Louie Gohmert

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Gohmert: U.S. could toughen takedown tactics

2017/04/14

Amid ever-escalating tension in the Middle East, East Asia and around the world, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert is at a crossroads: while advocating limited involvement in Syria, he’s also ready for a debate on eliminating the threat of North Korea – starting with dictator Kim Jong Un.

“On one hand, he’s China’s problem,” Gohmert said, “but on the other hand he’s the world’s problem.”

In a far-ranging interview with the Kilgore News Herald this week, the seventh-term representative from Texas’ First Congressional touched on Kim’s instability and what may be necessary to avoid war with the isolated Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and its saber-rattling supreme leader.

Gohmert said he understands President Donald Trump putting pressure on Chinese leaders to rein Kim in.

For real change, though, “I think it’s going to have to come from people inside North Korea,” he added. Meanwhile, “We’ve historically seen that if the United States makes it clear that we have a problem with some leader then that leader uses that to rally people around them.

“It’s a tricky diplomatic thing to demand the ouster of a nation’s leader.”

At the same time, Gohmert said, North Korea has nuclear weapons. The regime has worked with Iran.

“With a lot of leaders a threat that you mean can be effective,” but that’s not necessarily the case in the DPRK, Gohmert added.

A sincere threat might not be enough to control Kim.

“I think that when a foreign leader is a threat to the safety and well-being of another country,” he said, “and the people of the country of the crazy leader are not necessarily our enemy, I would at least like to have the debate on whether or not the best position is to take out the leader or to risk war with the whole country.”

It’s not a popular idea, he allowed, and it would spark a debate encompassing international law.

But, Gohmert said, consider the alternatives.

“Should we go to war with the country or just take out their government? I’ve been of the opinion for a while that the better action to take is to take out the government, the leader or whoever the problem is,” he said, “and explain they’re committing acts of war against us.

Then, to the people of that country, “(now) you’re free to have whatever leader you want but if you choose one or allow one that wants to go to war with the United States we’ll take them out to.”

How that would sit with the United Nations is a separate matter, he said.

“I think it’s time to consider the UN a disaster and get out,” Gohmert continued. Not NATO, but “The UN has been taken over by a majority of thugs.”

Gohmert’s against putting boots on the ground in Syria, advocating instead for a Safe Zone backed with air support by the United States while Turkey or another state actor inserts troops to control the area.

American soldiers don’t belong there, Gohmert insists.

“That would be a huge mistake. It was a huge mistake to put 100,000-plus in Afghanistan after the Taliban was defeated,” he said. “The Afghans loved us in ‘05. The people loved us. In ‘06, you could see a change, and when I was there two years ago it had changed a lot – nobody likes people to occupy their land. They liked us when we got rid of the radicals.”

The Northern Alliance fought viciously and defeated the Taliban with assistance from the United States, he added, with American weapons, air support and a limited number of embedded troops.

“I don’t even want to put 300 in Syria. You’ve got (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) that hates us. You’ve got ISIS that hates us,” Gohmert said. “Let them duke it out … I do think we ought to have a Safe Zone. We can move through the air and let Turkey or someone else put the troops down.”

Gohmert hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility someone other than Assad was behind the April 4 chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 people.

It’s been made clear, though: “If you use poison gas, we’re going to blow up your planes,” Gohmert said.

He’s no Assad defender but neither does the congressman want to bomb the regime out of existence (“If we’d done that, ISIS would have taken over the country.”) even though he favors American intervention when called for.

“We’ve had the power for years,” Gohmert said. “We haven’t been willing to use it when people would violate what’s in black-and-white.”

People around the world hope and pray the U.S. Stands firm, he insisted.

“I think we shouldn’t shun or walk away from being the leader of the world.”

