Washington, DC -Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, released this statement regarding the decision by Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas to temporarily block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration:
“The decision by the federal district court in Texas is a victory for the rule of law. The President's extra-constitutional actions were rooted in political expediency and were devoid of a serious legal underpinning. This is not and never was about immigration law - as evidenced by the President's consistent admission that he lacked the legal authority to do precisely what he did. Prosecutorial discretion is real and constitutionally valid. It is not, however, a synonym for anarchy wherein the executive branch can pick and choose portions of laws to enforce and ignore.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) released a statement on President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“Last year, the President promised he would use his pen and phone to ignore the legislative branch and push through his agenda by executive fiat. We have witnessed one executive power grab after another, setting a dangerous precedent and eroding the constitutional balance set forward by our Founders.
"As the President himself once said, elections have consequences. The most recent one being he must work with the Republican-controlled Congress, rather than spout recycled, failed ideas from past speeches. Americans are looking for leadership. They want solutions. The President has the opportunity to put aside politics and engage with the new Congress. We hope he will.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) today voted for H.R. 240, legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security and stop President Obama’s overreaching executive action on immigration.
“Extra-constitutional acts, regardless of motive, warrant the full breadth of constitutional response. Otherwise, there is a precedent for the executive branch to ignore the process and acquire by fiat what the legislative branch rejects,” Gowdy said. "The fact that previous administrations may have also acted in an extra-constitutional way does not mitigate the act. Rather, the legislative branch should collectively reassert the equilibrium upon which this country was founded and defended.
“As Senator, Obama railed against executive overreach. As President, he asserted more than 20 times that he lacked the legal standing to do what he did. His position may have changed, but the text of the constitution has not. In this country, the end does not justify the means. Process matters. As a prosecutor, I saw confessions thrown out of court on technical violations. When a President fails to follow the constitutional process, the remedy should be just as certain.”
Rep. Gowdy (R-SC) released this statement on the Speaker vote:
"A cancelled flight, due to weather, from South Carolina to Washington this morning regrettably prevented me from being in Washington for today's Speaker vote. I apologize to my constituents and my colleagues. My wife and I were traveling this morning in an effort to minimize the amount of school she (a 1st grade teacher) and our daughter (in high school) would miss."
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, released this statement following the announcement of the President’s executive action on immigration:
“The thread that holds the tapestry of our country together is respect for and adherence to the rule of law. The law is our greatest unifier and our greatest equalizer. Attempts to undermine the law via executive fiat, regardless of motivation, are dangerous. President Obama may seek a fight with Republicans in Congress, but in reality he is fighting with founders of this republic and the carefully crafted separation of powers.
“Whether previous administrations acted outside of constitutional boundaries is not license to do the same. The President himself recognized his inability to do what he just did - 22 separate times. This action is not only detrimental to any chance in the new Congress for a sustainable, long-term solution on immigration, but also to the bedrock of our system of government— respect for the rule of law.
“When the executive branch acts outside of constitutional boundaries the legislative branch must use all powers afforded it to respond and restore the constitutional equilibrium. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. Rather, it should hasten the resolve of all Americans to make certain her elected officials honor the foundational document they swore to protect and defend.”
Goodlatte & Gowdy Call on President to Place Temporary Travel Ban on Foreign Nationals Entering the U.S. From Ebola-Ravaged Countries
Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) today wrote to President Barack Obama calling on him to use the authority granted to him by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act to temporarily ban foreign nationals who were recently in an Ebola-ravaged country from traveling to the United States. The House Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the Immigration and Nationality Act, which grants the President this authority. In addition, Chairman Goodlatte plans to introduce a resolution calling on the President to implement a temporary travel moratorium.
Below is the text of the letter.
“We write regarding your solemn duty as the President of the United States to take every step possible to protect the American people from danger. Specifically, we urge you to use authority granted to you by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit foreign nationals who were recently present in an Ebola-ravaged country, from entering the United States.
“8 U.S.C. 1182(f) states ‘[W]henever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he deems to be appropriate.’
“You utilized this provision in August 2011, ‘to restrict the international travel and to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of certain persons’ who participated in serious human rights and humanitarian law violations. Preventing Americans from contracting Ebola, which the World Health Organization (WHO) notes ‘has a death rate of up to 90%’ and has already killed at least 4,484 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, is every bit as important as preventing human rights abusers from entering the United States.
