Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 10:30 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on the security of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. President Obama has set the overall refugee ceiling at 85,000 for Fiscal Year 2016 and announced that the Administration will admit 10,000 Syrian refugees over the coming year.
Below are statements from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on this hearing. Witnesses for the hearing will be announced in the coming days.
Chairman Goodlatte: “While the United States already has the most generous refugee policies in the world, we must ensure that those seeking refuge in the United States do not pose national security threats to our nation. Recently, President Obama announced his intention to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States over the coming year. Because the Obama Administration has failed to address the rise of ISIS in Syria and the region, a humanitarian crisis has erupted. I am deeply concerned about the rise of ISIS, its threat to our national security, and the humanitarian crisis it has created.
“Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the national security and public safety implications of our nation’s refugee program, including the Obama Administration’s plan to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees. As we examine the Administration’s plan and the overall refugee program, it’s important to remember that most refugees prefer to go back to their home countries and live in peace. The best way to stem this refugee crisis is to promote peace in the region and support humanitarian operations in affected countries and not try to bring more and more people to the United States.”
Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy:“America has a proud history of providing refuge for those who have been persecuted for their beliefs or otherwise face imminent harm. But we also have a duty to ensure the necessary background checks can be done to stop terrorists from exploiting Americans’ generosity and ruthlessly taking more innocent lives.
“The Administration has not provided certainty to Congress that they have a plan to prevent ISIS from infiltrating our country through the refugee program. Instead, the President’s idea of consultation is to decide to accept thousands of new refugees with or without congressional support. This displacement has occurred because of this Administration's feckless foreign policy. Many of those displaced want a safe, secure homeland in or near the Middle East and that should be the priority. We look forward to examining our refugee program at this upcoming hearing.”
This hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at http://judiciary.house.gov/. Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally-credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) notified Fourth District residents of the approaching application deadline for military academy nominations. Students interested in being a part of the Class of 2020 should submit their applications by October 15, 2015.
“Each year, as the Representative for the Fourth District of South Carolina, I have the privilege of nominating outstanding young men and women to our service academies,” Gowdy said. “I commend these students for their dedication and desire to serve our country.”
Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1 of the year of admission to an academy:
Dates for candidate interviews will be scheduled following the October application deadline. The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.
To apply for a nomination through Rep. Gowdy’s office, students must complete the following steps. Only complete applications will be considered.
More information and the application for the class of 2020 can be found here.
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) announced the availability of outdoor tickets for the upcoming address of His Holiness Pope Francis to Congress on September 24th at 10:00 am. His Holiness Pope Francis of the Holy See is the first Pope to accept an invitation to address a joint meeting of Congress.
Congressman Gowdy’s office is able to offer a limited number of tickets for residents of the Fourth District to view the live broadcast of the address from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. While a clear line of sight cannot be guaranteed for all attending the broadcast, this space will provide constituents the opportunity to participate in the historic event. Please note that these tickets are outdoor, standing room only.
If you are a constituent of the Fourth District of South Carolina and would like to request a ticket, please contact Congressman Gowdy’s Washington D.C. office by calling (202) 225-6030. Please be prepared to provide your full name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number and the number of tickets requested. Space is very limited and unfortunately Congressman Gowdy’s office cannot guarantee all constituents interested will receive tickets.
Those receiving tickets will then be notified to pick up their tickets in Congressman Gowdy’s D.C. office after Monday, September 21st. While our office is able to provide these tickets free of cost, we are unable to assist with travel and accommodation.
Washington, DC—Chairman of the Benghazi Select Committee Trey Gowdy (SC-04) today issued this statement on the anniversary of September 11.
"This day is a harrowing reminder there are those who seek to do us harm simply because we are us. We saw this in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania fourteen years ago. And we saw this again in 2012, on the anniversary of September 11th when we lost four of our fellow Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith were diplomats we asked to represent us in a foreign land. Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were former Navy Seals who continued to serve even after the uniforms were pressed and put away.
"Since the creation of the Select Committee, our aim has been straightforward: conduct an investigation that is worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens. Despite the Administration’s obstruction and the attempts by others to distract from the investigation, this Committee has worked hard to uncover all the facts and follow where they lead.
