secretary of the Treasury by appropriate regulation shall specify. 
    . . .

    A point of order was then made:

        Mrs. [Florence P.] Kahn [of California]: Mr. Chairman, I make a 
    point of order against the section, beginning in line 16, page 11, 
    and running through line 8, on page 12, that it is legislation on 
    an appropriation bill and therefore out of order.

    In responding to the point of order, Mr. Joseph W. Byrns, of 
Tennessee, stated:

        Mr. Chairman, the committee acknowledges that the provision to 
    which the point of order has been made, abolishing these offices of 
    appraisers, comptrollers, and surveyors of customs, is legislation 
    on an appropriation bill and changes existing law.
        Under the provisions of clause 2 of Rule XXI, known as the 
    Holman rule, legislation is in order upon an appropriation bill if 
    it conforms to that rule.
        The pertinent portion of clause 2 of that rule is as follows:

            No appropriation shall be reported in any general 
        appropriation bill, or be in order as an amendment thereto, for 
        any expenditure not previously authorized by law, unless in 
        continuation of appropriations for such public works and 
        objects as are already in progress. Nor shall any provision in 
        any such bill or amendment thereto changing existing law be in 
        order, except such as being germane to the subject matter of 
        the bill shall retrench expenditures by the reduction of the 
        number and salary of the officers of the United States, by the 
        reduction of the compensation of any person paid out of the 
        Treasury of the United States, or by the reduction of amounts 
        of money covered by the bill. . . .

        The committee contends that the paragraph in this bill to which 
    objection has been raised is in order under the provisions of the 
    Holman rule.
        Under previous decisions legislation to be in order under this 
    rule must be germane to the bill and must retrench expenditures in 
    one of the three methods set forth in the rule, namely (1) by 
    reduction of the number and salary of officers of the United 
    States, (2) by the reduction of the compensation of any person paid 
    out of the Treasury of the United States, or (3) by the reduction 
    of the amounts of money covered by the bill.
        Under previous decisions of the House it has also been held 
    that it is not enough merely to reduce the number and compensation 
    of officers of the United States or the compensation of any person 
    paid out of the Treasury, but the legislation must retrench ex

[[Page 5320]]

    penditures in doing that. On this point Chairman Saunders, in a 
    decision on December 9, 1922, said:

            The many rulings on this question are fairly uniform. They 
        all hold that when, on the face of the bill, the proposed new 
        legislation retrenches expenditures in one of three ways the 
        point of order should be overruled, and the rule is generally 
        laid down that the construction should be liberal in favor of 
        retrenchment of government expenditures.

        Under previous decisions it has also been held that the 
    retrenchment in expenditures must not be conjectural or speculative 
    but must show on the face of the legislation. In this connection 
    Speaker Kerr held:

            In considering the question whether an amendment operates 
        to retrench expenditures, the Chair can only look to what is 
        properly of record before him--that is, the pending bill, the 
        specific section under consideration, the law of the land, so 
        far as it is applicable, and the parliamentary rules and 
        practice of the House; and beyond these he is not permitted to 
        go in deciding the question.

        In discussing the question of the saving, Chairman Saunders 
    also said:

            The Chair can only act upon the proposition which is 
        presented on the face of that proposition.

        In presenting this paragraph under the Holman rule the 
    committee believes that it answers all of the requirements laid 
    down under sound decisions:
        (1) It is germane; (2) it reduces the number and salary of 
    officers of the United States; (3) it retrenches expenditures; (4) 
    the retrenchment is not speculative or argumentative but is 
    specific; (5) every part of the legislation is essential.
        1. Germaneness: The bill makes appropriations for the Customs 
    Service, and customarily carries salaries for the offices proposed 
    to be abolished.
        2. Reduction of offices and salaries: The paragraph provides 
    for the abolition of 29 offices established by law and now in 
    existence, with salaries aggregating annually $153,800. Under the 
    provisions of the paragraph these offices are eliminated commencing 
    with the date of approval of this bill. The incumbents in them will 
    at that time be removed from the pay roll.
        3. Retrenchment of expenditures: The paragraph retrenches 
    expenditures by the elimination of these offices and the saving of 
    the salaries. That is complete on the face of the legislation.
        4. The retrenchment is not speculative: The definiteness of the 
    saving can not be controverted. The bill abolishes the 29 
    positions. They will be gone. The duties are transferred 
    specifically to other positions in the service. The work will be 
    continued. No added expense will come from this transfer, because 
    the paragraph provides that the Secretary of the Treasury shall 
    make the transfer and carry out the legislation without adding any 
    new positions. The retrenchment is specific, definite, and 
    complete. There is no escape from saving $153,800, and in making up 
    this bill the committee has taken out that amount.
        5. Every part of the legislation proposed is necessary to the 
    reduction: The legislation is divided into the following parts:
        (a) Abolition of the positions; (b) transfer of the duties to 
    positions now

[[Page 5321]]

    in the service; (c) change in title of existing positions after the 
    transfer to make the title accord to the new duties transferred to 
    them; (d) require the Secretary to administer the transfer of 
    duties in such a way as not to establish any new position.
        The necessity of all portions of the legislation and its 
    intimate relationship to the effectiveness and conclusiveness of 
    the retrenchment must be apparent. Without all of the parts the 
    legislation would not be effective.