Look for more from this week’s interview in Wednesday’s edition of the News Herald.

http://www.kilgorenewsherald.com/stories/gohmert-us-needs-to-toughentakedown-tactics,110342

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GOHMERT: Bill Last Week Was NOT Obamacare Repeal or Replacement

2017/03/30

Dear East Texans,

Republicans have been promising to repeal Obamacare for seven years now. Some of us have proposed bills that had good provisions that would repeal Obamacare. In fact, we voted on a bill that would have been more of a repeal than this one through the House and Senate last year and put it on then-President Obama’s desk for signature. He vetoed the bill. But let’s be clear: the bill last week was NOT a repeal. It was NOT a replacement. It was an Obamacare tweak giving additional power to the federal government in hopes that our Republican Health and Human Services Secretary could make good changes.

Most east Texans are not in favor of giving the federal government MORE power to solve the problem of the federal government having too much power over our health care. If a true history of the rise and demise of the greatest, freest country in history is written, a chapter will detail how decade after decade, good ol’ go along folks kept providing more and more authority to the federal government rather than reining it in. But we still have a window to stem the tide and get back on track.      

In closed meetings we were assured, if we will just give my friend Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price this extra power, he can weaken Obamacare substantially, though he could not repeal it administratively. However, no one could give an adequate answer regarding all that additional power in the hands of the next liberal Democrat who will one day take the reins at that behemoth department. The answer is obvious: the next liberal Secretary of HHS would bring back Obamacare with gusto, never to be repealed until it does its job—to hand over full control of your health care decisions to the government, paid for by crushing tax burdens.

There were a myriad of reasons to vote against Speaker Ryan’s rejected bill. It would hit people between the ages of 50-64 with additional costs for premiums and deductibles—in addition to what Obamacare does now. In addition to the original $716 Billion that Obamacare cut from Medicare, this bill was going to hit our seniors yet again.

Most troublesome to me was that in our own Republican meetings we heard from experts who believed that this bill would not bring premiums, deductibles or co-pays down at all and they would most likely be increasing for the next two years, though there was hope costs MIGHT come down 10% three years from now.

From what I hear from my constituents in east Texas, they are really overwhelmed with health insurance and healthcare costs. They need help, and they cannot afford to wait three years. They need help now.

Some of us were exceeding concerned about a new “tax credit” entitlement scheme that did not require proof of citizenship, not even legality, before the U.S. Treasury sends a check.  This entitlement was another transfer of wealth from those who work hard and pay taxes to those not legally present in this country.

The bill also assured that nearly 1% of your hard-earned money would be paid for a Medicare tax to be sucked out of your paycheck that already has a tax of 2.9%, half paid by you and half by your employer.

To help east Texans with the higher premiums this bill would bring, my Freedom Caucus friends and I twice agreed to vote FOR the bad bill, if the Speaker would take out a few of the requirements that were going to increase premiums. We were convinced by knowledgeable analysts that removing these provisions would drive premiums down.

Please understand, we agreed to let the “pre-existing condition” provision in Obamacare remain, though some falsely reported that we refused. We agreed to let children stay on their parents’ plans up to age 26, though I would agree to a higher age or no age limit if you are still living with your parents.

There were numerous other provisions that caused some heartburn, such as giving authority to HHA to create, for the first time ever, FEDERAL high risk insurance pools at the cost of billions of new dollars. We were told not to be alarmed, and that the hope was to eventually devolve that responsibility back to the states. As President Reagan warned, however, the closest thing to eternal life in this world is a new federal program.

Even though I was called an uncompromising “purist,” I was willing to compromise significantly if we could just get the premium costs down for my constituents.

People should also be aware that if the vote had been taken, there would have been as many moderate Republicans voting “No,” which some believe is why the vote was pulled in the first place. Republican leaders would not have been able to lay blame unfairly on conservatives when it was clear within our conference that at least as many moderates were concerned about the bill as conservatives.

The House Freedom Caucus reached an agreement to vote for the bill twice with President Trump, only to have Reince Priebus or Speaker Ryan notify us that such a compromise could not be put in the bill because, they told us, it would risk violating the budget reconciliation rules in the Senate and kill the bill.

