Louie Gohmert

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

‘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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Conservatives push short-term spending bill as way to defund 'amnesty'

2014/11/13

Conservative lawmakers and groups are pushing Republican leaders to pass a short-term government spending bill so that they will have more power to defund any executive action from President Obama on immigration as well as other measures.

Government funding runs out Dec. 12, and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are leaning toward passing an omnibus appropriations bill funding the government through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Doing so, advocates of that strategy say, would avoid a messy and contentious government shutdown or more brinksmanship early in the new year after a wave GOP election in which voters expressed a desire for bipartisan cooperation.

But conservative members of the GOP conference argue that passing an omnibus spending bill would give away most, if not all, of the leverage they can exert in the next year against Obama and Democrats.

Instead, they would like to pass a continuing resolution that funds the government only through the first few months of 2015, giving Republicans more leverage to defund any executive action President Obama takes on immigration as well as a number of other defunding priorities.

“The logical thing to do is to pass a continuing resolution instead of a massive omnibus” spending bill, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told the Washington Examiner on Thursday. “People who have been voted out of office and no longer have the trust of their constituents shouldn’t be the ones deciding on a whole lot of Christmas trees and ornaments to be giving folks as they leave.”

It’s true, he said, that passing an omnibus spending bill would take all the tough issues off the table for early next year and avoid charges of partisan brinksmanship and gridlock.

Doing so, however, would send a message to Republican voters that “we just want to go along and get along and let the administration make all the decisions on who gets what goodies,” he said.

Especially on key Republican priorities such as defunding upcoming executive action on immigration and using the budget reconciliation process to repeal key aspects of Obamacare, conservatives argue that passing a massive spending bill in the lame duck session would undermine their power.

Before the election, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus promised that Republicans would do everything they could to stop Obama’s executive action on immigration, and some conservatives in Congress argue that moving forward with the omnibus bill would undermine that pledge.

Gohmert said some GOP lawmakers say there will be other bills the president wants passed to which they could attach a measure defunding so-called executive “amnesty.” But Gohmert says such an effort will be much more difficult than just sticking to their fiscal conservative guns and passing a stopgap measure now.

Outside groups, such as Americans for Limited Government and Numbers USA, a group aimed at reducing the number of immigrants coming to the United States, also are warning members not to go along with the omnibus spending bill strategy.

Richard Manning, vice president of Americans for Limited Government, said the GOP has a host of defund priorities — the president’s “amnesty,” rolling back the Environmental Protection Agency’s power-plant regulations, a law passed during the wake of the 2008 economic crisis that gives the International Monetary Fund the ability to cut billions of dollars worth of checks without congressional approval — to name just a few.

“This is really just low-hanging fruit,” he said. “The only thing that keeps Obama in check is the threat of cutting off funding.”

Pushing off budget negotiations until the new year also would deny Reid a place at the table.

“Who do I want negotiating with the president?” Manning asked. “Do I want Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell sitting down with Harry Reid to hash out a deal or standing toe-to-toe with Obama next year? I prefer the latter.”

Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations for Numbers USA, agreed, although she said she doesn’t view it as a partisan issue because voter surveys show broad opposition to the president’s proposed executive action on immigration.

“If Congress were to pass an omnibus bill without defunding language in it, he would be handing over its only proactive constitutional tool to rein in the president,” she said. “The only option, as far as we see it, is to pass a short-term continuing resolution.”

Although the group would like to see some defunding language in a stopgap funding bill, Jenks said it’s a more “reasonable strategy” to pass a clean short-term funding bill for now.

Then in January, Congress can pass all the other appropriations bills except the one funding the Department of Homeland Security, the umbrella organization of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The Customs and Border Protection agency, the U.S. Secret Service and the Coast Guard are all considered essential workers and would remain on the job, even if Obama vetoed a bill that included a defunding provision. The only affected employees would be the non-essential workers in the USCIS division, she said.

“It would be Obama’s choice – he would have to choose whether his illegal amnesty for illegal immigrants is important enough to veto the bill,” Jenks said.

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Gohmert: Public Should Be ‘Burning Up the Phone Lines’ on ObamaCare

2014/11/12

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) declared that the public should be “burning up the phone lines” on Capitol Hill in support of Obamacare’s repeal in light of comments insulting the American public’s intelligence and citing the opaque nature of the law as an “advantage” by the law’s architect Jonathan Gruber on Wednesday’s broadcast of the “Sean Hannity Show.”

“Who really needs to be upset with what was said, is the American public, they were called stupid, and he fooled them once, but now if they don’t get upset, and say ‘you called us stupid? You lied to us? You didn’t think we’d ever find out?’ … the American people need to be demanding, they need to be burning the phone lines and e-mails, letting their members of Congress know this has got to be repealed.” He also said that Gruber’s remarks would “hopefully” stir up enough outrage to get a complete repeal of the law.

He also predicted that the law would be massively unpopular and hurt Democrats’ chances in 2016 because the law would be fully in effect by 2016.  He also argued that if the Supreme Court strikes down subsidies for states without their own exchanges, the law’s popularity would tank.

Gohmert also talked about the funding prospects for the government, and expressed his opinion that a continuing resolution to keep the government running until the new Congress is sworn in would be better than an omnibus spending bill for Republicans.

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Angelina Co. Commissioners stand up to proposed EPA water rule

2014/11/12

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The ownership of water came under fire at the monthly Angelina County Commissioners Court meeting, Wednesday morning.

All four commissioners and County Judge Wes Suiter said they are against a new proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that would redefine waters owned by the United States.

"Show me the law that gives you the authority to do this and that's what we're doing,“ Suiter said. “We're in opposition to them arbitrarily changing the law.”

Suiter presented a resolution to the commissioners that said the new law would be burdensome to the county with more regulations and un-warranted federal permits.

The Clean Water Act that currently regulates navigable streams, a term with broad interpretation. The proposed changes will specifically define what is and isn't a waters of the U.S.

Proponents of the proposal said the changes are an investment in the future.

In an interview with KTRE in July, Rick Lowerre, an environmental and water issue attorney, said the changes will make the legal concerns more clear.

"First the clarity is going to help in avoid litigation and getting things clear for people who want to develop and for people who are concerned about development,” Lowerre said.

The EPA said their main concern is water sources that directly impact people.

"These pristine places are critical for safe drinking water,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy in a Youtube video. “But you know it is more than that. It is about protecting our natural resources."

Suiter said the commissioners are not against keeping the water clean and protected. Suiter said their concern is about the red tape and federal permits that will come to any project they work on near a water source.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Scott Cooper said several bridges would still not be complete on Old Diboll Highway if their recent construction was done under the new proposed rule.

"It would add tax dollars and personnel on our end,” Cooper said. “[There would be] personnel and tax dollars on the federal end; all without the legislature saying yes."

Suiter said the time frame for getting a 404 permit, which is required on any project that is built in federal waterways, varies.

“When we did the work on Cassel-Boykins Park, it took almost a year to get the permit on the boat ramp,” Suiter said.

The Angelina County Commissioners are not the only ones to speak out against the federal agency. U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert is also against the changes.

"They are not allowed, the federal government is not allowed to have control and permit any water that is not a navigable water way,” Gohmert said.

Gohmert said the states should be allowed to control the conservation of water and wetlands.

"All indications are the TCEQ is doing a good job at making sure our water is getting better and better,” Gohmert said. “We don't need to go to Washington to do what needs to be done on a local property.”

State Representative Travis Clardy also weighed in on the conversation.

"I'm appalled that the federal government is trying to assert jurisdiction where it has none,” Clardy said. “This is a clear example of more federal overreach. I'm confident Texas will continue to fight to maintain its sovereignty . I'm certainly going to do everything in my power to do so."

In the recent weeks, Trinity and Polk County have also passed similar resolutions. Houston County Judge Erin Ford said he has been following the other counties but has not put together a resolution. Ford said he does agree with the other East Texas Counties.

The EPA is still accepting comments in its public discussion period. That period ends on Nov. 14. To learn how to put in input, click here.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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Election Leaves Gohmert Blessed But Concerned

2014/11/05

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement regarding the election results in Texas and throughout the country:

“This election reinforces that I am the most blessed servant member of the United States Congress. The overwhelming majority of east Texans want their children to at least have the chance for a better life than they have had.

Proverbs says, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ Unfortunately, if there was vision in this administration, it has been one of full government intrusion, manipulation, and lawlessness, with limited healthcare, especially for seniors and non-government workers.

This administration has had this country on a course of less opportunity, less respect abroad while creating more enemies and fewer allies. We’ve had more tax dollars doing less for the country but more for bureaucrats, leaving fewer Americans working than at any time since the Carter days of malaise.  American voters from all races, creeds, colors, national origins and both genders realized we needed to get off the track to government on the people, crushing the people and spying on the people, back to a government of, by and for the people. 

Opinion polling of voters indicates Republicans have not earned the respect of the people though they overwhelmingly got their votes. Now that we have the majority in both houses, we must end Republican leader lethargy and begin restoring the national economy and our international greatness that has rusted away. Though some wonder what difference it makes to discern our mistakes, we must know what we’ve done wrong to avoid those errors in the future.

We must restore faith by our allies that we will cease pouring money and weapons into the hands of those who want to destroy us. We must encourage lawful immigration, while making sure that we are secure from disease and destruction coming across porous borders. 

Speaking up and standing up on the foundation of truth and our nation’s Constitution has been and will remain my charge. I am humbled to be so blessed by such support for my efforts.”

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 Appalled at Obama Administration’s Decision to Treat Non-U.S. Citizens with Ebola in the United States

2014/10/29

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement today concerning the breaking news that the Obama Administration is planning to treat non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola in the United States:

“According to what has been discovered from this administration, my concerns expressed in recent weeks that the Obama Administration had probably cut a deal with foreign leaders to let their Ebola patients come to the United States were apparently spot on.  Completely ignoring the fatal nature of Ebola in horrible ways evidences the callous, wanton disregard for the American lives by President Obama and his appointees took an oath to protect. The evidence that the Obama administration is attempting to sneak foreign Ebola patients into the United States is electrifying since they have not even been able to say where the United States military that he sent to Africa could go if they get the Ebola virus.

One would think that it would be common sense not to bring infected patients across our border. In this administration, that kind of sense is extremely uncommon. When the President refused to put a travel ban in place in recent weeks, I knew there had to be an ulterior motive like a secret deal to put Americans involuntarily at risk by bringing in foreigners with the deadly disease. It turns out that I was correct. This outrage comes at a time when our valiant U.S. military will be forced to work amongst people who potentially are contagious.

The President said yesterday Americans are not a people defined by fear. That has been true for most of our history. However, when we have a President who refuses to take actions which most Americans know to be common sense protections for Americans at their embassies, in our military, at our borders, in our hospitals, from radical Islamic terrorists, from fatal diseases, and from a government spying on its own people, then Americans’ common sense says there is reason to be very concerned or even fearful.

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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Rep. Gohmert: Putting US Troops on Ebola Duty 'Insane'

2014/10/28

Rep. Louie Gohmert blasted the Obama administration on Newsmax TV on Monday for an "insane" decision to send thousands of U.S. troops abroad to combat Ebola in western Africa — work he said is better done by volunteers and medical professionals.

Gohmert, appearing on "MidPoint" with host Ed Berliner, questioned whether the U.S. military is the best option for constructing field hospitals and providing other logistical support to disease-containment efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

"Military personnel, who are not trained medically other than a quick little seminar . . .  they're in a better position than trained medical personnel?" said the Texas Republican and vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's panel on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.

"It is just insane that we would be exposing our military" to Ebola, said Gohmert.

He added that the troops in Africa are effectively unavailable to evacuate on short notice in the event of a crisis erupting elsewhere in the world, because they would have to be held back for 21 days — the standard waiting period for signs of Ebola infection.

He noted that some soldiers on duty in west Africa are already being put into protective isolation.

"If they want people to build facilities, then ask for volunteers to go help build, and [with the] understanding you're exposing yourself to Ebola," said Gohmert. "But our military is trained to protect us."

Gohmert, a frequent critic of President Barack Obama on national security and border control, also discussed the mass release in 2013 of more than 2,000 jailed illegal immigrants, among them people charged with, or convicted of, violent crimes.

The administration had defended the releases as a cost-cutting measure and had given assurances that no violent offenders were freed.

"I want to always be surprised when we're lied to," said Gohmert, "but [Rep.] Randy Forbes asked the ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] director, John Morton, directly in one of our hearings, and I'm quoting: 'No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?'

"Martin said they were not," Gohmert recalled. "There was no qualification — anything like that — and it turns out there was aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault of a child, conspiracy to commit homicide, and they rushed to get these people out."

Gohmert said that "it just seems like so much of what this administration is doing is antithetical to protecting Americans."

Gohmert also warned the president against making an executive ruling to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants — a move that Obama is thought to be considering for the interval after the Nov. 4 midterm elections and before a new Congress convenes in January.

"If he takes action, that's going to completely destroy the Democratic Party," said Gohmert. "Then everything he was hoping for as a legacy will be gone. Gone." Read More

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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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