    The Chairman, Edgar Howard, of Nebraska, ruled as follows:

        I am afraid the Chair is not in harmony with the position of 
    the lady from California. It would seem to the Chair that this 
    paragraph is safely enfolded in the embrace of the Holman Rule. For 
    the benefit of the lady from California the Chair will say that to 
    be in order under the Holman Rule three things must concur--first, 
    it must be germane; second, it must retrench expenditures; and, 
    third, the language embodied in the paragraph must be confined 
    solely to the purpose of retrenching expenditures.
        The Chair finds upon examination of the paragraph that it is 
    germane to the portion of the bill wherein it is inserted. The 
    paragraph on its face definitely reduces the number of officers of 
    the United States by 29 and thereby saves $153,800, thus 
    retrenching expenditures.
        The remaining question for the Chair to determine is whether 
    there is any language in the paragraph that is legislation which 
    does not contribute to the retrenchment of the $153,800.
        The Chair has examined the paragraph with considerable care in 
    order to determine whether the legislation is coupled up with and 
    essential to the reduction of money. The Chair finds that the 
    paragraph abolishes a number of positions, that it transfers the 
    duties heretofore performed by the officers holding those positions 
    to positions now in the service, that in order to accomplish that 
    it confers upon the Secretary of the Treasury authority to 
    designate the titles of the employees now in the service who are to 
    perform the additional duties, that it requires the Secretary to 
    administer the transfer of duties in such a way as not to establish 
    any new positions. It is apparent to the Chair that all the 
    legislation to be found in the paragraph is necessary to accomplish 
    the purpose of retrenching expenditures. The Chair thinks that the 
    paragraph clearly comes within the provisions of the Holman Rule 
    and overrules the point of order.

Sec. 4.2 A provision in an appropriation bill abolishing the offices of 
    the surveyor of customs at the Port of New York and seven 
    comptrollers of customs and transferring the duties of these 
    officers to positions already established in the Customs Service, 
    was held to be in order under the Holman rule.

    On Feb. 27, 1939,(20) during consideration in the 
Committee of the Whole of the Treasury and Post

[[Page 5322]]

Office Departments appropriation bill (H.R. 4492), a point of order was 
raised against the following proviso, and proceedings then followed as 
indicated below:
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20. 84 Cong. Rec. 1961, 1962, 76th Cong. 1st Sess.
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        Salaries and expenses: For collecting the revenue from customs, 
    for the detection and prevention of frauds upon the customs 
    revenue, and not to exceed $100,000 for the securing of evidence of 
    violations of the customs laws . . . Provided further, That the 
    offices of the surveyor of customs at the port of New York and 
    seven comptrollers of customs, with annual salaries aggregating 
    $51,600, are hereby abolished. The duties imposed by law and 
    regulations upon the surveyor of customs at the port of New York 
    and comptrollers of customs, their assistants and deputies are 
    hereby transferred to, imposed upon, and continued in positions now 
    established in the Customs Service by or pursuant to law, as the 
    Secretary of the Treasury by appropriate regulations shall specify; 
    and he is further authorized to designate the titles by which such 
    positions shall be officially known hereafter. The Secretary of the 
    Treasury, in performing the duties imposed upon him by this 
    paragraph, shall administer the same in such a manner that the 
    transfer of duties provided hereby will not result in the 
    establishment of any new positions in the Customs Service.
        Mr. [James M.] Fitzpatrick [of New York]: A point of order, Mr. 
    Chairman.
        The Chairman: (21) The gentleman will state it.
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21. John W. Boehne, Jr. (Ind.).
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        Mr. Fitzpatrick: Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against 
    the language on page 16, line 14, beginning with the words 
    ``Provided further,'' and extending down to line 5, on page 17, as 
    legislation on an appropriation bill, especially that part of the 
    language beginning in line 23, which states ``and he is further 
    authorized to designate the titles by which such positions shall be 
    officially known hereafter.''
        To me this seems to be purely legislation on an appropriation 
    bill. . . .
        The Chairman: Does the gentleman from Indiana wish to be heard?
        Mr. [Louis] Ludlow [of Indiana]: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I do not 
    believe there is any necessity for extended comment on this point 
    of order.
        In 1932 a provision in substantially identical language was 
    included in the Treasury-Post Office appropriation bill. The 
    gentlewoman from California [Mrs. Kahn] made a point of order 
    against the provision. The Chair ruled that the five considerations 
    essential to the application of the Holman rule were present in the 
    language proposed, namely, (1) that it was germane, (2) that it 
    reduced the number and salaries of officers of the United States, 
    (3) that it retrenched expenditures, (4) that the retrenchment was 
    not speculative or argumentative but was specific, and (5) that 
    every part of the legislation was essential.
        The point of order was, therefore, overruled and I submit it 
    should be in the instant case.
        May I say further there is no doubt about the application of 
    the Holman rule in cases where it is ascertainable that there will 
    be a substantial saving, whether or not any specific amount of 
    saving is indicated. However, in the instant case we have the 
    peculiarly ad