Repeatedly we were told by our Republican leadership that the Senate Parliamentarian could not tell us in advance how she would “rule” on whether we could include our requested language in the bill without killing the bill. Late last week, we learned that the reason they could not find out was because they simply had not asked her, as Senator Mike Lee reported.

Yet the whole truth of the matter is that the Parliamentarian never “rules” on anything. She or he may only whisper a recommendation into the ear of the Senate President, either Vice-President Mike Pence or a designee of the Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who sits in the chair with the gavel on the Senate floor. It is the President of the Senate who “rules” on admissibility, not the Parliamentarian. And if 51 Republican Senators support the ruling of the presiding officer, his or her ruling stands untouchable.

This letter offers just a glimpse of the many reasons that the last two weeks played out as they did. It is very disappointing that despite the several compromises that were offered by conservative members, we still were not near fulfillment of our promise to truly and completely repeal Obamacare. That is a promise I did not make lightly, and I will continue the fight to honor my pledge to my constituents and the American people by working aggressively to make sure we get a good bill, get it passed, and signed into law. 

Faithfully Yours, 

Congressman Louie Gohmert 
First District of Texas

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Gohmert’s Statement on Tragic Mt. Pleasant ISD Bus Crash

2017/03/24

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement today regarding the tragic high school bus crash in East Texas that claimed two lives and injured numerous others:

“My thoughts and fervent prayers go out to the family members and friends of the two precious lives that were claimed as a result of the horrific East Texas crash involving the Mt. Pleasant High School girls and boys track teams. How very horrific-- to experience such a devastating loss after a time of togetherness and fun -- traveling back to Mt. Pleasant after a track meet.”

“As a former student at Mt. Pleasant High School, my heart goes out to the faculty – and the students injured and recovering in the hospital at this very moment. Such tragedies are truly incomprehensible. My thoughts and prayers remain steadfast for those involved in the coming days and years.”

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

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EXCLUSIVE: Podesta Was Board Member Of Firms Linked To Russian Investors

2017/03/22

Rep. Louie Gohmert, an outspoken House Republican from Texas, is calling for a congressional investigation of John Podesta’s role with Rusnano, a state-run company founded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman and former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — first made contact with the Russian firm in 2011, when he joined the boards and executive committees of three related entities: Boston-based Joule Unlimited; Rotterdam-based Joule Global Holdings; Joule Global Stichting, the company’s controlling interest. All are high-tech renewable energy enterprises.

Three months after Podesta’s arrival, Joule Unlimited accepted a 1 billion ruble investment from Rusnano, amounting to $35 million in U.S. currency. The firm also awarded a Joule board seat in February 2012 to Anatoly Chubais, Rusnano’s CEO, who has been depicted as a corrupt figure.

Podesta has attempted to downplay his relationship with Joule and Rusnano, but it could come to haunt him.

One potential legal problem for him relates to the time he joined former President Barack Obama’s White House staff in 2014 as a senior counselor and failed to reveal his 2011 Joule stock vesting agreement in his government financial disclosure form.

Further, he failed to disclose 75,000 common shares of Joule stock he received, as disclosed in a WikiLeaks email.

After Podesta began working at the White House, his lawyer indicated in a Jan. 6, 2014 email that he had not yet finished the legal work on the private transfer of the stock to a family-owned entity called Leonido Holdings, LLC.

Gohmert’s call for an examination of Podesta’s Russian ties comes as Washington is in the grips of a set of allegations about Russian ties to President Donald Trump and his aides, as well as charges of Russian influence during the presidential election.

Gohmert is troubled about the Podesta-Russia connection, telling TheDCNF, “this certainly needs to be reviewed to see if there really is something nefarious going on with these activities.” Gohmert sits on the House Judiciary Committee and is vice chair of its subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security.

The Podesta-Russia connection also could rekindle a new round of questions about Clinton relationships with foreign figures — in this case, Chubais.

Chubais, Russia’s deputy prime minister in the 1990s, owed his personal fortunes to Bill Clinton, who embraced him as a “reformer” in former President Boris Yeltsin’s government. Clinton’s ally instead created a new generation of tycoons who today rule Russia.

Podesta’s role at Joule was largely unknown until last year when the nonprofit Government Accountability Institute (GAI) published a highly-detailed report on Russian ties to Podesta and the Clintons.

An ongoing federal lawsuit, Neas Ltd, v. Rusnano, which is now before the U.S. District Court for Northern California, suggests Podesta and others at Joule may have unwittingly assisted Rusnano in a scheme hatched to move billions of weak rubles into valuable U.S. dollars by parking them as “investments” in high-tech companies in Boston and in Silicon Valley.

A deposition by Ilya Ponomarev, an architect of Russia’s innovation enterprises and the former chairman of innovations subcommittee in the Russian Parliament, shed light on Rusnano’s plans in the United States. He says its primary objective “was the transformation of Rusnano from a state-owned corporation to an enterprise suitable for operations in the United States.”  Ponomarev now lives in exile in the United States.

Shortly after then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pursued her “reset” with Russia, state-owned Russian companies began targeting American companies in Boston and Silicon Valley as investment opportunities.

In May 2010, under Hillary Clinton’s leadership, the Department of State facilitated a visit by 22 American hi-tech and venture capital firms to Skolkovo, Russia’s version of Silicon Valley, according to GAI.

Rusnano appears to have been a leader in the Russian investment move into the United States. Chubais created a Rusnano “investment fund” and set up a so-called “Russian Innovation Center” in tony Silicon Valley, according to the Neas lawsuit.

The company opened shop in Palo Alto called DJF Venture Fund, a venture capital fund advised the Russian company.

Rusnano targeted Boston where Joule’s U.S. operations were centered. In 2010, Chubais joined a Rusnano “road show” and gave a presentation at MIT. A Rusnano managing director also addressed the Harvard Faculty Club.

An Oct. 5, 2011 Rusnano PowerPoint presentation by Dmitry Akhanov, Rusnano USA president, promised American businessmen “cheap money.” Rusnano dangled $4.6 billion in government contributions and $5.7 billion in state guarantees.

Lucia Ziobro, the special agent in charge at the FBI’s Boston field office, issued an “extraordinary warning” to Boston-area high-tech firms in 2014 about Russian investors to startups like Joule.

“The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive and emerging technology from the companies,” she wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed.

Podesta’s emails also show how in 2015 Podesta continued to help Rusnano even though he had left Joule’s boards. Podesta’s lawyer told him he did legal work for the Rosnano president to get on the Joule board.

Rusnano was a special company formed by decree at the direction of Putin. A small group of Putin cronies called the “Kooperative Ozero” masterminded the takeover of big swaths of the Russian economy.

The Ozero group are eight men — including Putin — who owned expensive dachas on a lake outside of St. Petersburg. They now run state-owned banks, the news media and oil and gas companies.

“This group Ozero turned to occupy all the ruling positions in the country after Putin came to power,” Ponomarev told TheDCNF.  He said the group represented “former KGB, organized crime and their associates.”

David Satter, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former Wall Street Journal reporter who covered Russia, called Chubais as “a very shady figure.”

“Chubais was in charge of the whole privatization process during the 1990’s under Yeltsin which was notoriously corrupt,” he told TheDCNF. “Billions of dollars in property changed hands under conditions that were unethical, illegal, criminal.  He was in charge of that whole process,” he said.

The DCNF contacted but received no replies from Joule Unlimited, Rusnano USA or Podesta.



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Rep. Gohmert: Trump ‘Being Set Up for Failure,’ Ryancare Doesn’t Fully Repeal Obamacare

2017/03/21

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) spoke with Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Tuesday regarding the latest on Ryancare.

Gohmert called the current bill “a formula for disaster,” insisting it’s likely the courts would end up having the final say in terms of preserving Obamacare due to the way the bill is written.

