Louie Gohmert

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Rep. Gohmert Sets Sit-In Stunt Dems Straight: 'Radical Islam Killed These Victims'

2016/06/23

During the extended takeover of the House floor by Democrats, a Texas congressman rushed to the well of the chamber to challenge taunts from Democrats that the Republicans are both cowards and responsible for the spree-shooting massacre in Orlando.

“Radical Islam killed those poor innocent victims! Radical Islam killed those poor innocent victims!” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Texas) pointing to a placard with the faces of the 49 victims killed June 12 by a Omar Mateen at Orlando’s Pulse, a gay nightclub. Some of the victims and more than 50 survivors were shot by police officers, but the details have not been released.

God bless @replouiegohmert !!! https://t.co/tx3N0UJhfp

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) June 23, 2016

At the time, Rep. Brad Sherman (D.-Calif.) was speaking and he called out one of the Republican congressmen still on the House floor after the chamber had been gaveled into recess: “Why is the gentleman afraid to hear me speak?”

Sherman made several taunts suggesting that the Republicans were cowards afraid of taking a vote in the minutes before Gohmert charged into the camera shot of Rep. Scott Peters (D.-Calif.), whose Periscope live-stream feed was being picked up by C-SPAN.

As Gohmert confronted the Democrats in the chamber’s well, other Democrats swarmed to the scene as did a group of Republicans in a scene that could only be described as a clearing of the dugouts. Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) was there and someone was calling out: “Billy, Billy, Separate them, Billy.” Most likely, “Billy” was Rep. Bill Flores (R.-Texas), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, which for many years was the considered the conservative bloc in the House.

House Democrats swarmed the House floor Wednesday shortly before 11:30 a.m., and except for three minutes at 12 noon and for the 20 minutes, for a 15-minute and five-minute votes after 10 p.m., they did not give it back. Despite the Democrats’ rowdy behavior and over-the-top rhetoric, Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) left the lights on, allowed Democrats to come and go, on and off the House floor and made no effort to keep food and drink off the House floor or to clear the House Press and Visitors Galleries.

Another Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.) posted on Facebook shortly after midnight that there was a crowd of protesters outside the Capitol shouting “Shame on you” and other derogatory chants. “These protestors, I’m sure many are paid.”

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Gohmert Applauds Supreme Court’s Refusal To Save Obama’s Unconstitutional Amnesty

2016/06/23

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement today applauding the Supreme Court of the United States for its refusal to declare President Obama’s unconstitutional immigration amnesty as lawful: 

“The ruling by the Supreme Court today is an immense victory for the American people and the United States Constitution. Blocked by a 4-4 tie, this decision upholds the lower court’s ruling that President Obama’s use of executive action to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants is completely unlawful.

“This administration simply cannot provide blanket unconstitutional amnesty to millions living in the U.S. illegally – by spoken word or an unwritten ‘memo.’ It is clear in the United States Constitution that the president is not allowed to write laws, only Congress is.”

“By virtue of healthy, lawful immigration, this country is a melting pot, and better for it. But, first and foremost, it is also a nation of laws; and, people breaking the law – to cut in front of the million plus people trying to enter legally each year - should not be rewarded with blanket amnesty.”

Congressman Gohmert is the Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, he was elected to three terms as State District Judge in Smith County, Texas and was appointed by then Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals of Texas.

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Gohmert on Anti-Terror Bill: ‘It Never Mentions The Term Radical Islam’

2016/06/20

In the aftermath of the Orlando terrorist attack, the vast majority of House Republicans voted in favor of legislation designed to enhance efforts to combat “violent extremism,” but one of the three who voted against it, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, said he did so because it fails to identify “radical Islam” as the problem.

“It never mentions the term ‘radical Islam,’ and after the Orlando shooting, we have an obligation when the administration won’t call it what it is, to start calling it what it is,” he said on the House floor on Thursday.

GOP leaders hailed the Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act (H.R. 5471), with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying in a statement the House had “moved quickly and aggressively on legislation that will better protect our communities and the homeland.”

The bill, introduced by McCarthy and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, essentially bundles three bills already passed by the House, in the hope that doing so will speed up the process of getting the through the Senate and onto the president’s desk.

The bill aims to push back on terrorist propaganda through counter-messaging, education and outreach; authorizes additional training for Department of Homeland Security and other personnel, with a focus on community awareness outreach efforts and the use of “fusion centers” nationwide; requires additional DHS assessment and reporting to Congress on the efforts; and establishes in law a counterterrorism advisory board with members from across relevant federal agencies.  

One thing H.R. 5471 does not do is mention “radical Islam,” “Islamist,” “jihad” or similar terminology. Instead it uses the administration’s preferred term for the threat – “countering violent extremism” or CVE.

The bill passed by a large margin – 402-15, with 14 members not voting. Three of the 15 “nays” came from Republicans – two were libertarian Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.), and the third was Gohmert.

Explaining his objections, he said, “Every Republican I heard speak on this issue, including those from Homeland Security, have acknowledged the president and our intelligence need to start talking about jihad, Muslim, Islam, radical Muslim, radical Islam, Muslim Brotherhood …”

“And they’re not allowed to talk about it without risking their career and that’s why I voted no on the bill today,” Gohmert added.

Noting several references in the bill to “violent extremism,” he argued that the measure “basically tells the Secretary of Homeland Security, you know, keep countering ‘violent extremism.’”

“It never mentions the term ‘radical Islam,’ and after the Orlando shooting, we have an obligation when the administration won’t call it what it is, to start calling it what it is,” he said. “And I think the bill really didn't do what we needed done.”

Earlier in his speech Gohmert pointed to the FBI’s counter-terrorism analytical lexicon, and said there were evidently terms that are “off-limits” for the administration.

Terms used multiple times in the 9/11 Commission Report, including jihad, Islam and Muslim, were absent in the FBI document, he observed. (Gohmert used a chart, compiled by Stephen Coughlin, an expert on Islamic jihad, contrasting terms used in the 9/11 Commission Report on the one hand with the administration’s National Intelligence Strategy and FBI lexicon on the other.)

“We want to make sure that we don’t want to offend the people who want to kill us and destroy our way of life,” Gohmert charged.

“You want a quick end to your career in the FBI or in our intelligence agencies, then all you have to use is the term jihad, Muslim, Islam,” he said. “If you talk about the Muslim Brotherhood, your career is pretty well over.”

Even though radical Islamists were “making clear they want an international caliphate,” he said, “you don’t want to say it in this administration.”

‘We have to define the enemy to defeat it’

Although the bill refers to “violent extremism” and not the other terms cited by Gohmert, McCaul and McCarthy in a joint statement did speak about “radical Islamist terror.”

“Our city streets have become the frontlines in the war against radical Islamist terror,” it said. “To honor the memory of the victims in Orlando, we must rededicate ourselves to preventing terrorists from gaining a foothold in our communities.”

In his own comments on the House floor, McCaul also stressed the need to “define the enemy.”

He noted that the attacks in Boston, Chattanooga, San Bernardino and now Orlando had all been “perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.”

“We have to define the enemy to defeat it,” he said. “That is a basic military strategy.”

In a recent article, Heritage Foundation scholar Robin Simcox wrote that the “violent extremism” term favored by the administration was first made popular in Britain.

“First mainstreamed by the British government, ‘violent extremism’ was dreamed up as a way to avoid saying ‘Islamic’ or ‘Islamist’ extremism in the months after the July 2005 suicide bombings in London,” he said. “The phrase swiftly traveled across the Atlantic and into the U.S. government’s vocabulary.”

Simcox described the CVE strategy as “the symptom of a craven approach to addressing the causes of terrorism.”

The three bills bundled into the new legislation were the Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terrorism (ALERT) Act (H.R. 4401), the Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act (H.R. 4407) and the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act (H.R. 4820).

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SBA Disaster Loan Application Deadlines Nears

2016/06/20

 Two important deadlines are ahead for Texans who are considering a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration for recovery from the April storms and flooding.

Most survivors who registered with FEMA for disaster assistance were contacted by the SBA with information on the agency’s loan-interest disaster loans, as well as instructions on how to complete the loan application.

The deadline to submit the application for physical damage is June 24, 2016.  The deadline for businesses to submit a loan application for economic injury is Jan. 25, 2017.

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property, offering low-interest disaster assistance loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

Survivors may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s customer service center by calling 800-659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call 800-877-8339. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit sba.gov/disaster.


Completed applications should be mailed to:

U.S. Small Business Administration

Processing and Disbursement Center

14925 Kingsport Rd.

Fort Worth, TX  76155

SBA loan applications should be submitted even as disaster survivors await an insurance settlement. The loan balance is reduced by the settlement. SBA loans may also be available for losses not covered by insurance.

Both FEMA and the SBA encourage Texans who suffered damage or loss from the April storms and were provided a loan application to complete the application.  There is no obligation to take a loan if offered. If approved, and a survivor does not accept the loan, it may make them ineligible for additional federal assistance.

  • Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence.
  • Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.
  • Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury. SBA offers low-interest working capital loans—called Economic Injury Disaster Loans—to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

 

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GOP Leaders Set To Endorse Obama’s Failed Anti-JIhad Strategy

2016/06/16

House GOP leaders are set to endorse President Barack Obama’s failed domestic anti-jihad strategy, according to Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert.

The GOP’s Obama endorsement is hidden in a new bill, titled the ‘‘Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act.” The showpiece bill’s title and language is undermined by numerous exceptions that allow the president to continue his failed “Countering Violent Extremism” strategy,  Gohmert said. 

[Submit]The bill is a post-Orlando showpiece that actually entrenches Obama’s harmful policies, he said. “All this is doing is giving more and more credibility to this ridiculous term ‘CVE’ instead of describing the killers that were behind 9/11, the Boston bombings, the San Bernardino attack, the Orlando shooting, the bomber in Times Square… all these people who are trying to kill us in America,” he said.

“We’re doing the same thing as the president… we’re not identifying radical Islam” as the enemy which nurtures and motivates attackers, Gohmert. “There is going to be more and more killings of Americans … until we can train our people to recognize radical Islam,” he said.

Under the CVE strategy, Obama has blocked FBI investigators from examining the supposedly non-political and peaceful networks of mosques that actually nurture jihadi attitudes, while redirecting FBI attention to less dangerous non-Islamic groups, such as small-government militias. The strategy has also put FBI agents under the supervision of an oversight panel influenced by Muslim political activists, including an immigrant who reportedly welcomed the slaughter of 3,000 Americans in 2001 by her Muslim co-religionists.  

Moreover, Obama’s tight restrictions on investigators have not earned the expected cooperation from Islamic groups. In fact, many self-segregating Islamic groups have rejected Obama’s proposal to allow local Imams to police their young men in exchange for sharing information about jihadi groups with the FBI.

The GOP endorsement bill is slated for a vote as early as Thursday, June 16.

Under a subtitle, “AMPLIFYING LOCAL EFFORTS TO ROOT OUT TERROR,” the bill simply authorizes extra training, the creation of a committee and establishes some conditional reporting requirements, according to the draft given to Breitbart. The bill does not reform Obama’s CVE strategy, training rules or investigative priorities.

The bill was drafted by staff working for Rep. Michael McCaul,  R-Texas, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.  Press aides at the committee declined to comment on the bill, or even if the committee plans to hold oversight hearing on Obama’s failed CVE strategy in the run-up to the 2016 election.

In March, McCaul endorsed Obama’s tacit alliance with U.S-based Islamic religious groups, many of which share overlapping umbrella networks that are exempt from normal FBI anti-terror monitoring. 

“The effective thing is … effective outreach to the Muslim community, so you can pull the religious leaders really on to our team, if you will, to protect us from radicalization from within those communities,” he said March 27. “I think we can get good intelligence from the Muslim communities in our outreach efforts, in our working with the religious leaders in the communities in the United States,” he said.

In contrast, federal prosecutors do not offer political favors to let the Catholic priests run law-enforcement tasks in Latino neighborhoods, for example, keeping track of MS-13 and various drug-gangs.

In practice, much of that hoped-for intelligence about emerging jihadis has been blocked by determined opposition from Islamist advocates. For example, Linda Sarsour, a prominent Islamic advocate who is called a “Champion of Change” by Obama’s deputies, is a strong opponent of the information-exchange. 

The government’s practice of providing funds to Muslim community partners in the fight against violent extremism has also raised concerns about the true goal of these partnerships. Are they being formed in order to gather intelligence and information about community members, or to actually engage in valuable community outreach about civil rights protections? CVE programs can foster mistrust between government entities and community members.

In December 2015, George Selim, then the  director of the Office for Community Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security, told NPR that Muslim communities are not identifying emerging jihadis. 

The research and the statistics have all indicated that peers, people that are in close association with subjects that ultimately commit an act like this, see something that’s a little bit out of the norm, but they don’t necessarily report it. And so part of our goal is to create the type of partnerships in which peers know when and how to elevate those type of suspicions.

There’s growing evidence that wife of the Orlando jihadi knew of his pending attack, but did not warn Americans.

Gohmert is trying to reform the McCaul bill before the vote — but he’s skeptical the GOP leadership is willing to fight for an effective anti-jihad strategy.

“There are plenty of representatives who are concerned about this, but the Speaker [Rep. Paul Ryan] and the Majority Leader [Rep. Kevin McCarthy] control what comes to the floor for a vote. and they have no intentions of bringing a bill that says we’ll stop radical Islamists,” he said.

Anti-jihad groups are urging voters to protest the planned bill. “Congress is about to help President Obama whitewash his approach to Counterterrorism to hide any mention or focus on Islamists or their Jihad against the free world,” said Jim Hanson, an executive vice president at the Center for Security Policy. “The Countering Violent Extremism Bill ignores the very Islamic nature of the Sharia ideology that motivates our enemies to slaughter innocents from Paris to Orlando,” he added. 

The problems in Obama’s CVE strategy, said Gohmert, include the tight curbs on FBI investigations and training, the gag order to prevent any discussion of Islamic ideas — such as ‘jihad,’ ‘sharia’ or ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ — an intrusive oversight panel staffed by Islamic advocates, the legal shield for Islamic networks and political groups, and an eagerness to direct stigma and investigations against non-Islamic groups, such as “right wing militias,” plus its failure to win cooperation from self-segregating Islamic political groups. 

For example, the gag-order means “the FBI is not allowed to learn or discuss or look for the things that radical islamics read, or the type of activities they’re doing when they going through radicalization,” Gohmert said.

In contrast, GOP 2016 candidate Donald Trump has called for more oversight over the Islamic networks. “We have to maybe check, respectfully, the mosques and we have to check other places because this is a problem that, if we don’t solve it, it’s going to eat our country alive,” he said during his June 15 campaign rally in Atlanta, Georgia.

Obama’s CVE strategy also created an advisory group of outsiders who have much influence over FBI investigations.

The committee has pushed for a FBI focus on non-Islamic groups, and just before the Orlando massacre, presented a report to top DHS officials asking for a gag-order that would prevent officials from studying, debating or even recognizing jihadi ideas. Officials should “reject religiously-charged terminology and problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English,” said the report, which also urged officials to use “American English instead of religious, legal and cultural terms like ‘jihad,’ ‘sharia,’ ‘takfir’ or ‘umma,” according to the The Daily Caller

That’s the equivalent of President Franklin Roosevelt and his generals and their soldiers waging war against National Socialist Germany without mentioning “Blitzkrieg,” “U-boat,” “Fuhrer,” “Lebensraum,” “Panzer,” “Stuka,” or “Untermensch” or “Flak,” “Panzerfaust” or “SS.”

Committee co-chair Farah Pandith was born in the Muslim-vs.-Hindu battleground of Kashmir. For decades, that area has suffered from Muslim attacks, and many non-Arab Muslims consider that war to be as important as the Arab fight to destroy the Jewish state.

In 2012, co-chair Adnan Kifayat threatened this reporter with criminal charges for asking George Selim about the White House’s many quiet contacts with the Council on American Islamic Relations. “That was wrong… it is really bad form … You’re putting a career at risk by asking [questions] without telling him… you cannot ambush people and expect them to actually cooperate,” Kifayat told this reporter.

The CAIR group is so closely entwined with Islamists and with jihadis that court documents and news reports show that at least five of its people — either board members, employees or former employees — have been jailed or repatriated for various financial and terror-related offenses. Critics show that CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Texas-based criminal effort to deliver $12 million to the Jew-hating HAMAS jihad group, and that CAIR was founded with $490,000 from HAMAS.

Another member, Mohamed Elibiary, quit in 2014 after he tweeted that the Islamic empire, dubbed the “caliphate,” will return.

Obama’s deputies have recently appointed a young Muslim activist from Syria to the panel, Laila Alawa. She wears a hijab in observance to Islam, has tweeted a message supporting the 9/11 atrocity by her fellow Muslims, and tweeted a series of hateful messages about jihad opponents, according to a new report in The Daily Caller.

 

The new GOP bill eliminates any GOP oversight or leverage over Obama’s counter-productive CVE strategy by adding numerous loopholes in the weak GOP bill, Gohmert said. For example, the bill says; 

COORDINATION.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall, where appropriate, coordinate the efforts described in subsection (a) with the heads of other Federal departments and agencies, as appropriate, and, to the extent practicable, engage nongovernmental and international partners in the identification and use of testimonials described in such subsection. 

But the phrase “to the extent practicable” really means “only if you want to … if it is not too much trouble,” Gohmert said. The phrase “where appropriate” really means “if you feel like you want to,” he said. 

“Shakespeare has the appropriate phrase— much ado about nothing,” he added.

“We all know most Muslims are not terrorists,” said Gohmert. “At the same time, it is ridiculous to not recognize there are radical islamists who are in America, who want to bring this country down and who think they go to paradise if they kill Americans.”

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GOP Lawmaker Reveals the ‘Absolutely Insane’ Possible Reason Why FBI Didn’t Catch on to Orlando Shooter’s Apparent Radicalization Until It Was Too Late

2016/06/16

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) identified what he believes is one reason Omar Mateen was able to walk into a gay nightclub in Orlando and kill 49 people, despite having previously been interviewed by the FBI: Agents are not allowed to ask the questions that help determine if a person has been or is being radicalized.

“They don’t know what to ask when trying to discern if one has been radicalized,” Gohmert told TheBlaze Wednesday. Gohmert, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees issues related to homeland security and terrorism, among other things, was referring to how the FBI lexicon does not include terms that he says could help authorities determine whether an individual poses any risk to the American public.

“FBI agents and current Homeland Security agents are not being allowed to understand or be taught how you can recognize someone who’s been radicalized by what they’re reading, what they’re doing, who they’re studying under, what mosques they’re attending,” Gohmert said. “There are many factors that help discern if someone has been radicalized before they kill people, and this administration will not allow those things to be taught to our FBI, State Department, Defense Department and intelligence agencies.”

Among the terms that appear nowhere in the FBI’s lexicon are “jihad,” “Muslim,” “Islam,” “caliphate,” “Muslim Brotherhood,” “al Qaeda” and “Shariah.” Such terms were “purged” from official counterterrorism training manuals government-wide as the result of a series of policies the Obama administration enacted in 2011-2012, which TheBlaze reported on this extensively at the time.

“Generally speaking, I think it is absolutely insane,” Gohmert told TheBlaze. “It is absolutely insane that you would not allow FBI agents to be trained about verses in the Quran, which help radicalize the Muslims.”

Gohmert pointed to at least one other terrorist attack on American soil, which he says might have been preventable with more extensive FBI training: the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, when Gohmert says the administration dismissed the Russian government’s initial warning about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The administration eventually did contact the older of the two Tsarnaev brothers and his mother, both of whom denied that the then 19-year-old had any terroristic motivations, Gohmert said. “And that was about the extent” of the investigation, he told TheBlaze.

As for what lawmakers on Capitol Hill are doing in the wake of the of Orlando attack? The Texas lawmaker said that the House is scheduled to vote on a bill Thursday that recommends that the Department of Homeland Security further train and equip local law enforcement on countering domestic terrorism.

However, as Gohmert later pointed out, the language of the bill doesn’t necessarily require DHS to do so.

“This is our response after people are killed?” Gohmert said, adding that this particular piece of legislation “does absolutely nothing.” “That’s why I say it is a dangerous time to be living in America with a president who refuses to follow his oath to protect America.”

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Gohmert Honors and Remembers the Fallen on Memorial Day

2016/05/30

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement on a day we remember those who have fought courageously and paid the ultimate price for our freedom:

“Today we remember and honor the lives of those who have bravely sacrificed their all for the sake of our freedom. The men and women in the United States Armed Forces are truly courageous patriots. There is no doubt that we have the freedom and the liberties we do in this country because of the sacrifice and the willingness of those who’ve gone before us.”

“Today is a day for the nation to reflect on the priceless lives and limbs sacrificed on the altar of freedom - not just for ourselves, but for the greater good of all. When faced with perilous circumstances and an opportunity to retreat, these patriots stood firm and tall under the banner of the red, white and blue.”

“We owe a debt of gratitude to those currently serving in the military, veterans and those who protected us with their lives. May we kneel and thank God for those who came willing to serve and thank God for their sacrifice.”

Congressman Gohmert is the Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, he was elected to three terms as State District Judge in Smith County, Texas and was appointed by then Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals of Texas.

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Park Service Execs Commit Ethical Misconduct, Get ‘Punished’ With Promotions

2016/05/24

Grand Canyon National Park’s top administrator was offered a promotion to a cushy Washington job soon after an investigation revealed a culture of sexual harassment had plagued the famous Arizona site’s staff for 15 years.

That’s just one of many examples of Department of the Interior (DOI) employee misconduct that was “punished” with promotions and highlighted during a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

“The appearance of rewarding bad behavior is not the desired outcome, nor a proper deterrent,” Deputy DOI Inspector General (IG) Mary Kendall told the panel. “DOI does not do well in holding accountable those employees who violate laws, rules and regulations.”

David Uberuaga was promoted to Grand Canyon superintendent after heading Mount Rainier National Park where an official investigation revealed he “sold his home at an inflated price to a park concessioner,” Rep. Raul Labrador said during the hearing.

At Grand Canyon, Uberuaga allowed a culture of sexual harassment, DOI’s Inspector General (IG) recently found.

Uberuaga retired in lieu of the promotion to the nation’s capital, which was offered by National Park Service (NPS) Director Jonathan Jarvis, who also approved Uberuaga’s Grand Canyon promotion.

Meanwhile, Jarvis admitted to the IG that he’s “gotten my ass in trouble many, many, many times in the Park Service.”

Jarvis was also a violator of DOI ethics standards after using his official position to obtain a book deal that included use of the NPS logo and was marketed in NPS stores, the IG recently revealed.

“He told our investigations he intentionally chose not to consult the ethics office because he was afraid it would either slow down or thwart his efforts to write the book,” Kendall told the panel.

Jarvis even “lied to the [DOI] secretary about it,” Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Louie Gohmert said, showing a hand written-note from the director to DOI Secretary Sally Jewell. Gohmert is a Texas Republican.

Labrador, an Idaho Republican, described numerous other incidents involving Jarvis.

“Astonishingly, in 2009, Director Jarvis himself circulated a memo detailing his expectation that NPS employees maintain the highest ethical standard,” according to a subcommittee hearing document.

Jarvis was punished for writing his book with a letter of reprimand, monthly consultations with an ethics official and was stripped of responsibility for managing employee ethics in the Park Service.

“Most folks are excited to get rid” of the “thankless job” of ethics management, Gohmert said.

“Blatant ethical violations by the NPS director, made worse by his admission that he intentionally avoided seeking ethics guidance, conveys the message to employees that ethics rules are not important, perhaps even optional,” Kendall said.

The hearing highlighted other cases of misconduct by DOI managers that resulted in minimal punishment, or even promotions, and even more were exposed in IG reports.

“Ethical misconduct … has been treated with a lack of accountability,” Gohmert said. DOI has “fostered a culture in which serious violations” are unpunished.

Kendall noted that no one was fired for misconduct.

Yellowstone National Park Chief Ranger Timothy Reid, for example, hadn’t lived on park property in his NPS apartment as required since he obtained his position, and his wife even used it to support his family’s bed and breakfast, an IG investigation found.

Reid was later promoted to Devils Tower National Monument superintendent.

Additionally, Bureau of Indian Education Director of Education Charles “Monty” Roessel – who oversees schooling for around 47,000 Native American students – used his position to hire his lover and a relative, another IG report found.

“Mr. Roessel’s conduct is certainly not the kind of example we want to set for these kids,” Gohmert said.

But DOI issues don’t stop with misconduct. Kendall highlighted how the agency has deterred employees from reporting internal violations.

“There is a pervasive perception by many employees in some bureaus that contacting the [IG] to report wrongdoing places them in jeopardy of retaliation,” the IG told the panel. “We often learn that management takes more effort to identify the source of a complaint than to explore whether the complaint has merit.”

“In some instances, efforts have been made to restrict the ability of employees to contact us,” Kendall continued.

Additionally, Rep. Jody Hice , a Georgia Republican, pointed to DOI obstruction of Freedom of Information Act requests.

The subcommittee’s lead Democrat, Rep. Lacy Clay, argued that DOI managers’ misconduct overshadows most employees’ good work, citing major ethics violations that occurred under the Bush administration.

The Missouri Democrat said the hearing’s title, “Oversight Hearing on Investigating the Culture of Corruption at the Department of the Interior,” is reminiscent of an episode of a Maury Povich show.

Clay did, however, admit that the cases the subcommittee highlighted “are even more inexcusable since they are high ranking officials. They should set an example for the people working under them and for the American people that they serve.”

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Gohmert: Waging war against Washington spending

2016/05/23

When Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert first ran for Congress in 2004, the former Texas judge was hoping to make a difference for those who entered his court. Too many federal laws, he believed, were preventing them from reaching their potential.

Since that time, Gohmert said, he has found that the design of Congress makes it hard for those laws to change, and that even his own party is often unhelpful. "Too often we go along to get along, and we keep doing the same thing," he told the Washington Examiner.

The changes that need to be made, Gohmert believes, involve the way that Congress puts out a budget. He's proposed a balanced budget amendment that would require spending to match revenue at a rate not to exceed 18.5 percent. (Spending for fiscal 2016 is estimated at 21 percent, and is expected to rise to 23 percent in the coming years.)

He added that the Congressional Budget Office, which "scores" congressional appropriations legislation, needs to have more accountability mechanisms in place.

"I don't think any entity whose margin of error on score is plus or minus 400 percent should be scoring bills," Gohmert said. "But if you got different entities to score our bills, and developed a grading process for rating the scorers, you could have more objective and more accurate scoring of bills."

Washington Examiner: What initially motivated you to run for Congress, and how have your impressions of it been shaped since arriving?

Gohmert: What I noticed when I was a judge is that, while I believed in holding people accountable for misconduct, I also noticed there were federal laws that encouraged people not to reach their potential.

Those encouraged young people, for example, not to finish high school. Someone would say drop out, the government will send you checks. Then they would find out you can't live very well on what you get for having a child out of wedlock.

This wasn't true for everyone, but some would have another child to get another check, still not got ahead, and then another, and still not get ahead, and before they knew it, they were in a hole they couldn't get out of. So the ones who came before me for welfare fraud would ultimately decide they need to try to get a job, and then maybe if they have the job and they're getting the welfare benefits, then they can have a shot at getting out of the hole.

Also from the Washington Examiner

I never sent any of those to prison, even though they were felony fraud cases. But I would give them incentives to get a GED or high school diploma.

That's when I first started thinking, "We've got laws that encourage people, entice them away from their potential." And I've just seen more of that, and I've seen more since I've been in Congress. In so many ways, Republicans want to do the right thing, but too often we go along to get along, and we keep doing the same thing.

Examiner: What's an example of that?

Gohmert: I couldn't believe that after Republicans took the majority in the election in 1994, when I was on the bench, that we never did end this practice of having an automatic increase in every federal department's budget every year. That's insane. There's no individual, charity, family, company, that has an automatic increase in their annual budget except the federal government.

It was put into place by a liberal Congress after Watergate. That is still out there, and it's one of those rules that forced us into this mess and deficit spending. And it's hurt Republicans, because every time they say, "Let's slow the rate of growth," they're accused of making draconian cuts. So in each Congress since I have been here, I have filed a zero baseline budget bill to end the automatic increase.

Also from the Washington Examiner

Examiner: How would you rate Paul Ryan's performance as speaker?

Gohmert: Well, as I figured, he's an honest, honorable guy. He's been more upfront about what he wants to see accomplished. We still have some disagreement on some bills, but he's an honest guy, and I can work with honest people, no matter which side of the aisle or political spectrum they're on.

Examiner: Which is a contrast with his predecessor?

Gohmert: That one was one of my problems with Speaker [John] Boehner. He was more Machiavellian, he was manipulative, he just was not, many times, honest with his own conference. That's a big deal to me.

I can get along with people I disagree with as long as they're honest. A good example was the last week of last July. Congress takes August as a district work period. Since every member meets with their constituents in August, everyone knows that September is an appropriate month for doing things, because they hear a lot from people and come back saying, "We've got to do this."

Boehner was telling our conference that we knew that transportation funding was going to run out in August while we were in recess, so we've got to do something about that. My concern was that the Senate may pass some massive transportation bill, leave town, and jam us.

He put his finger in the air and said, "I will not let the Senate jam us." People stand up, they're cheering, they're yelling. He gets a fabulous response. There were a few of us at the back who were not cheering.

He said, "Here's what we're going to do. We're going to pass a three-month continuing resolution to make sure transportation has money for the next few months and give ourselves a chance to work it out. We're going to put something on there for veterans' healthcare, and then we're going to leave town and we're going to jam the Senate."

One of our guys was talking to [Republican Senate leader] Mitch McConnell earlier in the day asking about transportation. McConnell said, "Boehner and I have a deal all worked out. We've got a three-month deal to cover transportation, and we're going to put something there for veterans' health."

I would rather Boehner have been honest instead of coming and making us think that he really is going to stick it to the Senate. Just be honest about it. And he wasn't. That was an ongoing problem. He was always trying to be manipulative instead of being upfront about what the situation was.

That's a major difference in Paul. He's not coming in and trying to manipulate without being honest about it. He wants to push us to do what he wants to do, but he's more candid about it.

Examiner: You've voiced some criticism of Donald Trump, saying that he should apologize to Ted Cruz for some of the things said during the campaign. Others, like Mitt Romney, have expressed an objection to Trump for other reasons. Do you see a difference between the concerns of some of those on the establishment side and your own?

Gohmert: There are a lot of different reasons that people are supporting Trump and a lot of different reasons that people are not supporting Trump. In the earlier days of the campaign, I appreciated his political incorrectness, and his not being manipulated by the rules of political correctness. I think that's why a lot of people were drawn to him.

But I have numerous concerns, not just about an apology to Ted, but numerous concerns not unlike what I had with Romney. He's a really fine, decent, caring, successful businessman, and a lot of people said we need a successful businessman.

The Left said, "I hope we don't nominate Romney, because he's the one guy we can't beat, he's been successful in everything he's done." And then he gets the nomination and they unload on him.

And there was video of him being on both sides of every important issue. So I wanted to make sure with Romney, that he was going to hold to his newfound positions that conservatives agreed with, whether it was pro-life or marriage between a man and a woman as Moses and Jesus said it was supposed to be.

He was on both sides of most important issues. He also actually did give the model for Obamacare. They used some of Romneycare to create Obamacare.

Examiner: If they're both relatively moderate, why is Romney even more critical of Trump than you are?

Gohmert: Romney was very scrupulous in trying to be gracious to people. Trump has a very different personality. He doesn't always try to be the most gracious, and I think that's what people like about him. Our country is in grave danger, and Trump seems to recognize that.

Examiner: Who would you like to see Trump choose for vice president?

Gohmert: I've got mixed emotions about him picking Ted. It would pull people to Trump who might be devoted to Ted and not interested in Trump. Then it would be a move for the future.

It might be fantastic insurance against impeachment for Trump if he'd pick Ted. A lot of people that hate Trump also hate Ted, because he was constantly standing up in the Senate against the establishment. And the establishment would know that if they participated in the impeachment of a president Trump, they'd have Ted, and that would be even worse.

So it might be good insurance to keep Trump from being kicked out as president. If you hate Trump, you're really going to hate Ted. It's like Obama picking Biden to be vice president.

Some of us need to be sure that Trump's newfound positions on things are positions he's going to hold. There have been indications he may waver even on some of his most strident positions.

Examiner: As a former judge, do you think the FBI is likely to recommend an indictment for Hillary Clinton?

Gohmert: We have all this massive amount of evidence, there's plenty here to indict, but it's up to the Justice Department to make a decision on indictment. [FBI Director James] Comey is a pretty straight up guy, and I don't think he'll pull any punches. But I could also see him avoiding a controversy by just saying, "Here's all the evidence, it's not our job to indict, that's up to the attorney general."

And so we're just laying out the evidence. That's what I can see the FBI doing, especially in light of an election year. And then leave it to [Attorney General] Loretta Lynch and President Obama to decide not to indict.

I think there's plenty of evidence on which to indict her. If you can go after [retired Gen. David] Petraeus ... They looked for everything to try to go after him ... With Hillary, as long as she doesn't criticize Obama, I don't see her being indicted, even though the evidence is quite strong and it's very clear she should be indicted. But if she were to turn around and start criticizing Obama herself, I could see her being indicted very quickly.

Examiner: Should the next president pursue indictment if this administration does not?

Gohmert: Absolutely. I like George W. Bush, personally and as a man. He is so much smarter and wittier than people give him credit for. But because he is such a nice guy, when he became president, he didn't want to hear about the wrongdoing during the Clinton years. He wanted a fresh start, basically saying, "All of the stuff before me, bygones."

We can't have a president that does that again. We have got to have a Republican president come in and say, "This is a cesspool here in the executive branch, and we are going to clean it out, and we are going to prosecute those who need to be prosecuted, who've violated the law, and we are going to fire those who may not have violated the law but who are worthy of being fired. We are going to clean house ..."

We have got to have a president who comes in and continues to investigate those who need to be investigated.

Examiner: Can you describe the balanced budget amendment you proposed this month?

Gohmert: Before I ever got to Congress, I wanted a straight balanced budget amendment. When I got here, I was shocked to find out it was actually easier for most members to raise taxes than to vote to cut funding for something. So it became very obvious very quickly that if you have a balanced budget amendment that just requires the budget to balance, it will be easier to create new fees, new revenue sources, than it will be to make cuts.

A balanced budget amendment without a cap on spending will be a disaster for the country. The budget will continue to go up, which will force taxes, whether they're called fee or revenue or whatever, to spiral upward.

Eventually, America will be destroyed by the taxes and the overspending. So my amendment has what any balanced budget needs to have: a cap on spending. I put it at 18.5 percent of gross domestic product so that we don't spend more than that percentage.

If you look back through history, big idea guys will propose their big ideas and people will naysay and call them names, but over time, people begin to realize that maybe something was a good idea. So you just need to avoid getting discouraged.

Examiner: You've also had some ideas regarding the Congressional Budget Office.

Gohmert: One of my ideas was to get rid of CBO, because their scoring rules have been so rigid. They've created models that don't have any reflection of what's happening in the world. They don't use history as a model of what will happen in the future. So good bills are constantly misscored, which keeps them from being passed.

I would love to see a scoring entity for Congress, not CBO, but independent scorers that score agencies like CBO. An example I've given before is Obamacare. CBO said it may cost $1.2 trillion, which upset Obama, because he had promised it would cost less than $1 trillion.

So Obama called the head of CBO over for a White House woodshedding. After their meeting, he comes out and announces that they found enough cuts that it would actually only cost $800 or $900 billion, and Obama says, "See, we told you."

After it passes, pretty quickly, they say it looks like we were closer to being right before, it may be over a trillion, it may be $1.8 or $1.9 trillion. Others have looked at Obamacare and said it's headed for over $4 trillion in costs.

I don't think any entity whose margin of error on score is plus or minus 400 percent should be scoring bills. But if you got different entities to score our bills, and developed a grading process for rating the scorers, you could have more objective and more accurate scoring of bills.

Another example ... If you created a 200 percent tax rate, obviously no one would work. But our scoring system would come back and say that the federal government will bring in twice what everyone in America makes. It's unrealistic.

Examiner: What's on your recommended reading list?

Gohmert: I think the best primer everyone ought to read is Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny, for anyone to learn where America came from and where it's going.

From a personal standpoint, the No. 1 selling book in the world is one I read every day, the Bible. It's the owner's manual. As C.S. Lewis described it, we're in enemy-occupied territory, and these are messages from home headquarters. And there's also David Limbaugh's book, Jesus on Trial.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gohmert-waging-war-against-washington-spending/article/2591799

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Gohmert Praises The Passage of Kari’s Law

2016/05/23

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement today regarding the passage of Kari’s Law in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“This common sense reform was made possible through the tireless work of countless individuals, and none more so than Hank Hunt, the father of Kari Hunt. Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai along with the American Hotel and Lodging Association  were great helps in getting the help we needed to make this bill a reality nationwide.  The Chairman of the full committee Fred Upton (R-MI) and sub-committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) could not have been more helpful.”

“This legislation ensures that anyone who dials 9-1-1 will reach emergency personnel, even if the phone typically requires that user to dial ‘9’ to get an outside line.  This fix can be easily implemented with very little if any expense at all.”

“The indications are that the Senate will now take up this legislation and pass it. With the House legislation now having passed out of both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the full House of Representatives today, no child or adult should ever again pick up the phone to call for help and get nothing.”

“This legislation will not reverse the heartbreaking loss of Kari Rene Hunt or her daughter’s horror, as she told her grandfather, when she called 9-1-1 four times and could not get help. However, it will create a legacy for Kari that will safeguard others from this kind of trauma.”

Congressman Gohmert is the Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, he was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas and was appointed by then Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals.

To read H.R. 4167, click here

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2016-05-24 21:17:10


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2016-05-23 19:56:47


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2016-05-20 16:23:47


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2016-05-18 14:58:12


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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

John Ratcliffe

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

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd 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

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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