[[Page 5323]]

    vantageous position of being able to certify to the exact amount in 
    dollars and cents that will be saved, namely, $51,600. Therefore, I 
    submit to the Chair this comes clearly within the Holman rule. I 
    direct the Chair's attention to the fact that we have complied 
    scrupulously with the Ramseyer rule, and he will find set forth on 
    page 47 of our report the text of existing legislation and the text 
    of the legislation we propose in place of it. Having done this, we 
    have only to comply with the Holman rule to make the provision 
    invulnerable to a point of order, and this we have done. I ask for 
    the ruling of the Chair.
        Mr. Fitzpatrick: Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Indiana 
    states there will be a saving of $51,000. If the Chair will refer 
    to page 18 of the report he will see that new positions involving a 
    total of $51,600 will be created in the same department so the 
    saving is just $600. Therefore, any claim that there will be a 
    saving of $51,000 is just not so. The report shows new positions 
    are being created in the same department.
        Mr. [Vito] Marcantonio [of New York]: If the gentleman will 
    yield, may I say that this particular proviso takes powers away 
    from one branch of a department and confers them on another, which 
    clearly is legislation.
        Mr. Ludlow: Of course, the one has no connection, relation, or 
    relevancy to the other. All that is necessary for us to say is that 
    in this transaction by abolishing certain positions we make a 
    saving of $51,600. If we appropriate a similar amount of money to 
    another branch for some other purpose, what connection does that 
    have with this?
        Mr. Fitzpatrick: The money is to be appropriated to the same 
    department for men to perform the same duties as the comptrollers 
    whose positions you are abolishing.
        The Chairman: The Chair is ready to rule.
        The gentleman from New York [Mr. Fitzpatrick] makes the point 
    of order against the proviso on page 16 on the grounds that it 
    embraces legislation in an appropriation bill. The gentleman from 
    Indiana contends that although it is legislation on an 
    appropriation bill it comes within the Holman rule and is therefore 
    in order. The Holman rule may be found in the second sentence of 
    clause 2 of rule XXI, and is as follows:

            Nor shall any provision in any such bill or amendment 
        thereto changing existing law be in order, except such as being 
        germane to the subject matter of the bill shall retrench 
        expenditures by the reduction of the number and salary of the 
        officers of the United States by the reduction of the 
        compensation of any person paid out of the Treasury of the 
        United States, or by the reduction of amounts of money covered 
        by the bill.

        In order to justify language in an appropriation bill under the 
    Holman rule three things must concur: First, it must be germane; 
    second, it must retrench expenditures in one of the ways enumerated 
    in the rule; and, third, the language embodied in the provision 
    must be confined solely to the purpose of retrenching expenditures.
        The Chair has carefully examined the proviso to which the point 
    of order is directed and is of the opinion that the language is 
    germane and that on its face it definitely shows a reduction of the 
    officers of the United States and a retrenchment of expenditures in 
    the amount of $51,600.

[[Page 5324]]

        It is also apparent to the Chair that all the legislation to be 
    found in the paragraph is necessary to accomplish the purpose of 
    retrenching expenditures. The Chair has been fortified in his 
    opinion on this proposition by a decision made by Chairman Howard 
    on February 29, 1932, on a proposition almost identical with the 
    pending proviso. In that instance the Chair overruled the point of 
    order on the ground that the provision came clearly within the 
    Holman rule.
        For the reasons stated the Chair is of the opinion that the 
    language to which the point of order has been directed clearly 
    comes within the provisions of the Holman rule, and, therefore, 
    overrules the point of order.

    Parliamentarian's Note: In both of the decisions cited above, an 
argument might have been advanced that a permanent change in law (the 
abolishment of an office) rendered the amendment or provision not 
germane to a one-year appropriation bill. In another ruling, in 1966, 
an amendment providing that appropriations ``herein and heretofore 
made'' shall be reduced by $70 million through the reduction of federal 
employees as the President determines was held to be legislative and 
not germane to the bill, since it went to funds other than those 
carried therein, and was therefore not within the Holman rule 
exception.(1)
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 1. See 112 Cong. Rec. 27424, 27425, 89th Cong. 2d Sess., Oct. 18, 
        1966. See also Sec. 5.9, infra.
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    Thus, one of the criteria frequently cited (2) as 
essential for application of the Holman rule was not met. Moreover, the 
Chair in the 1966 instance ruled that a reappropriation of unexpended 
balances, prohibited by Rule XXI clause 5 (now clause 6),(3) 
is not in order on a general appropriation bill under the guise of a 
Holman rule exception to Rule XXI clause 2.
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 2. See, in addition to the above 1939 ruling, Sec. 4.1, supra.
 3. See the discussion of this rule in Ch. 25, Sec. 3, supra.
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Reduction in Number of Naval Officers

Sec. 4.3 An amendment reducing the number of naval officers and 
    providing the method by which the reduction should be accomplished 
    was allowed under the Holman rule.

    On Jan. 20, 1938, during consideration in the Committee of the 
Whole of the Navy Department appropriation bill (H.R. 8993), a 
provision was read as follows: (4)
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 4. 83 Cong. Rec. 853, 75th Cong. 3d Sess.
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        Pay of naval personnel: For pay and allowances prescribed by 
    law of officers on sea duty and other duty, and officers on waiting 
    orders, pay--$35,461,649 . . .; pay and allowances of the Nurse 
    Corps, including assistant

[[Page 5325]]

    superintendents, directors, and assistant directors--pay, $560,020; 
    rental allowance, $24,000; subsistence allowance, $23,871; pay, 
    retired list, $271,976; in all $879,867; rent of quarters for 
    members of the Nurse Corps; . . . reimbursement for losses of 
    property as provided in the act approved October 6, 1917 (34 U.S.C. 
    981, 982) . . . $10,000; . . . in all, $176,-845,282; and no part 
    of such sum shall be available to pay active-duty pay and 
    allowances to officers in excess of nine on the retired list, 
    except retired officers temporarily ordered to active duty as 
    members of retiring and selection boards as authorized by law: 
    Provided, That, except for the public quarters occupied by the 
    Chief of Office of Naval Operations . . . and messes temporarily 
    set up on shore for officers attached to seagoing vessels, to 
    aviation units based on seagoing vessels including officers' messes 
    at the fleet air bases, and to landing forces and expeditions . . . 
    no appropriation contained in this act shall be available for the 
    pay, allowances, or other expenses of any enlisted man or civil 
    employee performing service in the residence or quarters of an 
    officer or officers on shore as a cook, waiter, or other work of a 
    character performed by a household servant.

    An amendment was then offered, and a point of order made, as 
indicated: (5)
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 5. Id. at pp. 854, 855.
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        The Clerk read as follows:

            Amendment offered by Mr. [Byron N.] Scott [of California]: 
        Page 26, line 8, after the word ``Provided'', insert ``That 
        commissioned line officers of the active list of the line of 
        the Navy (Marine Corps) carried by law as additional numbers or 
        passed over, shall be counted within the authorized total 
        number of such commissioned officers of the active list of the 
        line of the Navy: Provided further.''

        Mr. [William B.] Umstead [of North Carolina]: Mr. Chairman, I 
    make a point of order against the amendment offered by the 
    gentleman. I am willing to reserve the point of order if the 
    gentleman would like to be heard.
        The Chairman: (6) The gentleman will state his point 
    of order.
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 6. R. Ewing Thomason (Tex.).
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        Mr. Umstead: Mr. Chairman, I make the point of order that it is 
    legislation upon an appropriation bill, that it is contrary to 
    existing law, and that it does not and will not result in any 
    reduction in expenditures under this section.
        The Chairman: Does the gentleman from California [Mr. Scott] 
    care to be heard?
        Mr. Scott: Mr. Chairman, I expect the amendment will be held 
    germane under the exception known as the Holman rule.
        I call attention to the fact the act of July 22, 1933, fixes 
    the maximum commissioned line officers' strength of the Navy-- that 
    is, the number of line officers that we can have in the Navy at any 
    one time--at 6,531. This is exclusive of those officers who are 
    known as additional numbers in grade or additional numbers.
        On page 84 of the hearings had by the subcommittee of the 
    Appropriations Committee and in the second table thereon, it will 
    be seen that in

[[Page 5326]]

    cluding additional numbers the line officers' strength after the 
    commissioning of the class graduating from the Naval Academy in 
    June, 1938, would [be] 6,562 and after the commissioning of the 
    graduating class in June 1939, which is within the fiscal year for 
    which this bill makes appropriation, the number will be 6,824.
        The amendment does change existing law by providing that 
    officers in additional numbers category shall be included in the 
    authorized line-officer strength of the Regular Navy. At the 
    present time additional numbers are not counted as a part of the 
    authorized line-officer strength, which, as I have said, is 6,531. 
    If the amendment which I have offered is agreed to, the effect 
    would be--that is, if no counteracting legislation passes in the 
    meantime--to deny commissions to at least 293 midshipmen. It would 
    deny commissions to at least 293 midshipmen graduating in June 
    1939. This would make a difference between 6,824 and the 6,531 
    which is the line strength authorized by law.
        The table on page 91 of the hearings indicates there will be 
    591 graduates in June 1939. This would mean a reduction of 293 
    officers who otherwise would have to be appropriated for and would 
    retrench expenditures by reduction of the number and salary of the 
    officers of the United States as follows:
        For pay, subsistence, and transportation in the Navy, $44,975 
    in pay, including subsistence allowance, and $1,418 in 
    transportation, which is borne out by the figures on pages 236, 242 
    and 275, page 236 providing for pay, page 242 subsistence and 
    allowance, and page 275 for transportation. This would show the 
    exact amount that would be saved by denying commissions to 293 
    midshipmen graduating in June 1939.
        If the amendment is ruled in order I shall later offer 
    amendments carrying into effect the reduction of amounts that would 
    be caused if we commissioned the 293 graduates of the academy to 
    whom I expect to deny commissions. . . .
        The Chairman: The Chair is ready to rule, unless the gentleman 
    from North Carolina would like to be heard further.
        In the opinion of the Chair, there is no question about the 
    germaneness of the amendment. It seems to resolve itself largely 
    into a question of facts and figures as to whether or not the 
    amendment comes within the Holman rule. The part of the Holman 
    rule, with which the members of the Committee are familiar, that is 
    relevant here, is subsection 2 of rule XXI, which reads as follows:

            Nor shall any provision in any such bill or amendment 
        thereto changing existing law be in order, except such as being 
        germane to the subject matter of the bill shall retrench 
        expenditures by the reduction of the number and salary of the 
        officers of the United States by the reduction of the 
        compensation of any person paid out of the Treasury of the 
        United States, or by the reduction of amounts of money covered 
        by the bill.

        Section 1511 of volume VII of Cannon's Precedents of the House, 
    reads as follows:

            A proposition reducing the number of Army officers and 
        providing the method by which the reduction should be 
        accomplished was held to come within the exceptions under

[[Page 5327]]

        which legislation retrenching expenditure is in order on an 
        appropriation bill.

        A reading of the amendment, together with the facts stated by 
    the gentleman from California which, in the opinion of the Chair, 
    have not been successfully controverted, that the amendment will 
    actually reduce the number of officers as well as effect a 
    retrenchment of expenditures thereby brings the amendment within 
    the Holman rule cited by the Chair, and therefore the point of 
    order is overruled.

Ceiling on Employment

Sec. 4.4 To an appropriation bill, an amendment providing that no part 
    of any appropriation therein shall be used to pay the compensation 
    of any incumbent appointed to any position which may become vacant 
    during the year, except when the agency involved has reduced its 
    number of personnel in a specified manner, was held to be in order 
    under the Holman rule as a reduction in the number and salary of 
    the officers of the United States.

    On Mar. 21, 1952,(7) after an amendment had been offered 
to the independent offices appropriation bill (H.R. 7072), the 
following point of order was raised, and the decision of the Chair was 
as indicated above. The amendment was as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 7. 98 Cong. Rec. 2696, 82d Cong. 2d Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Amendment offered by Mr. Jensen: Page 64, after line 21, insert 
    a new section as follows:
        ``No part of any appropriation or authorization contained in 
    this act shall be used to pay the compensation of any incumbent 
    appointed to any civil office or position which may become vacant 
    during the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1952: Provided, That 
    this inhibition shall not apply--
        ``(a) to not to exceed 25 percent of all vacancies;
        ``(b) to positions filled from within a department, independent 
    executive bureau, board, commission, corporation, agency or office, 
    provided for in this act. . . . Provided further, That when any 
    department, independent executive bureau, board, commission, 
    corporation, agency or office, contained in this act shall, as the 
    result of the operation of this amendment reduce its personnel to a 
    number not exceeding 90 percent of the total number provided for in 
    this act, such amendment may cease to apply and said 90 percent 
    shall become a ceiling for employment during the fiscal year 1953, 
    and if exceeded at any time during fiscal year 1953 this amendment 
    shall again become operative.''
        Mr. [Albert] Thomas [of Texas]: Mr. Chairman, I make a point of 
    order against the amendment on the ground that it is legislation on 
    an appropriation bill, and on the further ground that it places 
    extra burdens and duties on the various boards, agencies, and 
    bureaus.

[[Page 5328]]

        The Chairman: (8) Will the gentleman point out the 
    specific language in the amendment to which he refers?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 8. Wilbur D. Mills (Ark.).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. Thomas: Yes, it is near the end:

            As the result of the operation of this amendment reduce its 
        personnel to a number not exceeding 90 percent of the total 
        number provided for in this act, such amendment may cease to 
        apply and said 90 percent shall become a ceiling for employment 
        during the fiscal year 1953, and if exceeded--

        There is an alternative there, as the Chair will see--
        at any time during fiscal year 1953 this amendment shall again 
        become operative.

        Somebody has got to make some decisions there; it places extra 
    duties in order to arrive at decisions; and on top of that it is 
    legislation.

        The Chairman: The Chair will be glad to hear the gentleman from 
    Iowa briefly if he desires to be heard on the point of order.
         [Mr. [Ben F.] Jensen [of Iowa]: Mr. Chairman, the best 
    evidence that this amendment is germane to the bill and is not 
    legislation is the fact that the amendment was adopted by the House 
    last year and was held to be germane by the Chair. Points of order 
    were raised against it at that time, as I recall.
         The amendment is not mandatory in the sense that the word 
    ``may'' is used where the additional burdens and responsibilities 
    might be placed on the agencies other than the 10 percent reduction 
    that must be made which is purely a limitation on an appropriation 
    bill and comes within the language and the intent of the Holman 
    rule.
        Mr. [Albert A.] Gore [of Tennessee]: Mr. Chairman, may I be 
    heard on the point of order?
        The Chairman: The Chair will hear the gentleman.
        Mr. Gore: Mr. Chairman, the amendment offered by the gentleman 
    from Iowa is legislation on an appropriation bill for the following 
    reasons: As stated in the next to the fourth line from the bottom, 
    upon the attainment of that condition under operation of the 
    amendment, thereupon the amendment affirmatively legislates in the 
    following language:

             Said 90 percent shall become a ceiling for employment 
        during the fiscal year 1953.

         That language, I respectfully submit, Mr. Chairman, is 
    legislation, it is affirmatively fixing a legal ceiling upon the 
    employment upon the attainment of a condition in the amendment; 
    therefore I respectfully suggest it is legislation on an 
    appropriation bill.
        The Chairman: . . . The gentleman from Tennessee says that the 
    language contained in the amendment ``said 90 percent shall become 
    a ceiling for employment during the fiscal year 1953'' is 
    legislation.
         The Chair is of the opinion that even if that language is 
    legislation, it is clearly within the Holman rule, as suggested by 
    the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Jensen). This, in the opinion of the 
    Chair, is a limitation within the meaning of the Holman rule by 
    limiting the number of employees within these agencies of 
    Government covered by this bill and the amount of money to be made 
    available under this bill.
         . . . The Chair is of the opinion that the amendment is in 
    order and there

[[Page 5329]]

    fore overrules the point of order made by the gentleman from Texas.

 Reduction of Total Appropriation

Sec. 4.5 To a general appropriation bill, an amendment providing that 
    total appropriations therein be reduced by a specified amount was 
    held in order (even though legislative in form) since it provided 
    for a retrenchment of expenditures and thus came within the Holman 
    rule.

     On Apr. 5, 1966, (9) during consideration in the 
Committee of the Whole of the Interior Department appropriation bill 
(H.R. 14215), the following proceedings took place:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9. 112 Cong. Rec. 7689, 89th Cong. 2d Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        [Mr. [Frank T.] Bow [of Ohio]: Mr. Chairman, I offer an 
    amendment.
         The Clerk read as follows:

             Amendment offered by Mr. Bow: On page 46, after line 21, 
        insert a new section as follows:
            ``Sec. 302. Appropriations made in this Act are hereby 
        reduced in the amount of $7,293,000.''

        Mr. [Winfield K.] Denton [of Indiana]: Mr. Chairman, I make a 
    point of order against the amendment, but will reserve the point of 
    order. . . .
         Mr. Chairman, there are numerous agencies covered by this 
    appropriation bill. While the executive branch has discretion not 
    to spend this money, the proposed amendment would force the 
    Executive to assign priorities to the various agencies. It would 
    place discretionary action with the President and, it is the 
    Congress who determines how funds shall be appropriated. The 
    amendment would take that authority from the Congress and give it 
    to the Executive.
        The Chairman: (10) I understand that the gentleman 
    from Indiana is insisting on his point of order?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
10. Charles M. Price (Ill.).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. Denton: Yes, Mr. Chairman.
        The Chairman: The Chair is prepared to rule. The amendment 
    would reduce the appropriations in this bill in the amount of 
    $7,293,000. The so-called Holman rule provides:

             Nor shall any provision in any such bill or amendment 
        thereto changing existing law be in order, except such as being 
        germane to the subject matter of the bill shall retrench 
        expenditures by the reduction of the number and salary of the 
        officers of the United States, by the reduction of the 
        compensation of any person paid out of the Treasury of the 
        United States, or by the reduction of amounts of money covered 
        by the bill.

         Therefore, the Chair overrules the point of order.

 Reducing Funds, Prohibiting Particular Use

Sec. 4.6 An amendment reducing an amount in a general appropriation 
    bill for the Postal Service and providing that no funds therein be 
    used to

[[Page 5330]]

    implement special bulk third-class rates for political committees 
    was held in order either as a negative limitation not specifically 
    requiring new determinations or as a retrenchment of expenditures 
    under the ``Holman Rule'' even assuming its legislative effect, 
    since the reduction of the amount in the bill would directly 
    accomplish the legislative result.

     On July 13, 1979,(11) during consideration in the 
Committee of the Whole of H.R. 4393 (Treasury Department, Postal 
Service and general government appropriation bill) a point of order 
against an amendment was overruled as indicated below:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
11. 125 Cong. Rec. 18453-55, 96th Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        The Chairman: (12) The Clerk will read.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
12. Richardson Preyer (N.C.).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        The Clerk read as follows:

             For payment to the Postal Service Fund for public service 
        costs and for revenue foregone on free and reduced rate mail, 
        pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 2401 (b) and (c), and for meeting the 
        liabilities of the former Post Office Department to the 
        Employees' Compensation Fund and to postal employees for earned 
        and unused annual leave as of June 30, 1971, pursuant to 39 
        U.S.C. 2004, $1,697,558,000.

        [Mr. [Dan] Glickman [of Kansas]: Mr. Chairman, I offer an 
    amendment.
         The Clerk read as follows:

             Amendment offered by Mr. Glickman: On page 9, line 3, 
        delete ``$1,697,558,000.'' and insert in lieu thereof 
        ``$1,672,810,000: Provided, That no funds appropriated herein 
        shall be available for implementing special bulk third-class 
        rates for `qualified political committees' authorized by Public 
        Law 95-593.''. . .

        [Mr. [Robert C.] Eckhardt [of Texas]: My point of order is that 
    the amendment places a burden on the Postal Department which would 
    not exist but for this amendment. . . . [I]f the amendment is 
    passed, it does not merely withhold funds, but it requires the 
    Postal Department to adjust the rates of the Postal Department in 
    order to comply with the limitation contained in this amendment. 
    Therefore, this is not a mere limitation on an appropriation but it 
    is a limitation which requires the Postal Department, as the 
    gentleman has stated in his letter, to adjust all rates, determine 
    which rates need adjustments, which ones qualify or would not 
    qualify under the provision, and, thus, reduce those rates to the 
    figures that would permit the reduction in revenue. Therefore, it 
    seems clear to me that this affords an extremely heavy burden on 
    the Postal Department which would not otherwise exist but for the 
    passage of the amendment. If this were not true, the situation 
    would create an anomalous condition which I had pointed out in my 
    initial question to the gentleman in the well and the author of the 
    amendment. It would create a situation in which the benefits 
    provided under section 3626 of title 39 would still be enjoyed by 
    qualifying political committees, and yet the Postal Department 
    would not

[[Page 5331]]

    be able to receive the adjustment due to the additional costs. It 
    seems to me that in effect if the gentleman is correct and if 
    adjustments are made in the rate, there is another change in 
    substantive law occasioned by the adjustment in rates. That is, the 
    adjustment in rates substantively changes Public Law 95-593 so as 
    to deprive qualified political committees, including the Democratic 
    Committee and the Republican Committee, and all others that 
    qualify, of the benefits that we have enacted in another piece of 
    legislation, not one that deals with the Postal Department but 
    deals generally with the rates of political parties with respect to 
    the use of the mails.
        Mr. Glickman: . . . The amendment is strictly one of 
    limitation. It reduces funding by $25 million and limits the use of 
    that funding with respect to the charging of postal rates. I would 
    state for the gentleman and for the Chair that section 3627 of 
    title 39, United States Code is discretionary authority to adjust 
    rates if the appropriation fails and is not mandatory authority 
    and, therefore, I do believe that the amendment is merely a 
    limitation and is germane. . . .
        The Chairman: The Chair is prepared to rule on the point of 
    order.
         In the opinion of the Chair, the amendment constitutes a 
    negative limitation on how funds in the bill are spent rather than 
    being legislation on an appropriations bill. No new determinations 
    are required. Even if the amendment should be considered as 
    constituting legislation, it constitutes a retrenchment because it 
    cuts the amounts in the bills and the legislative effect directly 
    contributes to that reduction.
         The Chair, therefore, overrules the point of order.

 Exception From a Retrenchment

Sec. 4.7 To an amendment in order under the Holman rule containing 
    legislation but retrenching expenditures by a formula reduction for 
    every agency funded by the bill, an amendment exempting from that 
    reduction several specific programs does not add further 
    legislation and is in order.

     On July 30, 1980, (13) during consideration in the 
Committee of the Whole of the Department of Agriculture appropriation 
bill (H.R. 7591), a point of order against an amendment was not 
sustained, as indicated below:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
13. 126 Cong. Rec. 20503, 96th Cong. 2d Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [Jamie L.] Whitten [of Mississippi]: Mr. Chairman, I offer 
    an amendment to the amendment.
        The Clerk read as follows:

            Amendment offered by Mr. Whitten to the amendment offered 
        by Mr. (Herbert E.) Harris (of Virginia): Strike (out the) 
        period and add: ``, except that this limitation shall not apply 
        to emergency or disaster programs of the Farmers Home 
        Administration and the Agricultural Stabilization and 
        Conservation Service and programs for the control of infectious 
        or contagious diseases of hu

[[Page 5332]]

        mans and animals carried out by the Food and Drug 
        Administration and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
        Service.''.

        Mr. Harris: Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a point of order 
    on that amendment. . . .
         I feel the amendment is clearly legislation on an 
    appropriation bill and does in fact do violence to my amendment. . 
    . .
        Mr. Whitten: . . . Deschler's Procedure, chapter 25, section 
    9.7 (states):

             An exception to a valid limitation in a general 
        appropriation bill is in order, providing the exception does 
        not add language legislative in effect.

         I do not consider that this adds legislative language to the 
    amendment. It is an exception to the limiting provision as offered. 
    I respectfully submit that it is in order and should be considered.

        The Chairman: (14)  The Chair is ready to rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
14. James C. Corman (Calif.).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

         An exception to a limitation or a retrenchment which does not 
    add legislation is clearly in order under the precedents, and the 
    point of order is not sustained.

 Exception From a Limited Use

Sec. 4.8 To an amendment retrenching expenditures in a general 
    appropriation bill by reducing amounts therein and prohibiting 
    their availability to particular recipients, an amendment lessening 
    the amount of the reduction and also providing an exception from 
    the limitation may be in order as a perfection of the retrenchment 
    if funds contained in the bill remain reduced thereby.