“While Ebola is not transmittable until a victim develops symptoms, the WHO notes that the incubation period can be 42 days or longer and that certain methods of Ebola transmission can continue for as long as seven weeks after a patient’s recovery. Therefore we urge that your use of 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) cover any foreign national who was present in a country with widespread and intense transmission of Ebola within the two months prior to desired travel to the U.S. Such a travel restriction can and should be temporary, with the moratorium lifted when the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and any other countries with a subsequent outbreak, is controlled.
“We have listened with interest to the arguments articulated by officials within the Administration in opposition to a ban on travel from affected countries. Unfortunately, such arguments seem to have little, if any, merit. And a growing number of Americans agree. In fact an October 14, 2014, ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that 67% of Americans surveyed said they would support ‘restricting entry to the United States by people who’ve been in affected countries.’
“Use of 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) is not only reasonable at this point, but is prudent and necessary to help prevent additional Ebola cases in the U.S. It will also help begin to turn around Americans’ large-scale lack of confidence that the Federal government is doing everything it can to protect them from Ebola.
“Thank you for your immediate attention to this critical matter.”
In an effort to significantly improve the oversight and accountability of the nation’s intelligence community, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) spearheaded a bipartisan, bicameral effort to strengthen the government’s privacy protection board. The legislation gives the oversight board greater ability to carry out its function of balancing the government’s national security and counterterrorism activities with the need to protect the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., and U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.
The ‘‘Strengthening Privacy, Oversight, and Transparency Act’’ or ‘‘SPOT Act’’ expands the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s authority to play a watchdog role over surveillance conducted for purposes beyond counterterrorism. It also allows the PCLOB to issue subpoenas without having to wait for the Justice Department to issue them, and makes the board members full-time positions.
“Our country must strike the delicate balance between protecting our national security and our civil liberties. Many Americans are rightly concerned the pendulum has swung too far away from our civil liberties. That is why I commend my friend Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for her work on this bill and am happy to support the effort to equip the PCLOB to actually do its job,” Gowdy said. “For example, it makes little sense to charge the Board with independently monitoring the executive branch’s actions related to privacy concerns, but require the Attorney General’s approval before issuing subpoenas. This bill will help ensure our intelligence agencies safeguard the American people’s civil liberties while protecting our national security.”
“The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s mission is fundamental to Americans’ constitutional rights, but it can do even better work if its authorities are expanded and clarified,” Wyden said. “This bill gives the board the teeth it needs to fulfill its mandate of ensuring the government’s efforts to protect citizens at home and abroad also protect Americans’ privacy and civil liberties.”
“The American people should not be forced to choose between safety and security, or freedom, privacy, and civil liberties. Recent revelations of actions within the intelligence community show that these basic principles upon which our country was founded have been violated in the name of security. We have a responsibility to the people we serve to make sure that this is not allowed to occur, which is what this legislation seeks to do. I thank Senators Ron Wyden and Tom Udall, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, for joining me in introducing legislation to keep the American people, and their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, safe and secure,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who has been a vocal critic of the NSA’s overreaching spying programs.
"As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, I have fought to ensure the board has the resources necessary to conduct rigorous oversight of the government's surveillance activities," Udall said. "Expanding the board's jurisdiction to include all foreign intelligence activities will help further protect against the government's unacceptable infringement on Americans' privacy rights. I know we can protect both our security and our constitutional rights, but we need two things for true reform: open debate and independent oversight. I'm proud to join Senator Wyden and our colleagues in the House to introduce this bill that will expand that oversight."
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is an independent oversight body that was expanded in 2007 as part of Congress’ measures to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The commission called for an executive branch board that would ensure that government efforts to protect American security also protect Americans’ privacy and civil liberties. More recently, a number of outside experts, including the President’s own surveillance Review Group, have recommended that the Board’s mandate and authorities be expanded and clarified.
South Carolina Foster Care Review Board receives “Angels in Adoption” Award from Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI)
Our office was honored to nominate the Review Board for the CCAI’s “Angels in Adoption” Program, which honors individuals and groups who “have made extraordinary contributions on behalf of children in need of families.”
In the Review Board’s 2012-2013 annual report, it states that over 188 volunteers gave of their time and service to children in South Carolina. They spent over 8,400 volunteer hours reviewing cases and over 14, 000 hours working on related projects such as Heart Gallery, field trips for the children, and a host of other activities. Under the leadership of this Board, 51 service projects were completed and 31% of reviewed children were adopted by a family.
The Review Board’s members are the unsung heroes for South Carolina’s foster children and play a vital role in helping other foster care organizations. Their passion, determination and dedication for foster children are immeasurable and they are very deserving of this honor.
About the Board: The South Carolina General Assembly created the South Carolina Foster Care Review Board in 1974. The Review Board provides external accountability for the foster care program. Members are volunteer citizens from around the state. They are nominated by their legislative delegation and appointed to serve four-year terms by the Governor.
Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., issued the following statement on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack and the second anniversary of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya:“History has shown when America turns a blind eye to terrorism, the terrorists will seize the opportunity to try to blindside us. It is a lesson we learned painfully as a nation in 2001 and again in 2012.
“As we mark the anniversary of the two 9/11 terrorist attacks, and those who lost their lives, we are reminded of the real cost of terrorism and the importance of remaining vigilant. It should not take the rise of ISIS or Boko Haram or AQAP to force vigilance on the part of our nation and its leaders. And we should not have to relearn the lesson of vigilance every couple of years through the spilled blood of American citizens.
“Today we honor the memories and lives of those we lost in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We also honor the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods.
“It is for them that we must establish all of the facts of what happened in Benghazi, beyond any reasonable doubt. And it is for the American people, and those who serve our nation overseas—to restore their faith and confidence—that the Committee will establish the facts in a fair and impartial manner.”Read More
The House Judiciary Committee today approved by a vote of 21-11 the Protecting the Homeland Act (H.R. 5401), a bill authored by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Oversight and Government Reform National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), to stop the Obama Administration from lifting a 30-year prohibition on Libyans coming to the U.S. to attend flight school, to work in aviation maintenance or flight operations, or to study or seek training in nuclear science. In July, the Office of Management and Budget approved a final regulation to lift this decades-old policy. Once Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson signs this regulation, it will become effective unless further action is taken.
The Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), which represents 51,000 pilots who fly for 31 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, today expressed strong support for H.R. 5401. In their letter to Chairman Goodlatte, Captain Lee Moak notes the dangerous conditions in Libya and states that “given the political instability in Libya and the transitory nature of the government, ALPA is concerned that information relevant to a background check on Libyan nationals would be unreliable if not entirely unavailable.”
Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy, Chairman Goodlatte, and Congressman Chaffetz released the statements below praising today’s approval of this legislation by the House Judiciary Committee.
Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy: “The chief responsibility of government is the security of its people, and as those entrusted to govern, we must be vigilant in fulfilling this duty. Yet, the Administration has not been clear as to why repealing this longstanding rule now, while the situation in Libya is more uncertain and dangerous, will benefit our national security. I am pleased the committee passed our bill, the Protecting the Homeland Act, to stop this policy reversal.”
Chairman Goodlatte: “Given the ongoing terrorist activity in Libya, it is unconscionable that the Obama Administration is carelessly forging ahead with its plan to allow Libyans to attend flight school or study nuclear science in the United States. The Obama Administration justifies its plan by claiming that the United States’ relationship with Libya has ‘normalized,’ but it is anything but normal. This summer, Americans working at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to rival rebel groups battling each other for control of the area. And less than two years ago, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked by terrorists, leaving four Americans dead.
“Lifting this longstanding ban is not in the best interest of the American people and needlessly places our country at risk. I am pleased that the House Judiciary Committee today approved the Protecting the Homeland Act to stop President Obama from implementing this foolish and dangerous plan so that we protect Americans and our national security from threats in Libya.”
Congressman Chaffetz: “The Obama Administration continues to turn a blind eye to the current situation in Libya. The country is far from normal and remains vulnerable to unchecked terrorist activity. Lifting a decades-old security ban on a country challenged by instability threatens the safety of both countries. The Protecting the Homeland Act will stop the Administration from carelessly lifting this ban. I encourage my colleagues in the House and Senate to swiftly pass this legislation.”
Background: The prohibition on Libyans from studying nuclear science or training as pilots in the United States was originally put in place in the 1980s after the wave of terrorist incidents involving Libyans. Not even two years after the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, the Obama Administration justifies lifting this ban by claiming the United States’ relationship with Libya has “normalized.” However, the terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related activities coming from Libya. Recently, the employees at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to violence between rival militias near the facility. Since then, many foreign governments have closed their embassies in Libya and evacuated staff as the violence has spread throughout the country.
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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Today at 7 pm ET: the House Oversight Committee will receive an update from from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)
Opening Statement at today's House Judiciary Committee hearing, “The Unconstitutionality of Obama's Executive Actions on Immigration.”
WATCH LIVE at 10:15 am ET: U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing on "The Unconstitutionality of Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration."
A few photos from around the Upstate last week: