This week, the House Judiciary Committee approved a resolution authorizing a specialized task force to examine the historic increase in executive overreach. This task force will study the constitutional requirement of the President to faithfully execute our laws and the impact on Congress’s ability to conduct oversight of the executive branch. I am gratified and appreciative Chairman Goodlatte asked me to serve on this task force as the constitutional equilibrium our forefathers gave us is the foundation of our republic.
For more information on this task force, click here.
Once again, we are witnessing a crisis at our southwest border as thousands of unaccompanied minors and adults are coming to the United States. The Obama Administration claims these aliens are flooding our border to flee violence and poverty in their native countries, and our government can’t do anything to stop it. This is an unacceptable response. Additionally, based on their own intelligence reports, this Administration’s policy of non-enforcement is sparking this surge. Legal immigration is a privilege this country conveys under the terms and conditions it sets. Illegal immigration is just that – illegal.
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing to examine this ongoing surge at the southwest border. Watch my opening statement here.
To learn more about this hearing, click here.
Washington, D.C. - Today, Chairman Gowdy delivered the following opening statement during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing to examine the ongoing surge at our southwest border.
For more information on today's hearing, click here.Read More
On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 3762, the Restoring American's Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act. This marks the first time Congress has sent a bill directly to the President’s desk to repeal Obamacare and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. On Friday, President Obama vetoed the bill.
H.R. 3762 repealed major provisions of Obamacare and reduced the deficit by $516 billion over the next ten years. This repeal is necessary because Obamacare has failed to lower healthcare costs, led to increased deductibles, which have saddled many Americans with massive medical debts, and forced millions of Americans off of their health insurance plans, not living up to the President's promise 'if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’
Additionally, the bill stopped the horrific Planned Parenthood practices, which are not only barbaric, but may violate federal law. Taxpayers should not, in any circumstance, be forced to fund abortion providers.
Speaker Ryan has stated the House will hold a vote to override the President’s veto. Beyond that vote, I remain committed to repealing Obamacare and ensuring Planned Parenthood doesn’t receive federal funds for performing abortions.
This week, President Obama announced his plan to strengthen our nation’s gun laws. It is clear his executive actions outlined are not about reducing crime or mass killings – it is a political exercise. There are, under existing law, large categories of persons prohibited from buying, selling, or possessing firearms, and prosecution levels have been nothing short of anemic. This Administration has a horrible record of prosecuting current background check violations. Why not start there?
To learn more, watch my interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
On the House Immigration Subcommittee, we have been working to address security concerns within the immigration system and hold the Administration accountable for their non-enforcement of our immigration laws. As we look ahead to 2016, we wanted to share with you a video, highlighting our work on immigration.
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) released the following statement after the House passage of H.R. 3762, the Restoring American's Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act:
"Today, the House passed H.R. 3762, the Restoring American's Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act. This marks the first time Congress has sent a bill directly to the President’s desk to repeal Obamacare and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
H.R. 3762 repeals major provisions of Obamacare and reduces the deficit by $516 billion over the next ten years. Obamacare has failed to lower healthcare costs, led to increased deductibles, which have saddled many Americans with massive medical debts, and forced millions of Americans off of their health insurance plans, not living up to the President's promise 'if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’
Additionally, the bill stops the horrific Planned Parenthood practices, which are not only barbaric, but may violate federal law. Taxpayers should not, in any circumstance, be forced to fund abortion providers."
As we wrap up 2015 and look ahead to the New Year, national security has been and will continue to be a major focus in the House of Representatives. Congress closed security gaps in our Visa Waiver Program and passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which prohibits the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. soil—a key priority for Members of the South Carolina delegation, led by my friend Senator Tim Scott. However, there is more to do. For example, the House Judiciary Committee is working on legislation to strengthen visa security.
In the last year, we also made some progress on reining in the drivers of our debt by passing the first entitlement reform in 20 years. And for the first time, Congress made permanent several key expiring tax provisions to give job creators greater certainty, including small business relief and the research and development tax credit for businesses. These bills passed with broad support.
As we look to 2016, the House will vote next month to repeal the Affordable Care Act through a budgetary process called "reconciliation" and send the legislation to the President’s desk. This legislation will also defund Planned Parenthood.
On the House Immigration Subcommittee, we have been working to address security concerns within the immigration system and hold the Administration accountable for their non-enforcement of our immigration laws. Additionally, in March, the Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 1148, the Davis-Oliver Act, legislation I introduced, which strengthens interior enforcement of our immigration laws and prevents this or future Presidents from systematically shutting down portions of the law to suit their political purposes.
The Select Committee on Benghazi has interviewed 64 witnesses, many of whom had never been interviewed by a congressional committee. We are on track to complete more than 70 witness interviews before releasing the final report. In early 2016, the Committee will conduct private interviews with General David Petraeus, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Secretary Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense.
Additionally, the Select Committee has obtained and reviewed roughly 100,000 pages of documents, most of them never before seen by any congressional committee, and is also the first and only Benghazi investigation to include the Secretary of State's emails, and the first to request Ambassador Chris Stevens’ emails.
This information, as well as other documents our investigators are still waiting to receive from the White House, State Department and the CIA, and information from other witnesses whose appearances are in the process of being scheduled, will inform the final, definitive report and recommendations the Committee hopes to release within the next few months.Read More
Currently, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits citizens of 38 participating countries to travel to the United States and stay for up to 90 days without an entry visa. These countries include our closest allies like Britain, France and Germany, and the program promotes tourism by providing reciprocal privileges to U.S. citizens and brings the U.S. important economic benefits.
But we know ISIS is recruiting from many of these countries. Thousands of Europeans have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, many of whom are from countries that participate in the program.
It is crucial to strengthen the VWP to combat terrorism, and one key is ensuring participating countries are sharing information to identify possible threats. This week, the House passed legislation with landslide support to improve the security provisions in the VWP and add additional protections.
H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015:
- Gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to suspend a country's participation in the program if they fail to share counterterrorism information with the U.S.
- Denies VWP status to citizens of participating countries who have traveled to certain terrorist hotspots since 2011
- Requires all VWP countries use fraud resistant "e-passports" by April 1
- Allows for the suspension of high-risk countries from the program
This legislation helps us close security gaps and is one more step the House has taken to strengthen our counterterrorism efforts.
On Wednesday, the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration held an oversight hearing with the Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for lawful immigration. We asked Director Leon Rodriguez about the vetting process for the female terrorist in the shootings in San Bernardino, who was radicalized well before her application to come to the United States. How did we miss that twice?
National security and public safety are the preeminent functions of government and our constitutional duty as representatives. While America has a proud history of providing refuge for those who have been persecuted for their beliefs or otherwise face imminent harm, we also have a duty to ensure the necessary background investigations can be done to stop terrorists from exploiting Americans’ generosity and ruthlessly taking more innocent lives. The President claims we are afraid of “widows and orphans.” With all due respect to him, I am only afraid of a foreign policy that creates more widows and orphans.
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing to examine the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on the security of the U.S. refugee admissions program. Watch my opening statement here:
Following the hearing, the House passed the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, H.R. 4038, with a veto proof majority. This is important because the President lobbied hard against this bill and has threatened to veto it. This legislation effectively suspends the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees until security and law enforcement officials can certify each refugee does not pose a threat to the United States.
Ultimately, the Syrian refugee crisis will only be solved if ISIS is destroyed. The President should start with a foreign policy in the Middle East, including Syria, that allows people to go back to their homelands. The President should defeat that “JV team” he said he had "contained." That would be the very best thing he could do to help people who aspire to a better life.
The South Carolina delegation, led by Senator Tim Scott, has been fighting President Obama’s misguided efforts to move Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States. Additionally, both the House and Senate passed national defense legislation, which bars the transfer of detainees to U.S. soil, by bipartisan, veto-proof majorities.
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing this week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch reaffirmed President Obama’s efforts to bring detainees into the U.S. would be illegal. She confirmed the law “currently does not allow” Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers to the U.S. President Obama should follow the law, and the counsel of his Attorney General, and abandon any plans to bring detainees to the U.S.
Gowdy Opening Statement at Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing to Examine the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Impact on Security of U.S. Refugee Admissions Program
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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Securing the border and ensuring the safety of our citizens is an integral responsibility of the federal government.
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Legal immigration is a privilege this country conveys under the terms and conditions it sets. Illegal immigration is just that – illegal.
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In case you missed it: watch my opening statement during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing to examine
Today, the House Judiciary Committee approved a resolution authorizing a specialized task force to examine the historic increase in executive
Our committee looks forward to completing the first thorough investigation into what happened before, during and after the 2012 terrorist attacks
Thursday at 9:00 AM: the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee will hold a hearing, "Another Surge of Illegal Immigrants Along the Southwest