     On July 13, 1979,(15) it was held that, to an amendment 
to a general appropriation bill limiting the use of funds for the 
Postal Service to implement special mail rates for qualified political 
committees as authorized by law, an amendment lessening the amount of 
the reduction of funds in the original amendment and also excepting 
from the limitation certain congressional political committees as 
defined in law was in order either as an exception from a valid 
limitation which did not add legislation (since the determinations as 
to which political committees fit those descriptions were already 
required by law of the Postal Service) or as perfecting a retrenchment 
amendment while still reducing funds in the bill. The proceedings were 
as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
15. 125 Cong. Rec. 18456, 18457, 96th Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [William D.] Ford of Michigan: Mr. Chairman, I offer an 
    amendment to the amendment.
        The Clerk read as follows:

            Amendment offered by Mr. Ford of Michigan to the amendment 
        offered

[[Page 5333]]

        by Mr. [Dan] Glickman [of Kansas]: On page 9, line 3, delete 
        ``$1,697,558,000.'' and insert in lieu thereof 
        ``$1,676,810,000'' and strike the period after ``Public Law 95-
        593'' and insert the following: ``, other than the national, 
        state or congressional committee of a major or minor party as 
        defined in Public Law 92-178, as amended.''. . .

        Mr. [Robert C.] Eckhardt [of Texas]: Mr. Chairman, the Ford 
    amendment, is, indeed legislation on an appropriations act, because 
    by limiting the amount available under the bill, the Postal Service 
    will be required to establish two different rates; one for major 
    and minor political parties entitled under the bill and another 
    rate for political parties which do not qualify.
         Unlike the discretionary authority under section 3627, this 
    adjustment would be mandatory.
        I would like to point out that the reference in the bill is to 
    Public Law 92-178, which in its title VII deals with certain tax 
    incentives for contributions to candidates for public office and 
    which sets out certain definitions with respect to national 
    committees of national political parties and State committees of a 
    national political party as designated by the national committee of 
    such party. . . .
         Now, there are definitions here and those definitions must be 
    addressed by another body besides the Post Office Department; but 
    here the Post Office Department is going to have to determine 
    whether a committee is a State committee of a national political 
    party as designated by the national committee of such party and 
    must apply the definitions as the result of additional duties 
    attributed and ascribed to the Postal Department that are not 
    previously attributable to that Department; so there is, indeed, an 
    additional burden with respect to defining or establishing and 
    applying the definition of a major or minor party as defined under 
    this law and also with respect to establishing two separate rates 
    in order to accomplish the objective sought here. . . .
        Mr. Ford of Michigan: . . . First, I believe that the gentleman 
    from Texas (Mr. Eckhardt) confuses the addition of duties to the 
    executive branch that require the exercise of discretion and the 
    imposition of an obligation to make determinations that would not 
    otherwise have to be made.
         What our amendment does is it simply refers them to a clearly 
    defined interpretation, consistent with virtually everything else 
    that is contained in the postal code, with respect to qualifying 
    and nonqualifying people. . . .
         The second point is that I would refer to the gentleman's 
    argument against the amendment offered by the gentleman from Kansas 
    (Mr. Glickman) on this point of order in which he pointed out that 
    the effect of not adopting the amendment offered by the gentleman 
    from Kansas (Mr. Glickman) would be that the law would not be 
    changed, and that the Post Office Department would have a 
    continuing duty to determine whether a political party was a 
    political party for the purpose of giving them a subsidy, even 
    without the Glickman amendment. I suggest that the effect of 
    knocking out my amendment will be to leave the duty of the Postal 
    Service to make that determination much broader and much more 
    complex then it would with the narrowing effect of our amendment 
    which requires that they need only

[[Page 5334]]

    pick up the telephone and call the Federal Election Commission and 
    ask, ``Who, if anyone, qualifies for this class of mail? We have 
    got some people who are applying for a permit. Shall we grant them 
    the permit?''
         The way this discretion is exercised is not that you mail a 
    letter and wait to see if the Post Office catches you; you go down 
    to the Post Office first and you say, ``I am representing the 
    Democratic''--or the Republican--``National Committee. We wish to 
    have a permit with a number assigned to us so that our mail is 
    clearly identified and to entitle us to mail as a nonprofit 
    organization third class bulk mail.''
         At that point the Postal Service makes a determination as to 
    whether or not you qualify. They do not make a determination as to 
    whether the Democratic Party or the Republican Party qualifies; 
    they simply pick up the phone and call the FEC and find out. . . .
        The Chairman: (16) The Chair is prepared to rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
16. Richardson Preyer (N.C.).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

         Exceptions to limitations or retrenchments permitted to remain 
    in the bill are permitted if not constituting additional 
    legislation. In the opinion of the Chair, the law already imposes a 
    duty on the Postal Service, under Public Law 95-593, to determine 
    whether any political committee is a National, State, or 
    congressional committee of a political party.
         Public Law 95-593 provides definitions of what constitutes 
    political parties. Since these standards exist in the law, it is 
    the opinion of the Chair that no additional burden is imposed by 
    the amendment, or, in any event, the amendment remains a 
    retrenchment, and the point of order is overruled.