"While much outside attention has been paid to the former Secretary, this investigation has never been about her and never will be. It is about our four fellow Americans murdered three years ago, and ensuring we provide answers for their families and loved ones."
Last week, I joined Senator Scott and five South Carolina colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama calling for the immediate halt of any plan to move dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil. Recently, the Obama Administration announced it is assessing Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and the Navy Brig in Charleston, South Carolina, as possible facilities where these terrorists could be held long term. This is unacceptable for the reasons set forth below.
From the letter: “This action is ill advised and could prove to be dangerous for the American people, particularly those in South Carolina. Unfortunately, it appears that your administration is more concerned about fulfilling hopeless campaign promises than protecting the safety and security of the American people.”
“We write to respectfully request an immediate halt to this plan and to inform you we are prepared to use all possible means to keep terrorists in Guantanamo Bay and off American soil."
Below is the full text of the letter:
August 20, 2015
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama,
We are extremely concerned that your administration is conducting site surveys to review the Consolidated Naval Brig (Brig) in Charleston, South Carolina, among other areas, as potential sites to relocate dangerous international terrorists currently held in the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. This action is ill advised and could prove to be dangerous for the American people, particularly those in South Carolina. Unfortunately, it appears that your administration is more concerned about fulfilling hopeless campaign promises than protecting the safety and security of the American people.
We write to respectfully request an immediate halt to this plan and to inform you we are prepared to use all possible means to keep terrorists in Guantanamo Bay and off American soil.
As we’re sure you are aware, Congress has spoken clearly on the issue of moving terrorists from Guantanamo to the United States. Starting with the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2013 and the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, Congress has specifically prohibited funds from being used to transfer or release detainees into the United States, or to assist in the transfer or release of detainees into the country.
Notwithstanding being clearly against the law, the intent of Congress, and the will of the American people, populating the Consolidated Naval Brig with some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists and killers would be terribly irresponsible.
The Brig is located less than a mile from a school, and there are other schools and multiple residential neighborhoods nearby. Understandably, our constituents do not want for themselves or their friends or family to go to school or live near known members of al Qaeda who wish nothing more than to kill Americans, or to be so close to what will instantly become a high value terrorist target. We are confident this is true of anyone.
The Brig is also in close proximity to one of our nation’s busiest ports, the Port of Charleston, as well as the City of Charleston, which was named the number one tourist destination in the United States.
Just a short distance down the road from the elementary schools and Port is the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic, and the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command. Both of these strategic military installations are vital to our national defense and military readiness and would only further raise the profile for the area to become a target for terrorism. Rolling out a red carpet for the remaining 116 terrorists at Guantanamo Bay in this immediate area is an ill-conceived combination that brings too much risk.
To be clear, we do not simply oppose moving Guantanamo Bay terrorists to South Carolina—we strongly oppose any efforts to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and move its detainees to anywhere in the U.S. or the rest of the world. There is no plan or study that shows transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to South Carolina or any other domestic location will make America safer. Any effort to remove them from the facility only allows a possibility of them returning to their previous lives as vicious terrorists who are ready, willing and able to kill innocent people across the world. According to a March 2015 report by the Director of National Intelligence, 17 percent of Guantanamo terrorists have been confirmed in reengaging in terrorist activity and another 10 percent are suspected of reengaging in terrorism.
There is no need to recreate Guantanamo Bay at great risk and expense domestically when it already exists.
With these facts in mind, we strongly encourage you to keep the terrorists in Guantanamo Bay where they belong, and pass on fulfilling a political promise that would jeopardize America’s national security.
Whatever your decision, we respectfully request that you keep our offices informed on any and all plans going forward regarding moving Guantanamo Bay terrorists to the United States.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
/s/ Senator Tim Scott
/s/ Congressman Mark Sanford (SC-01)
/s/ Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02)
/s/ Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC – 03)
/s/ Congressman Trey Gowdy (SC-04)
/s/ Congressman Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
/s/ Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07)
This administration’s non-enforcement of our immigration laws has enabled localities to ignore our laws and create benign-sounding things called “sanctuary” cities. But they are anything but benign. Sanctuary cities create gaping holes in our criminal justice system, which leads to deadly consequences for innocent Americans.
