Louie Gohmert

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Louie Gohmert
Louie Gohmert Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 1st district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded by Max Sandlin
Personal details
Born Louis Buller Gohmert, Jr.
(1953-08-18) August 18, 1953 (age 60)
Pittsburg, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kathy Gohmert
Children 3
Residence Tyler, Texas
Alma mater Texas A&M University (BA)
Baylor Law School (JD)
Occupation Attorney, judge
Religion Southern Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1978–1982
Rank US military captain's rank.gif Captain[1]
Unit Judge Advocate General's Corps
Awards Meritorious Service Medal[1]

Louis Buller "Louie" Gohmert, Jr. (born August 18, 1953) is an American politician and current Republican U.S. Representative from Texas's First Congressional District.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Gohmert was born in Pittsburg, Texas, the son of Erma Sue (née Brooks) and Louis Buller Gohmert. He is of part German ancestry.[2][3] Gohmert was raised in Mount Pleasant, Texas, where he graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1971.[4] He was then accepted into Texas A&M University, receiving his B.A. in history in 1975.[5] Gohmert spent a summer as an exchange student in Ukraine.[6] He received an army scholarship while at Texas A&M, where he was a brigade commander of the Corps of Cadets and class president.[7]

He later received his Juris Doctor from Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas in 1977 where he also served as class president.[8] Gohmert served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, at Fort Benning, Georgia, from 1978 to 1982.[9] The majority of his U.S. Army legal service was as a defense attorney.

Gohmert was elected as a state district judge for Texas's 7th Judicial District, serving Smith County (Tyler, Texas) from 1992 to 2002; being reelected to a total of three terms.[9] Gohmert first saw national recognition for a 1996 probation requirement where he ordered an H.I.V. positive man, who was convicted on motor vehicle theft charges, to seek the written consent from all future sexual partners on a court provided form notifying them of H.I.V. status;[10] angering AIDS and Gay rights activists, as well as civil libertarians.[11] Gohmert was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to fill a vacancy as Chief Justice on Texas's 12th Court of Appeals, where he served a six month term from 2002 to 2003.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

A mid-decade redistricting made the 1st District significantly more Republican than its predecessor, notably by moving Gohmert's home in Tyler from the 4th to the 1st. In the Republican primary, Gohmert defeated State Representative Wayne Christian of Center, who thereafter returned to the state legislature but was unseated in the 2012 Republican primary. Gohmert defeated Democratic incumbent 1st District Congressman Max Sandlin with 61 percent of the vote to Sandlin's 39 percent, becoming the first Republican since Reconstruction to represent northeast Texas.

Proving just how Republican this district was, Gohmert has been elected four times with virtually no opposition. In 2006, Gohmert won his second term by defeating Democrat Roger L. Owen, a swimming pool builder from Hallsville. He faced no major party opposition in 2008 or 2010.

On November 6, 2012, Gohmert was elected to his fifth term with 182,621 votes (71.7 percent) to the Democrat Shirley J. McKellar's 67,758 (26.6 percent). The Libertarian Clark Patterson polled the remaining 1.6 percent of the ballots.[12]

Tenure[edit]

From Jan 2005 to Oct 2013, Gohmert missed 551 of 6,900 roll call votes, which is 8.0%. This is more than most members of congress; the median number of such votes missed is 2.3%.[13]

L-R: House Chaplain David Coughlin presents pastor David Dykes a certificate in honor of his September 10, 2008 Invocation of the US House, while Rep. Louie Gohmert and Speaker Nancy Pelosi stand by.

In 2007 Gohmert said, "I would submit to you that Washington, D.C. is also the only city in the entire country that every Senator and every Member of Congress has a vested interest in seeing that it works properly, that water works, sewer works, and no other city in America has that."[14] When residents began calling Gohmert's office complaining about issues like trash and parking, he told them to speak to local government officials instead.[15] Washington, D.C. has been described as a modern example of virtual representation, even though it has no voting representatives in Congress.

On July 29, 2009, he signed on as a co-sponsor of the defeated H.R. 1503. This bill would have amended "the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of president to include with the committee's statement of organization a copy of the candidate's birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the office of president under the Constitution".[16]

Gohmert stated in a House Judiciary Hearing on May 15, 2013, that he believed the FBI did not act with due diligence concerning alleged bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. His contention was that the FBI was more interested in Christian groups such as those led by Billy and Franklin Graham than in groups that might be considered less politically correct to target. Attorney General Eric Holder responded to his claims: "The only observation I was going to make is that you state as a matter of fact what the FBI did and did not do. Unless somebody has done something inappropriate, you don't have access to the FBI files," said Holder. "I know what the FBI did. You cannot know what I know. That's all." Gohmert objected to this on the grounds that Holder had "challenge[d]" his character. After several attempts to inject his viewpoint as a point of personal privilege Gohmert stated: "The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus".[17]

On January 3, 2013, Gohmert broke ranks with the House leadership to nominate outspoken Florida Representative Allen West for Speaker of the House, even though West lost his bid for re-election in November 2012 and was no longer a member of Congress.[18]

Although he has previously ruled out the possibility of a bid for the U.S. Senate, he has recently been boosted by at least one "tea party" group (Grassroots America We the People) as a primary challenger to current Republican Senator John Cornyn.[19]

Fiscal policy[edit]

Gohmert has signed the Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[20] Gohmert offered an alternative plan to kick-start the economy with his tax holiday bill that would allow taxpayers to be exempt for two months from having federal income tax taken out of their paychecks.[21] Gohmert was one of a number of Republicans who voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011 on grounds it did not do enough to deal with the government's growing debt.[22] Gohmert was one of four Republicans who voted against, joining 161 Democrats to oppose a balanced budget Constitutional amendment in November 2011.[23]

Gohmert does not believe in man made climate change, and has asserted that data supporting the theory is fraudulent. Gohmert has opposed cap-and-trade legislation, such as the one that was passed in the US House when it was Democratic controlled. Gohmert supports expanding drilling, and exploration and drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).[24]

In a 2012 meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee, Gohmert stated his strong support of a trans-Alaskan pipeline, as a means for caribou to have more sex.[25][26][27] According to Gohmert, "When [the caribou] want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline. So [his] real concern now [is] ... if oil stops running through the pipeline ... do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?” Gohmert's comments were not favorably received by the rest of the committee; reportedly, Alaskan representative Don Young was forced to stifle his laughter in response.[28][29]

Gohmert has made statements and voted for legislation that support the use of school vouchers.[30]

Gohmert strongly supported the Baseline Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 1871; 113th Congress), a bill that would change the way in which discretionary appropriations for individual accounts are projected in CBO’s baseline.[31] Under H.R. 1871, projections of such spending would still be based on the current year’s appropriations, but would not be adjusted for inflation going forward.[31] Gohmert said that "conservatives have advocated for years that there should be no automatic spending increases in any federal department's budget... that has been a trap so when we simply slow the rate of increase, we are accused of making draconian cuts."[32] Gohmert argued that this legislation would make clearer "what is an increase and what is a cut," put the government in the same situation as American families (who do not get automatic increases), and help with the task of getting the debt under control.[32]

Social policy[edit]

Gohmert has a pro-life voting record. He has stated that he believes that life begins at conception. Gohmert sponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act. Gohmert voted for the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, a bill that prohibits the transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of an abortion without the consent of the minor's parents. He has 100% pro-life voting record rating from the NRLC.[33][34]

At a congressional hearing on May 23, 2013, on an abortion bill that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Gohmert told the story of another couple he knew that decided to go through with their pregnancy despite learning of fetal anomalies. He told Zink, a woman witness, that she should have gone through with her pregnancy despite some doctor's opinion that the brain function was impaired, and then have a better assessment of the baby's health once it was born. Gohmert explained: "Ms. Zink, having my great sympathy and empathy both, I still come back wondering, shouldn’t we wait, like that couple did, and see if the child can survive before we decide to rip him apart?" Gohmert said. "So these are ethical issues, they’re moral issues, they’re difficult issues, and the parents should certainly be consulted. But it just seems like, it’s a more educated decision if the child is in front of you to make those decisions."[35]

On December 16, 2012, two days after the murder of over twenty people at an elementary school, Gohmert appeared on Fox News Sunday and suggested that the tragedy would have never happened had the teachers been armed. He told host Chris Wallace, "I wish to God that she [principal Dawn Hochsprung] had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out... and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids." He also claimed that the 20 victims who had been killed with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle had "defensive wounds."[36]

"Terror baby" national security vulnerability[edit]

On August 12, 2010, Gohmert appeared on Anderson Cooper 360° to defend recent comments he made on the floor of the House regarding "terror babies". In a speech about national security made on the House floor in June 2010,[37] Gohmert stated that a retired FBI agent had told him that one of the things the FBI had been looking at were terrorist cells overseas sending young women to become pregnant so they would deliver the baby in the United States, and then take the baby with them back to be raised as a trained terrorist. When adult, this operative—a U.S. citizen by birth—could be easily infiltrated in the U.S. to carry out terrorist actions.[38] On Fox Business News, Gohmert had later claimed that an airline passenger with a relative in Hamas had a grandchild who was to be intentionally born in the United States.[39] In the interview, Gohmert asserted that pregnant women from the Middle East are traveling to the US on tourist visas, planning to deliver the child there.[40] According to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this automatically grants citizenship to the child. He said that the child would then be returned to the mother's home country and be submitted to a life of terrorist training. Rep. Gohmert said he could not reveal the identity of the retired FBI agent who provided him the information, but he pointed out to a The Washington Post article,[41] which described "birth tourism" packages, mainly directed at Chinese tourists. Basically, anyone who manages to enter the United States can give birth in the U.S. specially with the overwhelming statistics of people who overstay their visas. These "birth tourism" packages, Gohmert pointed out, take advantage of a "gaping hole in the security of our country."[42]

Letter To Director Of National Intelligence[edit]

On June 13, 2012, Gohmert was one of five members of Congress (including Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Tom Rooney, Lynn Westmoreland) to send letters to the Inspectors General[43] of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State outlining their "serious national security concerns," and asking for "answers to questions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical group’s access to top Obama administration officials." In the letter, Gohmert and the other U.S. lawmakers sent, they write about information they claim "raises serious questions about Department of State policies and activities that appear to be a result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood."[44]

One of the letters in particular to Ambassador Harold W. Geisel, the Deputy Inspector General of the United States Department of State, mentioned the Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, as an example of the undue influence. The letter said that Abedin, who had access to sensitive national security and policy information, "has three family members–her late father, her mother and her brother–connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations," as backed up by a study by the Center for Security Policy.[45][46][47]

The national security concerns expressed by Gohmert in the letters are backed up by previous investigation conducted by the Justice Department Inspector General, court filings[48] and other documents,[49] and they are based on information presented by U.S. Government officials in court depositions, court evidence, correspondence and briefings with Congress and in public statements. This material evidence is substantial enough for Gohmert—in his position of elected representatives by the people, and in the interests of the people—to raise the allegued suspicions and, to request an investigationin order to protect the United States from terrorist infiltration.[50]

Gohmert and his colleagues were praised by Newt Gingrich as the "National Security Five" in an editorial on the Politico website. Gingrich expressed he favors investigating the Muslim Brotherhood, and made clear his support to Gohmert and the other four state-elected representatives for rising up concerns that improve national security.[51] Columnist Cal Thomas shrugged off the specter of McCarthyism, and said that the real possibility of infiltration by Islamic extremists deserves to be investigated.[52]

Committee assignments[edit]

Committee on the Judiciary

Committee on Natural Resources

In addition Gohmert is a member of the Republican Study Committee and the Tea Party Caucus.

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2004[53]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Louie Gohmert 157,068 61.47%
Democratic Max Sandlin (incumbent) 96,281 37.68%
Libertarian Dean L. Tucker 2,158 0.84%
Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2006[53]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Louie Gohmert (incumbent) 104,099 68.00%
Democratic Roger L. Owen 46,303 30.24%
Libertarian Donald Perkison 2,668 1.74%
Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2008[53]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Louie Gohmert (incumbent) 189,012 87.57%
Independent Roger L. Owen 26,814 12.42%
Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2010[53]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Louie Gohmert (incumbent) 129,398 89.72%
Libertarian Charles F. Parkes III 14,811 10.27%
Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2012[53]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Louie Gohmert (incumbent) 178,322 71.4%
Democratic Shirley J. Mckellar 67,222 26.9%
Libertarian Clark Patterson 4,114 1.64%

Personal life[edit]

Gohmert and his wife Kathy are parents to three daughters. Gohmert attends Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, where he has served as a deacon and teaches Sunday school.[54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier". Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Louis Buller "Louie" Gohmert, Jr.". ancestry.com. April 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)". rollcall.com. April 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ "The U.S. Congress Votes Data Base Louie Gohmert (R)". washingtonpost.com. 
  5. ^ "Louie B. Gohmert (R)". washingtonpost.com. June 30, 2004. 
  6. ^ Rep. Louie Gohmert: American Strength is Security
  7. ^ "NationalJournalAlmanac Texas District 1 Rep. Louie Gohmert (R)". nationaljournal.com. April 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b The Wall Street Journal. "Louie Gohmert (R)". wsj.com. 
  9. ^ a b Houston Chronicle (July 1, 2010). "Texas delegation in depth: Louie Gohmert". chron.com. 
  10. ^ Jay Root (August 26, 2012). "nytimes.com". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ Jay Root (August 26, 2012). "Courting Controversy Works for Louie Gohmert". The Texas Tribune. 
  12. ^ "General election returns, November 6, 2012". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/louie_gohmert/400651/
  14. ^ http://dcist.com/2007/03/23/meet_your_new_r.php
  15. ^ http://dcist.com/2012/05/take_your_constituent_concerns_to_c.php
  16. ^ "Text of H.R.1503 as Introduced in House: Presidential Eligibility Act – U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. March 12, 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Louie Gohmert Goes Off On Eric Holder At House Hearing". Huffington Port. May 13, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  18. ^ Chris Moody (January 3, 2013), John Boehner re-elected as speaker of the House Yahoo News
  19. ^ Rayfield, J. (August 8, 2013). "Texas Tea Partyers want Louie Gohmert for Senate". Salon. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List". Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Rep. Louie Gohmert Wants Congress to Ditch Federal Income tax for 2008". Fox News. December 1, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Louie Gohmert – Debt, Deficit, Spending, and the Size of Government". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  23. ^ Associated Press (November 18, 2011). "House rejects balanced budget amendment". USA Today. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Louie Gohmert – Energy and the Environment". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Texas congressman lectures colleagues on caribou romance". Anchorage Daily News. February 7, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  26. ^ Kamen, Al (February 8, 2012). "The State Department is no Donald Trump". The Washington Post. 
  27. ^ Lushing, Dustin (February 8, 2012). "Things Congress Talks About: Caribou Sex – Texas' Louie Gohmert says Alaskan pipeline is hot date meet-up". Newser. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Texas Republican Supports Pipeline For The Sake Of Caribou Sex". The Inquisitr. February 8, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  29. ^ Heil, Emily (February 7, 2012). "Louie Gohmert: Best caribou wingman ever". The Washington Post. 
  30. ^ "Louie Gohmert – Education". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  31. ^ a b "CBO - H.R. 1871". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  32. ^ a b "Gohmert Praises Baseline Reform Act of 2013". The Office of Congressman Louie Gohmert. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "Louie Gohmert on Foreign Policy". OnTheIssues. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Louie Gohmert – Abortion". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  35. ^ Bassett, L. (May 24, 2013). "Louie Gohmert Tells Woman She Should Have Carried Brain-Dead Fetus To Term, Just In Case (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  36. ^ Lieberman, J.; Durbin, D.; Gohmert, L. (December 16, 2012). Connecticut school shooting reignites gun control debate; Gun policy (News). Interview with Wallace, C. Fox News Sunday. Washington, D. C. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  37. ^ Video (August 14, 2010). "Original speech". Youtube. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  38. ^ Joe Tapocino (June 27, 2010). "Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert warns of baby-making terrorists coming to US". New York: nydailynews.com. 
  39. ^ Editorial (August 14, 2010). "... and avoid crackpot theories, too". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  40. ^ Elise Hu (June 28, 2010). "TX Rep. Louie Gohmert Warns of Terrorist Babies". The Texas Tribune. 
  41. ^ Richburg, Keith (July 18, 2010), "For many pregnant Chinese, a U.S. passport for baby remains a powerful lure", Washington Post, retrieved August 13, 2010 
  42. ^ Cooper, Anderson (August 12, 2010). "Video: Rep. Gohmert on 'terror babies' conspiracy". CNN. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  43. ^ "House Members Seek National Security Answers". Congress of the United States. June 13, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  44. ^ "House Members Letter". The Hill. July 18, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Letter to the Ambassador Harold W. Geisel" (PDF). Congress of the United States. June 13, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  46. ^ Cordes, Nancy (July 19, 2012). "Michele Bachmann refuses to back down on claims about Huma Abedin". CBS This Morning. Retrieved July 19, 2012. "Bachmann, from Minnesota, and the four other representatives sent letters to top intelligence and security officials last week warning that the Muslim Brotherhood, a global religious Islamic movement whose members have been linked to terrorist groups in the past, may have infiltrated the top levels of U.S. government." 
  47. ^ Gaffney, Frank. "Key Findings". The Muslim Brotherhood in America. Center for Security Policy. Retrieved August 11, 2012. "Notably, six Islamist-sympathizers have achieved positions within or advisory roles serving Team Obama: Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Rashad Hussein; Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Huma Abedein; Presidential advisor Dalia Mogahed; FBI Citizens Academy graduate Kifah Mustafa; Homeland Security Advisory Committee Member Mohamed Elibiary and Homeland Security Countering Violent Extremism Working Group Member Mohamed Magid." 
  48. ^ "U.S. v. Sabri Benkahla". U.S. Court Of Appeals. May 13, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  49. ^ "Letter to Congress from Assistant Attorney General Explaining Evidence From The Holy Land Foundation Trial Implicating CAIR In Hamas Support". U.S. Department Of Justice. February 12, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Michele Bachmann Schools Keith Ellison, Establishment Media on Muslim Brotherhood". PJMedia. July 16, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  51. ^ Gingrich; Newt (July 29, 2012). "In defense of Michele Bachmann, Muslim Brotherhood probes". Opinion Contributor. Politico. Retrieved August 11, 2012. "The underlying driving force behind this desperate desire to stop unpleasant questions is the elite’s fear that an honest discussion of radical Islamism will spin out of control. They fear if Americans fully understood how serious radical Islamists are, they would demand a more confrontational strategy." 
  52. ^ Thomas, Cal (July 29, 2012). "Suppose Michele Bachmann is right?". The State. Retrieved August 11, 2012. "Like the ghosts of Shakespeare’s Banquo or Dickens’ Jacob Marley, the specter of the late commie-hunting congressman from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, will always be with us. It is summoned up today, by some on the left, who use it as a tool to thwart legitimate questions about people and ideologies that seek to destroy America." 
  53. ^ a b c d e "Certified Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  54. ^ "Biography: U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert". Gohmert.house.gov. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Articles
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Max Sandlin (D)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 1st congressional district

2005–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Virginia Foxx
R-North Carolina
United States Representatives by seniority
185th
Succeeded by
Al Green
D-Texas