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Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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Wednesday is shaping up to be a blockbuster day in political news, with Senate confirmation hearings scheduled for six of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees in addition to the President-elect holding his first press conference since July in midtown Manhattan.

That stacked schedule has some senior Democrats crying foul. They argue that, with the attention of the public and the political press divided between cities and hearings, Republicans will have an easier time forcing through some of the President-elect’s more controversial appointees.

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Lost in the public outcry over an ultimately failed proposal to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, House Republicans this week approved the reinstatement of an esoteric rule that could have a deeply chilling effect on the federal workforce.

The Holman Rule, passed Tuesday as part of the broader rules package for the 115th Congress, allows individual lawmakers to propose amendments to appropriations bills that request the termination of any government program or the reduction of the annual salary of individual federal employees to as low as $1.

A majority of the House and Senate would still need to approve any such amendment, but the lawmaker behind the resuscitation of the arcane rule said he fully expects it to be put to use.

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