The House took one step to stop these dangerous sanctuary policies and passed HR 3009, which would withhold federal law enforcement funding to these cities and localities. I spoke on the House Floor regarding the threat of sanctuary cities to our public safety and the need to act:
HR 3009 is only one step in fixing our broken immigration system. That is why back in February I introduced, and then the Judiciary Committee passed, the Davis-Oliver Act. This legislation strengthens the internal enforcement of our immigration laws in numerous ways. Provisions in HR 1148 include:
Congressman Gowdy has also introduced, and the Judiciary Committee passed, the Davis-Oliver Act, legislation to strengthen the internal enforcement of our immigration laws. Provisions in HR 1148 include:
The Select Committee on Benghazi uncovered new emails to or from Secretary Clinton regarding Libya and Benghazi. These emails should have been part of the public record when Secretary Clinton left office and at a bare minimum included when the State Department released Clinton’s self-selected records on Libya. We now know Secretary Clinton failed to turn some of these records over to the State Department thus directly contradicting her earlier assertions that she turned all work related emails over to the Department of State. This highlights again the need for a neutral, detached third party to review her server and ensure the public record is complete.
Many South Carolinians are talking about the Confederate flag right now, and have asked my thoughts. This was historically an issue dealt with by state legislators and Governors in South Carolina, not Members of Congress. Nevertheless, as a lifelong resident of South Carolina, I do have an opinion. I agree with Senator Tim Scott in toto and believe the flag should be moved to a museum on South Carolina history. One week ago, I spoke with Greta Van Susteren regarding this. Watch here.
On Friday, I attended the service in Charleston for Reverend Clementa Pinckney. As our state mourns this horrible tragedy and loss of nine innocent lives, the grace and forgiveness of the victims’ families is a profound inspiration to all South Carolinians. They have shown us what it means to love in the face of hatred, and shine light into the darkness.
International trade accounts for more than one in five jobs in South Carolina, and in the Upstate alone exports support more than 64,000 jobs. To put it simply, our state is a trading powerhouse.
Whether it's exporting automobiles or agricultural products, producing tires and turbines or powering a manufacturing renaissance, our workers can compete with anyone, anywhere.
With 95 percent of the world's customers — and 80 percent of its purchasing power — outside the United States, all South Carolina needs is a fair set of rules, the protection of intellectual property and access to markets. But the rest of the world — especially our competitors — knows this, too.
In an increasingly global economy, there is a race to determine who will write the rules and standards — there are 262 regional trade agreements in the world, and the U.S. is only party to 20 of them. After seven years of weak, directionless U.S. foreign policy, China has been eager to take advantage of the leadership void and has been desperate to strike trade agreements with countries.
For the sake of our workers, our manufacturers, our exporters and our economic stability moving forward, we must act smartly but decisively.
Under consideration in Congress right now is Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA is not a trade agreement. It is the way we ensure that the administration is being transparent and responsive to the concerns of the American people for all trade talks.
TPA sets parameters the administration must negotiate under, and it ensures that the public will be able to read any trade agreement months before it is voted on by Congress. TPA is publicly available for every American to read at www.Congress.gov.
While in the past TPA has been called "fast-track," this new, muscular version of TPA is designed very differently from past versions. It reins in presidential authority and places much needed oversight and scrutiny on any potential trade agreements.
Currently, without TPA, the U.S. trade representative, appointed by the president, can negotiate without any congressional oversight and does not have to share significant details of that process with anyone outside the administration.
We understand and agree with those who are wary of more overreach by the Obama administration. From Fast and Furious and the IRS targeting scandal to the secret waitlists at the VA and immigration executive orders, we have heard the voices of our constituents and fought executive overreach like few others have.
Those concerns are why TPA ensures that this and future administrations would be required to pursue 150 negotiating objectives specifically established by Congress, consult with and report to Congress on how negotiations are going, and provide an unprecedented level of transparency so the American public has months to read and review any potential agreements negotiated under the TPA.
If, and only if, the president meets these objectives, the agreement will receive an up or down vote in Congress, ensuring a good deal is protected from amendments seeking to kill it. On the other hand, if the president fails to meet them, then we can rescind Trade Promotion Authority.
