WASHINGTON - A Defense spending bill passed the House Thursday night with an amendment from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., to reduce Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s salary to $1 − and she said even a buck is too much money.
The bill passed the chamber along party lines with a 218-210 vote.
“Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has been a failure for our military and for America,” Greene wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Last night, the DOD appropriations bill passed the House with my Holman rule amendment to reduce his salary to $1. But even that’s too much..”
The Holman rule “allows amendments to appropriations legislation that would reduce the salary of or fire specific federal employees, or cut a specific program,” according to the House Rules Committee.
House lawmakers have not targeted a single Defense salary in modern history − or maybe ever − like Greene has targeted the annual earnings of Austin, the country's first Black secretary of defense.
Greene criticized Austin for his handling of military recruitment and the removal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan on the House floor Wednesday, saying that “Secretary Austin has not fulfilled his job duties. As a matter of fact, he’s destroying our military.”
Austin currently makes more than $221,000 annually, according to Defense News.
Greene's push and the House bill that passed Thursday is more political theater than pragmatism. The House bill and proposed salary cut for Austin has no chance of passing the Senate, and the Pentagon doesn't seem to be concerned either.
Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told The New York Times that Austin “is focused on leading the Department of Defense and ensuring our service members worldwide have the resources and support the U.S. military needs to conduct our mission to defend the nation.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House Defense bill gives Austin $1 salary. Greene says it's 'too much'