“I think the President’s being set up for failure,” added Gohmert, “and I know people are anxious just to get this bill passed.”

He continued, “We can’t just cave in and say, oh, it’s the best we can do. It’s not the best we can do.”

“We’re on the brink of disaster or fantastic accomplishment, one or the other. So, we’ll see how it plays out this week,” concluded Gohmert.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

LISTEN:
https://soundcloud.com/breitbart/breitbart-news-daily-rep-louie-gohmert-march-21-2017 

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Republicans remain fractured on Obamacare repeal; considering ‘collapse and replace’ option

2017/03/17

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he knows how to force Democrats to work with Republicans on a plan to replace Obamacare, but other Republicans aren’t so sure that taking the bipartisan route is such a good idea, given what the GOP promised throughout the 2016 campaign.

During an interview with TheBlaze, Graham recommended his fellow Republicans let Obamacare collapse under its own weight. Graham said that if changes can’t be made to the House GOP health care bill currently being debated in the lower chamber, then Republicans should simply adopt the tactic of pointing the finger at Democrats when Obamacare ultimately collapses.

The House Republicans’ bill — the American Health Care Act — was introduced last week but has been the subject of criticism among many of the more conservative members in the House Freedom Caucus, who have stated publicly that they will not vote for the legislation in its current form.

A number of Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have referred to the bill as “another entitlement” and even “Obamacare Lite.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a separate bill that would repeal Obamacare but not replace it. Paul said the two should be done separately.

“[After repeal] we can have a separate vote on replacement legislation that will deliver lower costs, better care, and greater access to the American people,” Paul said.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) introduced the same bill in the House. Several moderate House Republicans have announced their opposition to the Jordan bill.

Graham said he agrees with members of the House Freedom Caucus and does not support the AHCA legislation in its current form. Graham laid out an alternative approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare, which Democrats passed in 2010 with no Republican support whatsoever.

“What I would suggest,” Graham said, “is if we can’t improve the House bill, and I would urge the speaker to let the Freedom Caucus have the relevant votes, that we let this program, designed by Democrats exclusively, voted on by Democrats exclusively, fail, and challenge Democrats to help clean up the mess they created. That’s the only way you’ll get a bipartisan result is collapse and replace.”

Graham added that by passing the American Health Care Act, Republicans would be doing what Democrats want them to. “They want [President Donald] Trump to fail,” he said. “They want us to replace Obamacare with something that we own. Whether that’s right or wrong, that’s their attitude.”

Graham’s thinking seems to be in line with a comment Trump made at a news conference shortly before taking office in January.

“We don’t wanna own it [health care], we don’t wanna own it politically. They own it right now. The easiest thing would be to let it implode in 2017,” Trump said, according to CNN.

But Freedom Caucus members such as Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) believe Republicans  should follow through on the promise they made to the voters in November. Gohmert told TheBlaze:

First, we promised that if you give us the majority in the House, we’ll repeal it. Then we promised, “Oh, well, we have to have the Senate.” We got it. Then we said, “Well, we really need the presidency because we sent [a full repeal bill] over two years ago and [former President Barack Obama] vetoed it.”

And then we get all three and say, “Well, now that we got all three, we’re not going to really and truly repeal it.” So it comes back to wanting to keep our promise. That’s where I am. I want to keep all of us that had been promising when we had the House, Senate and the presidency we would repeal it, and I want to keep us all from being liars.

Gohmert acknowledged that House Republican leaders realize “they’ve got problems,” especially when it comes to earning the support of the Freedom Caucus on the AHCA. Gohmert said that he will not vote for the legislation in its current form.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said leaders are “fine tuning” the health care legislation so that it has enough support to pass the House. Ryan declined to say Thursday during an interview with CNN whether it could pass the lower chamber as is.

“It’s not coming up this afternoon,” Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “It’s going through the legislative process. That legislative process has not been finalized. That’s, no offense, kind of a goofy question or faulty premise because this goes through four committees. We’ve gone through two so far.”

The House is expected to vote on a revised bill March 23, but it’s currently unclear how that legislation will differ from the current document.

If the bill passes next week, it will advance with no support from Democrats, something Gohmert said he’s OK with.

“I would love it if Democrats recognized that Obamacare was a problem and it caused them the loss of a majority and it caused them losses in statehouses all over the place. I would love for them to recognize that so we could repeal it in a bipartisan manner,” Gohmert told TheBlaze.

“It seems to be a matter of pride. ‘Gee, we passed it without any of your votes.’  So if it takes repealing it with all Republican votes, that is fine,” he said. “But then I think you will see a much more open process — we certainly better — as we try to reform health care and get it back to a healthy way to treat people again.”

Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C., explained to TheBlaze that having bipartisan support on health care legislation would mostly produce negative outcomes. Cannon said that if there is bipartisan support among Republicans and Democrats, the bill “will look more like Obamacare” than whichever bill Republicans might have passed on their own.

“And while you may then have a bipartisan coalition support certain parts of Obamacare, and that would tend to give those changes more political durability, you’ll also have to ask, are they good changes? Would they actually deliver stability in the market so that insurance companies are not afraid of entering the market?” Cannon asked.

Humana health insurance company announced it will withdraw from the Obamacare exchanges altogether. Another major insurer, Aetna, recently announced plans to withdraw from all but four state exchanges. Both companies cited multimillion dollar losses as their reasons for doing so. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said he expects other major health insurers will follow suit, possibly leaving some areas of the country with no insurers participating in the Obamacare exchange.

“It’s not going to get any better; it’s getting worse,” Bertolini said last month.

Aetna’s top executive went on to seemingly advocate for Obamacare’s repeal. “The repeal is easy. They can do that tomorrow if they want to,” he said.

“The question is what does the replacement look like and how long does it take to get there,” Bertolini added.

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Texas Rep Pushing Ryan For House IT Scandal Probe Briefing

2017/03/16

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert is pushing his party’s leadership to hold a caucus briefing on the U.S. Capitol Police criminal investigation into the five congressional Information Technology (IT) workers suspected of stealing congressional data.

“I’m circulating a letter, and we’re going to ask for just that,” Gohmert told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Thursday following a “Conversation with Conservatives” news conference.

Congress needs to know more about three Pakistani brothers — Imran, Abid and Jamal Awan — and two of their associates, who are under criminal investigation for using a remote server to download and store data from congressional IT systems and over-billing taxpayers for computer equipment, Gohmert said.

The staffers performed IT services for dozens of Democratic members of the House Committees on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security. Their positions gave them access to “everything,” including House member email and office files.

Gohmert’s comments came a day after Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said U.S. Capitol Police are getting “the kind of help they need from other sources.” 

“We need to make sure that the Capitol police have the resources they need,” Gohmert said, adding that involving the FBI or other federal investigative authorities may run into separation of powers issues. “If they (U.S. Capitol Police) need to hire a forensic computer expert to come in, whatever they need, let’s make sure they have it so they can figure out how badly compromised the House was.”

The DCNF previously reported that the brothers owed money to a Hezbollah-connected fugitive, took cash from an Iraqi politician, had access to former Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s digital devices, and were suspected of holding their stepmother in “captivity” in order to access offshore cash.

Gohmert wants to ensure a “proper investigation” of the national security breach, and he believes Congress needs to make sure congressional IT systems aren’t compromised ever again, especially from the inside.

“We need to look at where mistakes were made,” Gohmert said. “How do we make sure that we don’t have people that can come in and compromise our system quite so easily?”



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Freedom Caucus Chair Meadows: Replacement Sets ‘New Entitlement, Keeps Some Taxes, Doesn’t Repeal All of Obamacare’

2017/03/07

On Monday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) stated that the GOP’s Obamacare replacement “sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes, doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare.”

Meadows said that some progress has been made on the bill, and “I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that some of the taxes that were in the initial version have been eliminated, and so, we can applaud that.”

He added that “we don’t really get rid of the Cadillac tax altogether. It’s still in there, it just comes back in in eight years. And so, we really need to look at some amendments, to make sure that we get rid of the taxes, we put something on President Obama’s desk a few months ago, and to suggest that what we put on President Trump’s desk sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes, doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare. We’ve got to do better, and hopefully, with some amendments, we can do that.

Meadows stated that getting enough votes is “one of the hurdles that we have.” He continued, “This doesn’t even go as far as we went in 2015 to repeal all the Medicaid expansion, it still keeps that. And so, as we’re looking at that, we’ve got to find that sweet spot. One of the concerns I have, the biggest concern I have..will it actually lower healthcare costs? And until we get that answer, we’ve got to hold out judgment.”

Fellow guest Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) agreed that the Cadillac tax is kept in and the replacement plan creates a new entitlement. He also stated that “We are going to force citizens, it looks like, to end up paying for people’s healthcare that are illegally here.”

Meadows stated that one amendment he’ll offer will expand the use of health saving’s accounts, and that even though the replacement already has a provision on HSAs, “it makes it tough.” And that none of the subsidies go to funding HSAs. Gohmert added that the replacement has a cap on how much you can put into an HSA, and “we shouldn’t be penalizing states that didn’t expand Medicaid.”

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Gohmert on White House Executive Order to Rescind Waters of the US Rule

2017/03/01

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) released the following statement on the decision made by the White House, under the leadership of President Donald Trump, to rescind and rewrite the Waters of the United States regulation implemented by President Obama’s administration:

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long since expanded beyond working toward a clean environment and has become a runaway, militarized, super power that eats liberties of Americans becoming bigger and more unstoppable with each set of rights it consumes. This executive order, announced by the Trump Administration, to rescind and rewrite the Waters of the US Rule, is truly encouraging because it halts the federal power grab on a vast array of minor streams and wetlands.”

“Whims spoken into law after backroom bureaucratic deals must come to an end. These unelected bureaucrats at the EPA, who have thumbed their noses at the written law in favor of their own cubicle-concocted regulations, should not be allowed to grow any more powerful.

“The federal government was only permitted to have some authority over navigable waters. However, the Obama administration felt, in essence, if water falls from the sky and ever runs into a gully that empties into a dry creek bed that becomes a real creek and eventually a river, and finally a navigable river, that water where it first falls should mandate federal control. This was contemptuous of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment, and it is high time someone reined in these autocrats before it got any worse.

“Fortunately, this executive order will begin to fix the Obama implemented regulation, thus spurring economic growth and jobs.”

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

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Agents detail 'daily' border fence battle, seek post-Obama 'restart'

2017/02/27

In the tiny Arizona city of Douglas, a Border Patrol surveillance camera is trained on a 10-foot-high fence with Mexico. After a few seconds, footage shows a figure appearing out of nowhere and the fence suddenly opens to allow a pickup truck through. A car follows, and they speed off into adjoining neighborhoods while the makeshift gate slams shut.

The Wild West still has a foothold here, more than 100 years after gunslingers Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday called Douglas home. Only the outlaws are cartels and traffickers.

And while President Trump is vowing to step up enforcement and seal off the southern border, agents in Border Patrol say they are still grappling with fallout from the Obama years – which they contend allowed security problems like this to fester.

“We weren’t allowed to do our job,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the border agents’ union, told Fox News.

Judd said the agency is now seeking a “restart” after years of neglect.

In his last term, President Obama’s so-called ‘catch and release’ policies often allowed illegal immigrants to go free awaiting court dates, while most asylum seekers were accepted. The border itself continued to suffer as it has for years from gaps exploited by drug and human traffickers – like the breach seen in the exclusive November 2016 footage from Douglas, Ariz. That ‘gate’ was created by perpetrators on the Mexican side using a blowtorch to cut a metal panel and then affixing hinges and latches. Putty and paint are used to touch up the American side, making the gate almost indiscernible.

Further, agents have grappled with a shift of resources from the field to the office. According to Judd, only 20 percent of the workforce was actually patrolling the border toward the end of the last administration due to extensive paperwork required to process asylum seekers and high attrition tied to low morale.

“We just cannot continue with the same management that we’ve had, which created our problems,” Judd said. “We expect the president to drain the swamp – ours should be the first one drained. We have to hit the restart button.”

Since taking office, Trump has ordered an end to “catch and release,” and the promise of reinforcements generally has boosted spirits inside the agency.  

But even as the new president moves to empower agents, it takes a year to hire and fully train personnel -- so a ramped-up border force is still in the distant future, Judd said.

The Border Patrol currently has 19,700 agents, far below the allotted number of 21,370. Trump wants to hire another 5,000, which is what Judd said is needed.  

“We were definitely lacking resources [under Obama],” said a second agent who has worked the Arizona border for more than a decade and did not want to be identified. “Anything that could be done to tie our hands behind our backs was done, no doubt about that.”

The Obama Years

While the video showing unfettered access across the Mexican border was shot during the Obama years, agents still encounter this dangerous scenario today: Ingenious border crossers using blowtorches to create gates big enough to allow trucks to pass through.

In areas where the fence is composed of steel mesh, border crossers have cut smaller holes so people can crawl across. Even areas with heavy metal bars (called bollard fencing) prove no match for a torch. Scoping out fence holes and repairing them is a full-time job for agents and welders.

This scenario is the main reason why many border agents support building a wall, not a fence.

“People were cutting through there on a daily basis and it was getting to the point where they were even doing it during the day,” the second agent said.

If not carving through the fence, others would climb over with the help of ladders or grappling hooks – or in some cases, drive over using a ramp.

Illegal immigrants caught by Border Patrol also would create a mountain of paperwork, taking agents off the streets for processing. Those seeking asylum each required three hours of paperwork, Judd said, as agents also made a host of notifications to consulates, the Department of Health and Human Services and legal representation. Whether seeking asylum or not, those in custody were then given court dates and a bus ticket to wherever they wanted.

No one was held in custody unless a warrant showed up on the Department of Justice database. It didn’t take long for smugglers to realize that sending across mules to invoke asylum would create a vacuum of agents at the border so drugs could flow freely – whether carried over, thrown over or flown over, Judd said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said immigrants generally need permission to cross from the cartels, which have divvied up the sections.

“I’ve been there when they were detained and asked how much it cost and they paid anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000,” he said. “Those who didn’t have all the money worked it off. Women in sex trafficking and kids and men as drug traffickers.”

Gohmert said Obama-era policies effectively allowed taxpayer dollars to fund their transportation to the doorsteps of kingpins.

Border Patrol’s processing centers also played a role in gang recruitment, Judd said, as members would try to enlist teenagers in the facilities and line up gang housing post-release. When agents witnessing recruitment informed superiors to request suspected members be held for deportation proceedings, Judd said, the chain of command typically denied the request.

“We now have thousands of new gang members thanks to catch and release,” he said.

Gohmert said “demoralized” agents felt like they were “spinning their wheels” these last few years: “They could stay up all night and not stop the people from entering the U.S. The agents knew if they had a big group of people come across, the drugs were going to follow. But they couldn’t watch for the drugs because they had to process all those people – sometimes groups big enough to fill a Greyhound bus.”

Obama staunchly defended his immigration policies during his two terms, including his push to shield from deportation roughly 4 million illegal immigrants living in the United States including parents of legal residents.

When the Supreme Court deadlocked last year, leaving a ruling against the policy in place, Obama called the decision “heartbreaking for millions of immigrants who made their lives here who raised families here” and want to work and pay taxes. He called on Congress to act – but for now, Trump is doing what Obama did, and handling the issue through the Executive Branch.

 

 
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Contact Information

2243 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3035
Fax 202-226-1230
gohmert.house.gov

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

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Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

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TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

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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

Jodey Arrington

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

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