We have also heard concerns about secrecy from folks across the Upstate. The good news is that TPA mandates any trade deal negotiated under it be made public months before any congressional vote on it. That means every constituent who wants to see everything in the text of the agreement can do so well before any votes.
Finally, this new and modernized version of TPA in no way endangers U.S. sovereignty; rather, it empowers Congress and the American people, not the president or the executive branch. The TPA bill specifically says that any provision of a trade agreement that conflicts with U.S. law, be it immigration, environmental regulations or labor rules, will have no effect, and that U.S. law will supersede any foreign law in a dispute.
Some organizations have conflated TPA with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which is a specific trade agreement currently under negotiation. We are continuing to monitor the TPP negotiations to ensure that TPP is in the best interest of South Carolina businesses and families. We have also expressed our concerns with TPP in committee hearings on Capitol Hill.
Trade Promotion Authority, if passed into law, will give us a clearer understanding of exactly how our trade representatives are handling the TPP negotiations. And if the U.S. trade representative reaches a final agreement on TPP, then the American people will have more time than ever before to review the proposal and provide input to their congressional representatives. Then Congress would still have to vote on the agreement. TPA in no way, shape or form approves the TPP trade partnership.
Trade Promotion Authority is not about empowering any president, this one or ones to come. Rather, it is about dictating the terms of trade negotiations beforehand, ensuring transparency in the process and providing months for our fellow citizens to read the text before it can be voted on. That's why strong conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, George Will, Charles Krauthammer and the two of us support it.
Trey Gowdy represents the 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House, and Tim Scott is South Carolina's junior U.S. senator.Read More
1404 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Representing South Carolina’s 4th District, Trey Gowdy entered Congress with a resolute commitment to the conservative principles that have guided him throughout his years in public service. At the core of those principles lies a firm belief in a limited government that inspires trust and demands accountability.
Representative Gowdy serves on the House Committees on Education and the Workforce, Ethics, Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform. He also serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security for the Judiciary Committee. In these capacities, Representative Gowdy has fought to highlight facts, uphold the Constitution, rein in the ever-expanding scope of the federal government, and restore America’s trust with a renewed spirit of honesty, fairness and reason.
Trey graduated from Spartanburg High School in 1982, Baylor University in 1986 with a degree in history, and the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989 where he was a member of the scholastic honor society “Order of the Wig and Robe.”
For 6 years as a federal prosecutor, Trey prosecuted the full range of federal crimes including narcotics trafficking rings, bank robberies, child pornography cases, and the murder of a federal witness. He was awarded the Postal Inspector’s Award for the successful prosecution of J. Mark Allen, one of “America’s Most Wanted” suspects. He also received the highest performance rating a federal prosecutor can receive – two years in a row.
As 7th Circuit Solicitor, Trey led an office of 25 attorneys and 65 total employees. During his tenure, he started a Violence Against Women Task Force and a Worthless Check Program, enhanced and expanded Drug Court, and implemented a Drug Mother Protocol designed to assist expectant mothers break the cycle of addiction.
He has been recognized statewide for his commitment to victim’s rights and drunken driving enforcement and nationally for excellence in death penalty prosecutions.
Trey is married to Terri Dillard Gowdy, and they have two children: Watson and Abigail. Terri works for the Spartanburg School District as a teacher’s aide. Watson is a sophomore at Clemson University and Abigail is a rising 10th grader at Spartanburg High School. The Gowdy family also includes three dogs: “Judge”, “Jury”and “Bailiff.”
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Kevin did what he thought was best for the GOP Conference, which surprises no one who knows him.
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In USA TODAY, I write: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is more than a rote phrase. It should be the guiding principle of
Our thoughts and prayers are with those across South Carolina impacted by the storm and flooding. A special thank you to our first responders
SC-04 Residents: The deadline for Military Academy Nomination applications is quickly approaching. Do not forget to submit your application before
This day is a harrowing reminder there are those who seek to do us harm simply because we are us. We saw this in New York, Washington, DC and
In case you missed it: Earlier today, I questioned witnesses during the U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing: “Planned Parenthood Exposed: