Louie Gohmert

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Gohmert Pleased to Announce Winners of 2015 Congressional Art Competition

2014/12/16

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) hosted a reception to honor the participants and announced the winners of the 2015 Congressional Art Competition on Saturday, in Marshall, Texas. He released the following statement regarding the outstanding art pieces submitted this year:


“Throughout history, art and its expression have always been vital to our culture. Personally, with one of my daughters being an artist, it has played a significant role in my family’s life. The Congressional Art Competition is a fun way for gifted artists in the district to showcase their talent. It also gives our high school artists another quality competition for their resume and portfolio. It is truly exciting to see numerous art pieces, from various artists across east Texas, displayed at The Michelson Museum in Marshall, Texas. Congratulations to the winners this year.”

2015 Congressional Art Winners:

 FIRST PLACE

Madalyn Garrett

Whitehouse H.S.

Mixed Media, “WILD FLOWERS”

 

SECOND PLACE

Josh Davis

Lufkin H.S.

Acrylic, “SAM HOUSTON”

 

THIRD PLACE

Scierra Waldron

Bishop T.K. Gorman H.S.

Photography, “ARBOL DE LA MESA VERDE”

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Nathan (Drew) Bienhoff, Jr.

Spring Hill H.S.

Mixed medium, “PASTURE SUNRISE”

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Asyri Austin

West Rusk H.S.

Pencil, “MRS. VIOLA THOMPSON”

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Shelby Hall

Bullard H.S.

Clayboard, “UP IN THE SKY”

 

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Yamilex Robles

Lufkin H.S.

 

Acrylic, “UNDER THE SEA”

The annual competition is open to high school students across the district. The first place winner was awarded a scholarship and has their artwork displayed in the United States Capitol Building for a year, alongside winning art from Congressional Districts across the United States.

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Gohmert Joins Texas Delegation in Support of Texas’ Lawsuit Against Executive Amnesty Action

2014/12/11

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01), along with Republican Members of the Texas Delegation, sent a letter of support to Governor Rick Perry and Governor Elect Greg Abbott regarding Texas’ lawsuit against Obama’s executive action amnesty.

“President Obama adamantly stated at least 22 times over the past six years that he could not create his own immigration law. However, the week before Thanksgiving, our Commander- in- Chief issued what amounts to a royal decree, which pretends to legalize approximately 5 million people who entered the United States unlawfully,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert.

“Now is not the time to surrender. Texas has been and still is on the front lines in the battle of combating illegal immigration, and the federal government has done little to help the massive influx of unlawful crossings and chaos on the southern border. It is more than encouraging seeing the state of Texas take a stand against this unconstitutional monarchical order from President Obama.”

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Click the links to view the letters sent to Governor Rick Perry and Governor Elect Greg Abbott.

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GOHMERT: Congress must use power of the purse to counter Obama

2014/12/07

President Obama adamantly stated at least 22 times over the past six years that he could not create his own immigration law. However, the week before Thanksgiving, our Commander- in- Chief issued what amounts to a royal decree, which pretends to legalize approximately 5 million people who entered the United States unlawfully.

Currently, minorities are suffering massive unemployment. So as the gap grows wider between the super rich and the working poor and as middle class wages continue stagnant, this President illegally and unconstitutionally adds another 5 million unauthorized aliens to compete for the sparse jobs which also cause wages to fall further. More than 92 million people of working age have given up even trying to find a job, so they are not counted in the unemployment rates. That ties the all time high record set by President Jimmy Carter. Add 5 million more to that and this President will stand alone by millions in the numbers he caused to hopelessly give up even looking for work. This President’s actions are single-handedly creating a constitutional crisis and hurting the citizens he took an oath to protect and defend. In fact, midterm election exit polling showed that 75 percent of Americans opposed a sweeping executive action and 80 percent rejected giving American jobs to foreign workers.

By a large majority, Americans want to see the border secured before any other reforms are done. A majority of Hispanics agree as well. Congress will be able to compromise on many important and needed immigration reforms. But until the border is secured, it is illogical to pass reforms which will require many amnesties in the future while the border remains open.

The argument that both Presidents Reagan and Bush issued an executive order regarding amnesty is disingenuous. In fact, their orders were done to carry out a newly passed law of Congress, not to create a new law itself. According to The Migration Policy Institute, Texas has the second most illegal immigrants eligible for Obama’s executive amnesty (743,000). They will apparently be eligible for both Medicare and Social Security which will cost our children and grandchildren money they haven’t even earned yet.

Under Obamacare, an employer of more than 50 employees must provide the mandated insurance or pay a fine of $3,000. However, because employers are not required to provide newly legalized workers with health insurance, employers can save at least $3,000 per employee if they dump U.S. citizen workers and hire the immigrants illegally in the country. In Great Britain and other countries, even legal immigrants are not eligible for any government benefits until they have paid into the system for a period of time. Not true for the immigrants who came illegally and are now rewarded by this royal decree.

It also seems a bit ironic that the President only wants to legalize people who have been violating the law for at least five years. In other words, if you are new at violating the law, this President does not want you. Regardless, it will likely only take signing a statement claiming presence here for five years without certain proof.

The Unites States Congress has the power of the purse, and it is time to stand on this authority given to the Legislative Branch by its founders. It has now been confirmed that Congress can completely defund the President’s illegal amnesty, regardless whether that money comes from fees or income tax revenue.

Now is not the time to surrender — it is the time to defund the President’s unconstitutional action while funding all of the rest of the government. In fact, it is time to defend the Constitution as every member of Congress swore to do.

Congressman Louie Gohmert is the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, Louie was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas.

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Louie Gohmert says GOP leaders abused House procedures to quickly pass flawed defense, immigration bills

2014/12/05

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Thursday charged his own Republican leadership with abusing House procedures this week in order to quickly pass a defense bill that no one had time to read, and an immigration bill that was watered down in a way that favors President Barack Obama.

Gohmert ran unsuccessfully to be the chair of the House Republican Study Committee, a group that reflects the views of more conservative Republican members. But he said perhaps his loss was fortunate, since it frees him up to criticize GOP leaders when necessary.

“Maybe it’s fortunate,” Gohmert said on the House floor. “I’m not the RSC chair, so I’m here to complain about the abuses when they happen by our own leadership.”

The huge defense bill authorizes a total of $557.1 billion in spending for fiscal year 2015. As they so often do, this bill passed easily in a bipartisan 300-119 vote on Thursday, and the Senate is expected to take it up next week.

But Gohmert said that while he thinks there are many good things in the huge bill, it was only cleared by the House Rules Committee Wednesday night, which meant no one had time to read and understand the bill.

“We didn’t have the three days that were originally promised by Republicans,” he said. “I voted no against a process that takes something as important as our national defense, and said, ‘here you go, here’s the whole thing, trust us, vote for it.’ ”

“You can’t push a bill this important on us,” he added. “I couldn’t in good conscious vote yes.”

In the final vote, 32 Republicans voted against the bill. During the week, many Republicans complained about language in the defense bill that designates hundreds of thousands of acres of land as protected wilderness areas, and creates new national parks. Send. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) have both criticized the House bill for those reasons.

The immigration bill that the House passed yesterday would nullify Obama’s executive action on immigration, but it was criticized by many Republicans because it’s a bill the Senate doesn’t have to take up, and in fact, the Senate will not consider it. Many Republicans are still hoping that the House takes up a must-pass spending bill next week that prevents the administration from implementing Obama’s immigration plan.

But Republicans like Gohmert were also critical of the substance of the bill. Gohmert noted that the bill was re-written in the House Rules Committee to say the president cannot exempt whole classes of people from immigration laws, except if there are “humanitarian purposes where the aliens are at imminent risk of serious bodily harm or death.”

Gohmert said he cosponsored the original bill, but that he could not support this change. He said the exception language might even be used by Obama to justify Obama’s recent action if it ever became law.

“The bill that I was willing to cosponsor completely changed in the addition of that exception,” he said.

Just before the House vote, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he also opposed language in the changed bill that seems to suggest that the executive branch might in some cases be able to exempt whole classes of people from immigration law, and said that language makes the bill ambiguous. King was one of the three Republicans who voted “present.”

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GOHMERT: American College Liberals Should Learn from their British Counterparts

2014/12/05

As universities in the United States are increasingly discriminating against conservatives and even cancelling invitations to speak, the highest levels of British learning extended invitations to me last week to speak at both Cambridge and Oxford.

Speaking engagements at Cambridge, Oxford, and one the most elite female high schools in the U.K. actually followed an invitation to address a joint group from both the House of Lords and the House of Commons in Parliament. Other speaking engagements there included such groups as the Federalist and Henry Jackson Societies.

After hearing of even Condoleezza Rice and other conservatives being dis-invited to speak on college campuses, I anticipated that chances were slim in the even more liberal United Kingdom of being allowed an audience. Yet, sure enough, they welcomed me with elegant grace.

That does not mean there weren’t some very pointed questions, which I welcomed, and lively debate, but they wanted to discuss and explore rather than persecute the one with whom they disagreed.

There was no question that people who extended invitations would hear protestations from people who had read statements taken out of context, distortions or misquotes attributed to me by media that seeks to silence those with whom they disagree. I learned of one specific objection.

Yet, all of the invitations for me to speak were very graciously honored and defended as appropriate by allowing different viewpoints. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the left in the U.S. felt the same way?  

I was so pleasantly surprised to find intellectual liberals who wanted to collaborate on solutions to the world’s most pressing dilemmas. It was also a bit intriguing to be at Oxford’s ‘New College,’ which is called ‘New’ because it was established in the 1379 making it nearly a couple hundred years newer than the earliest teaching at Oxford.

Meeting and speaking at Oxford’s Christ Church College was also amazing where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed and the novel Alice in Wonderland was inspired. Perhaps the highest compliment I received came at Oxford when a professor there told me with a grin, "you almost persuade me to become a conservative."

Sipping tea with a physics professor who informed me of recent data on “dark energy” while consuming hard biscuits with our tea was quite enjoyable. In turn, the senior professor inquired about political trends in the U.S. and enjoyed seeking the answers to questions where most U.S. liberals would never boldly nor sheepishly go. 

It just seems that if educational institutions dating back almost a thousand years ago with some of the world’s smartest students can eagerly welcome a staunch U.S. conservative and have robust debate while remaining friendly, shouldn’t American schools which arose for the sake of tolerance be able to be tolerant as well?  

Congressman Louie Gohmert is the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, Louie was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas. He also served as Chief Justice of Texas' 12th Court of Appeals.

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Gohmert: US Must Secure Border Before Considering Amnesty

2014/12/03

Speaking to a crowd on Wednesday, Gohmert said the the U.S. must learn from history. "History has happened, and we either learn from it or repeat it," Gohmert said. "But we're repeating it. In 1986, one of our greatest presidents -- I think the greatest of the 20th century -- got duped. Why? Because he believed the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate who told him, 'If you'll just sign this amnesty then we'll make sure the borders secured. We'll give you the money we'll take care of it.' Well he did his part and gave the amnesty, and the Congress did not give him the money to secure the border."

The Texas Congressman went on to say that before amnesty can be considered, the border must be secured. 

He mentioned building a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as a deterrent. "If the president wants to be consistent then he either needs to build a wall where a wall is capable of being built on our border, or he needs to [be told], 'Tear down your fence.' Either it works or it doesnt work. If [a wall] works in the White House -- and I have to admit it doesn't work all that well -- but we're finding out it's somewhat of a deterrent."

Gohmert continued, "Well if it's somewhat of a deterrent just down the street, it should be on our border."

If the U.S. allows Obama's "unconstitutional amnesty" to take place, Gohmert said, then there is "a prominent, looming question that must be answered: how long do you think we should go before we do the next amnesty? There are so many of us conservatives that have said, 'Secure the border and you'll be amazed what we'll be willing to negotiate.' But until you secure the border there's no sense in doing an amnesty because the quesiton becomes, 'How long until we should do the next one? And the next one? And the next one?'"

The U.S. will have a bleak future if it goes down that path, the Texan Congressman argued. "And then this country, which was such a bright light on the hill for so many, is no longer capable of being a thriving economy. It can't."

"As a government," Gohmert concluded, "whether you're Christian or non-Christian, as a government, the highest form of Christianity you can practice is to be impartial....People have prayed for over 200 years that we would have an impartial government. Don't show favoritism. So who's going to pay back all of those who paid tremendous amounts of money to do it legally and the right way? It's so grossly unfair to them. We have a commitment, we have an oath to keep."

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‘Open Rebellion’: Chaos if Republicans Don’t Withhold Funding for Obama Executive Amnesty

2014/11/20

Conservatives say that Republican leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will be “complicit” in President Barack Obama’s planned executive amnesty if they don’t pull out all the stops to block him.

They warn that chaos is around the corner if that’s how it goes down, even though they’d much rather have Republican leaders fight the president alongside them.

“Fight or be complicit in lawlessness,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told Breitbart News, is the message to congressional GOP leaders on Obama’s amnesty.

If Republicans move forward with the plan from House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) to fund the entire government—including Obama’s executive amnesty, which the president is set to announce on Thursday night—in an omnibus spending bill, a Senate GOP aide told Breitbart News conservatives will spread chaos across Washington.

“If Obama announces executive amnesty and the House passes an omnibus with no language blocking it, there will be no Senate vote, because conservatives will burn down the Capitol,” the aide said. When asked to clarify if he was serious they’d burn the building to the ground—or if he was speaking metaphorically—the aide said “open rebellion.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), one of many Republicans conference-wide who will be helping lead the charge to force Boehner to stop Obama, told Breitbart News that Republicans must stand and fight—and that they can and must win.

“Even though around three-quarters of voters this year opposed the idea of executive amnesty, President Obama is apparently going to announce his new royal amnesty decree before going to Las Vegas to promote it,” Gohmert said, adding:

Perhaps ‘Caesar’s Palace’ is an appropriate venue for the American Caesar’s regal proclamation that gambles away jobs for Americans. As an equal branch of government where legislation must originate, Congress must either fight it or we will be complicit in this amnesty as royal subjects and the democratic republic will be gone. Now is the time that Republicans need to stand strong for the principles for which the majority of American voters sent them to Washington. Dissatisfaction with the White House and Senate over amnesty issues was a significant reason the American people added Republican seats in the House and Republican control of the Senate. Congress must protect the Constitution and the American public from such a decree from Mt. Olympus that declares a state of lawlessness in America.

Elsewhere, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote for Politico that Obama is “not a monarch” and Congress can’t allow him to succeed:

The Constitution designs a system of checks and balances for our nation, and executive amnesty for immigrants here illegally unilaterally decreed from the White House would seriously undermine the rule of law. Our founders repeatedly warned about the dangers of unlimited power within the executive branch; Congress should heed those words as the President threatens to grant amnesty to millions of people who have come to our country illegally.

Incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said that Congress should fund the government while blocking funding for this “unconstitutional” act by Obama:

President Obama previously said he could not issue an executive amnesty because ‘I’m the President of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.’ Well, apparently we now have an ‘Emperor of the United States.’ President Obama’s immigration order would provide illegal immigrants with the exact benefits Congress has repeatedly rejected: Social Security numbers, photo IDs and work permits—which will allow them to now take jobs directly from struggling Americans in every occupation. Congress must not allow this unconstitutional action. That means Congress should fund the government while ensuring that no funds can be spent on this unlawful purpose.

George Rasley, the editor of Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ, told Breitbart News Republicans have a mandate from the voters to stop Obama.

“Obama’s extra-constitutional attempt to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens flies in the face of the results of the 2014 wave,” Rasley said. “If the Nov. 4 election was a demand for anything, it was a demand by grassroots American voters for a return to constitutional government.”

Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler told Breitbart News that any long-term funding bill is a “blank check” for Obama’s amnesty.

“Heritage Action welcomes creative thinking from congressional Republicans so long as creativity is not a synonym for inaction or delay,” Holler said. “Congress must use every tool at their disposal to block the President’s executive amnesty. A long-term funding bill is little more than a blank check for amnesty.”

Glyn Wright, the executive director of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, told Breitbart News that since immigration is such an important issue Republicans need to fight this and block Obama. “Immigration is the issue that defines all other issues, and the American people know it,” Wright said. “That’s why the President waited until after the midterm elections to take this action, and why voters gave the GOP a historical majority in the House and control of the Senate. If the Republicans want to be seen as viable and worthy of the power they have been given, they must stop this unprecedented and lawless act.”

Schlafly herself added that Obama is offending Americans with the executive order.

“Every action Obama is taking on amnesty is illegal, unconstitutional and offensive to the majority of the American voters,” Schlafly said.

A letter being circulated around the conservative movement and sent to all Republican members of Congress—signed by top conservative luminaries, including Ronald Reagan’s Attorney General Ed Meese, former Rep. David McIntosh, and more—calls on Republicans to use the power of the purse to block Obama’s amnesty. Other signers of the letter include Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, ForAmerica chairman Brent Bozell, RedState’s Erick Erickson, Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of the Senate Conservatives Fund, Tea Party Patriots’ Jenny Beth Martin, Let Freedom Ring’s Colin Hanna, Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, ConservativeHQ’s Richard Viguerie, Conservative Leadership PAC’s Morton Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, former Reagan advisers Becky Norton Dunlop and Kenneth Cribb, Jr., Al Regnery, former Rep. Bob McEwen, and others.

“Passage of a long term Continuing Resolution (CR) would rob newly elected members of the ability to begin making spending decisions and would remove a key leverage point they will have with President Obama to further pursue our agenda,” they write.

“Conservatives will be watching these next few weeks very closely,” they add. “We urge you to begin earning the trust placed in you by passing a short term CR, stopping President Obama’s planned executive amnesty, going home, and returning in January to pursue the agenda that the American people sent you here to enact.”

Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State, and others from that group have drafted a one-page resolution they hope the House will pass this week condemning Obama’s amnesty plans.

The Concurrent Resolution Of Congress they are pushing for a vote on cites Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution which reads: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.” The resolution reads:

And whereas it is the Constitutional right and duty of the Congress of the United States to exercise vigilance in protecting this sovereign legislative power from any encroachments by other branches of government or any other source whatsoever; And whereas Barack Obama, the President of the United States, may issue a purported Executive Order that has the effect of changing the law and policy of the United States relative to the status of millions of illegal aliens currently residing within the United States; And whereas his argument that he must act because the Congress has not acted regarding the status has no valid standing in law under the Constitution.

The resolution concludes by saying that Congress considers whatever executive action about to be taken “null and void.”

“It is the sense of Congress that this purported Executive Order is a usurpation of the legislative power vested solely in the Congress of the United States and, as such, is null and void,” the resolution says. “And be it further resolved that the Congress of the United States will use all of its Constitutional powers, particularly the power of the purse, to prevent the implementation of the provisions of said Executive Order.”

Gaston Mooney, the executive director of the Conservative Review, told Breitbart News that when Obama does the executive order, Republicans should not allow a single dime of taxpayer money to be spent implementing it.

“Republicans campaigned and overwhelmingly won on the promise to stop Obama’s agenda; now we will see whether or not they will make good on that promise or if they try and propose a bait and switch, hoping the American people won’t notice,” Mooney said in an email. “Stopping Obama’s lawless amnesty starts first with Republicans standing up.”

The three things Conservative Review is working to ensure happen are that Republicans use the upcoming budget fight—and they believe that there shouldn’t even be a short-term continuing resolution that funds the executive amnesty until the newly elected Senate GOP majority takes over—to stop him, that they block his judicial nominations and they fight him from governorships across the country.

Conservatives are making headway in this battle to get Republicans to fight Obama over this. On Wednesday, Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Mike McCaul (R-TX)—the chairmen, respectively, of the House Judiciary and House Homeland Security committees—wrote to Obama promising Republicans will use every power they have to stop this if he goes through with it. They write:

Instead of proceeding with ill-advised executive action, we implore you to work with Congress to enact legislation to address our broken immigration system. We strongly urge you to respect the Constitution and abandon any unconstitutional, unilateral executive actions on immigration. Let’s secure the border, enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the United States, and build a broad consensus for immigration reform. Otherwise, as the chairmen of the committees with oversight over border security and our nation’s immigration laws, we will be forced to use the tools afforded to Congress by the Constitution to stop your administration from successfully carrying out your plan.

McConnell has said that “it’s always appropriate” for Congress “use the power of the purse.” He adds he expects House Republicans to soon deliver a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government until early next year when his Senate Republicans take over.

“Yeah, we expect the House to go first,” McConnell said. “And I anticipate supporting whatever the House sends over. And so, I think we’re going to wait and see how the House handles this…But our goal is to fund the government.”

Even Boehner has gotten a bit tougher with his rhetoric, though he’s still not committing to using all options–such as blocking funding—to stop Obama.

“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for Congressional action on this issue – and many others,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an email to reporters on Wednesday that circulated a post on the Speaker’s website that references 22 separate times Obama himself said he doesn’t have the authority to do this.

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Gohmert's Statement on Obama's Unlawful Executive Amnesty Action

2014/11/20

Rep. Louie Gohmert issued the following statement regarding President Obama's speech announcing executive amnesty:

“Tonight President Obama issued an oral royal decree that will be followed by a written regal decree, as any good monarch would do. This unlawful, blatant executive action would legalize more than 5 million people here illegally. This president is single-handedly creating a constitutional crisis and hurting the citizens he took an oath to protect and defend. 
 
It has been reported that this unilateral amnesty move will add as many foreign workers to the nation’s legal labor force as the total number of new jobs created by his economy since 2009. President Obama’s regal proclamation is literally gambling away jobs for hard-working Americans, so naturally he would go to Las Vegas, perhaps Caesar’s Palace.

Regardless of whether or not it is recognized, the President’s illegal legislation is a slap in the face to the African-Americans and Hispanics who as citizens have a dramatically high unemployment rate. Though the amnesty working permits are being illegally and unconstitutionally done, they will no doubt displace millions of working citizens and at a lower hourly rate, driving up minority unemployment and driving down wages artificially.

It is the height of manipulation to make the announcement before the week of Thanksgiving when it will not get noticed by as many people whose futures may be crushed by the action.” 


Congressman Louie Gohmert is the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, Louie was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas. He also served as Chief Justice of Texas'12th Court of Appeals.

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GOP Lawmaker: ‘Remove The Fence From Around The White House’

2014/11/19

To make a point about the Obama administration’s stance on a fence across the southern border, one Republican lawmaker jokingly suggested in a congressional hearing Wednesday that the president should remove the fence protecting the White House.

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert made the comments during a House Judiciary Hearing Wednesday with Joseph Clancy, the acting director of the U.S. Secret Service. As lawmakers questioned the acting director about the recent fence jumpers at the White House, Gohmert connected the problem to border issues.

Gohmert told Clancy that if Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano thinks building a fence on the border is “worthless,” than it would be consistent for the administration to be against a White House fence too.

“I would think if the administration is going to be consistent,” Gohmert said, “it’s now time to remove the fence from around the White House. Because if it isn’t good enough for our border, it should not be good enough for the White House.”

Making clear he wasn’t being completely serious, Gohmert told the director: “I would ask you to consider that consistency and also consider the fact that maybe there really is some real virtue in having a fence that slows people down.”

Here is a transcript of the exchange:

Rep. Gohmert: “Has there been any thought to just eliminating the fence around the White House? Has Secretary Napolitano ever talked about that, maybe having a virtual fence, or electronic fences? Has that been discussed at all?

Joseph Clancy: “Sir, I’m not aware of any discussions in that regard.”

Gohmert: “Would you be in favor of removing the fence around the White House and having a virtual or electronic fence around it?”

Clancy: “Sir, my knee-jerk reaction that would be, no sir. Partly because of the number of tourists that come on Pennsylvania Avenue and come right up to that area and, you know, take pictures and whatnot.”

Gohmert: “Well you know the secretary has said, Secretary Napolitano, the fence was worthless. ‘You put a 10 foot fence up, somebody’s going to build a 12 foot ladder.’ So I would think if the administration is going to be consistent, it’s now time to remove the fence from around the White House. Because if it isn’t good enough for our border, it should not be good enough for the White House. So I would ask you to consider that consistency and also consider the fact that maybe there really is some real virtue in having a fence that slows people down.”

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Roots and Ribs: Why Louie Gohmert Wants to Head Conservative Caucus

2014/11/17

'I can preside judiciously': Rep. Louiie Gohmert, R-Texas (Photo: Jay Mallin/Newscom)

Louie Gohmert has Texas running through his veins.

Born in Pittsburg — that’s Pittsburg, Texas — he wears cowboy boots on the House floor. (He even offered them to Sen. Rand Paul during the Kentucky Republican’s 2013 filibuster.)

He is known for his legendary ribs. Covering the walls of his Capitol Hill office are odes to the Lone Star State: a poster for the Texas Blueberry Festival, an Aggies flag — from his alma mater — and banners of schools in his northeast Texas district.

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Gohmert, 61, has spent more than 30 years in public service. And now, he hopes to be elected by his colleagues as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, which formed four decades ago to advance a conservative agenda in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I can preside judiciously and my experience is unique in that area,” Gohmert says in an interview with The Daily Signal. “I’d like the opportunity to help guide the RSC and have more focus on assisting our members of the RSC in reaching the heights of which they’re capable.”

Also: Elect him to the chairmanship, Gohmert pledges, and members will enjoy those ribs every three months.

But the staunch conservative faces a pair of serious competitors for the chair: fellow Texan Bill Flores and South Carolinian Mick Mulvaney, the presumed frontrunner.

Serving Texas

Gohmert boasts an extensive history of public service, beginning with his career in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps until 1982.

Voters then elected him as a district judge in Smith County,  where he “gained national and international attention for some of his innovative rulings.”

One of Gohmert’s earlier brushes with the national spotlight came in 1996, four years after he was elected to the bench. In an effort to protect the community, he ordered a convicted car thief who was diagnosed HIV positive to seek written consent from future sexual partners. Gohmert gave the man an official form to carry out the probation requirement.

Gohmert had served 10 years as a district judge when Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to a term as chief justice of the 12th Circuit Court of Appeals.

After he completed that term in 2003, he was elected to the House from the 1st Congressional District with 61 percent of the vote. He won re-election to a sixth term Nov. 4.

Gohmert is widely popular with voters in his district, who see him as a staunch advocate for them in Washington and aren’t turned off by what some might consider headline-grabbing antics.

“In Tyler, Texas, he fits right in,” supporter Jim Arnold  told the Texas Tribune in 2012. “I don’t look at him as being controversial. I look at some of these other people as being brain-dead. I wish we had more people like Louie.”

Gohmert has yet to win less than 68 percent of the vote.

Paying Attention to Detail

A Southern Baptist, Louie Gohmert pays enormous attention to detail. He says it’s a trait that sets him apart from colleagues who take a “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it” approach to legislating.

When a bill addressing the flood of unaccompanied minors across the southern border was making its way through the House this summer, Gohmert was one of few to read the draft legislation. Up until the wee hours, Gohmert says, he read the bill from beginning to end, digested it a bit, and picked it back up to see if it was “as bad as I thought.”

It was, he notes.

Gohmert pointed out “dramatic flaws” of the draft bill, including “de facto amnesty” for illegal immigrants. He then spearheaded the successful effort to pass legislation from Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., before the House left for the August recess.

“That would’ve gotten our party crucified in August and I think would’ve dramatically harmed our election results in November,” Gohmert says of the original bill. “If I were not there leading that charge, then I think things wouldn’t have turned out so well in November.”

Gohmert, along with Flores, opposes any path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million in the country unlawfully. Mulvaney is open to reforms that offer legal status to illegal immigrants.

Gohmert is consistently outspoken on illegal immigration and same-sex marriage, isn’t seen as straying from his conservative values and doesn’t shy away from taking on House leadership.

He has vocally opposed Speaker John Boehner and abstained from voting in Thursday’s Republican leadership election, which saw current leaders returned. During the 2013 leadership election, Gohmert voted for Allen West, the Florida Republican who lost his House seat the year before.

That spirit of holding leadership accountable, Gohmert says, could bring the Republican Study Committee back to its origins.

Back to the RSC’s Roots

The RSC, founded in 1973, was meant to be a vehicle to advance conservative policies. But in recent years, critics argue, the 170-member group has drifted from that founding intent.

Gohmert says:

It seems we’ve moved into an area where [House] leadership helps choose the RSC leadership, and … when you owe somebody for your position, it makes it a little tougher to stand up to them when push comes to shove.

Instead, when acting for the RSC, Gohmert pledges to remain beholden only to the interests of the committee, a reflection of his career in the judicial system.

“I have experience in following the law,” he says. “That’s why I ran for Congress — to make it better. I think with the judicial experience I have in the past that I will be a real asset to the RSC as its leader.”

Although Gohmert frequents conservative talk radio shows and appears often on Fox News — he took host Sean Hannity to this year’s State of the Union address — he hopes to shine some of the national spotlight on colleagues.

“I come back again to the vision of making our RSC members become even more national figures than they ever would’ve been without being in the RSC and my being chair,” he says.

If Gohmert beats Flores and Mulvaney to head the committee, he plans to lead an effort to dig into the federal budget with the aim of reducing waste, fraud and abuse as well as the massive bureaucracy. He says:

You can’t ever get the government down to a more manageable level unless you know how many different programs are charged with doing the same thing. And since the goal of the government is not to get bigger as this administration has tried, but rather the goal of the government should be to serve the people of the United States. We’ve kind of gotten that backward in the last several years.

Gohmert even hopes to tackle the cost of belonging to the Republican Study Committee.

Each new lawmaker pays $2,500 during his or her freshman year. Returning members fork over $5,000 a year. Because RSC membership has grown over the years, the Texas conservative believes its dues should be cut.

Why?

“You show the government how to do it.”

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Contact Information

2243 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3035
Fax 202-226-1230
gohmert.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Judiciary

Natural Resources

Serving his fifth term in the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Louie Gohmert was first sworn in January 4, 2005. He proudly represents the First District of Texas which encompasses over 12 counties stretching nearly 120 miles down the state’s eastern border.

During these trying economic times, Rep. Gohmert is developing innovative solutions to jumpstart our economy and offering practical alternatives to the government’s bailout frenzy. His “Federal Income Tax Holiday” gained widespread national support from the grassroots level to national leaders, allowing taxpayers to decide how best to spend their hard-earned money. Louie has repeatedly called for an end to the socialization of our economy and decried the notion that Washington Bureaucrats know better than American taxpayers.

Louie serves on numerous House committees and subcommittees. He was recently named Vice Chair of the Judiciary subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security due to his extensive knowledge stemming from years in the court room.

Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, Louie was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas. During his tenure on the bench, he gained national and international attention for some of his innovative rulings. He was later appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals.

Louie received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and later graduated from Baylor School of Law. He is also a veteran having served his country as Captain in the U.S. Army.

Today, he and his wife Kathy are the proud parents of three daughters. Their family attends Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, where Louie has served as a deacon and still teaches Sunday school.


Serving With

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

Ralph Hall

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Steve Stockman

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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