|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 1st district
January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Max Sandlin|
|Born||Louis Buller Gohmert, Jr.
August 18, 1953
|Alma mater||Texas A&M University (BA)
Baylor Law School (JD)
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1978–1982|
|Unit||Judge Advocate General's Corps|
|Awards||Meritorious Service Medal|
- 1 Early life, education, and early political career
- 2 U.S. House of Representatives
- 3 Electoral history
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early life, education, and early political career
Gohmert was born in Pittsburg, Texas, the son of Erma Sue (née Brooks) and Louis Buller Gohmert. He is of part German ancestry. Gohmert was raised in Mount Pleasant, Texas, where he graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1971. He was then accepted into Texas A&M University, receiving his B.A. in history in 1975. Gohmert received an army scholarship while at Texas A&M, where he was a brigade commander of the Corps of Cadets and class president.
He later received his Juris Doctor from Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas in 1977 where he also served as class president. Gohmert served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, at Fort Benning, Georgia, from 1978 to 1982. 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. 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; angering AIDS and Gay rights activists, as well as civil libertarians. 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.
U.S. House of Representatives
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. 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. 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 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.
From Jan 2005 to Oct 2013, Gohmert missed 551 of 6,900 roll call votes, which is 8.0%. This is one of the worst records in Congress, worse than the median of 2.3% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. 
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." When residents began calling Gohmert's office complaining about issues like trash and parking, he told them to speak to local government officials instead. 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".
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".
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.
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.
Gohmert has signed the Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge. 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. 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. Gohmert was one of four Republicans who voted against, joining 161 Democrats to oppose a balanced budget Constitutional amendment in November, 2011.
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).
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. 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.
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.
At a congressional hearing on May 23, 2013, on an abortion bill that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Gohmert told a female witness that she should have carried her pregnancy to term even though doctors had discovered the fetus had no brain function.
On 16 December 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."
"Terror baby" controversy
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". Initially, Gohmert had claimed (in a speech made on the House floor in June 2010) that an ex-FBI agent had told him about "terror baby" plots. 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. 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. According to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this automatically grants citizenship to the child. Gohmert asserted that the child would then be returned to the mother's home country and be submitted to a life of terrorist training. When repeatedly asked by the host for any evidence of this, Gohmert did not provide substantiation for either the ex-FBI agent story or the airline passenger story, but gave a description of a Washington Post article, which described so-called "birth tourism" packages, mainly directed at Chinese tourists. These packages (one was described in the article for $14,750) were described by Gohmert as a "gaping hole in the security of our country". When asked several times by Cooper for the connection and any corroborating evidence, Gohmert responded "If you don't think this is evidence, you have to believe that the terrorists are more stupid than these enterprising people". The Daily Show later parodied this incident.
Aurora shootings controversy
On July 20, 2012, Gohmert appeared on The Heritage Foundation's Istook Live! radio show the day of the July 20, 2012 Aurora, Colorado shootings, which left 12 people dead, and 59 injured. Gohmert blamed the shooting's outcome on the erosion of Judeo-Christian beliefs, and the lack of concealed carriers in the theater. Gohmert said: "You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place. Some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedom, that that was important," he said. "Whether it's John Adams saying our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people ... Ben Franklin, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters ... We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country. People say ... where was God in all of this? We've threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God's name, they're going to be jailed ... I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don't want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present." Gohmert went on to say "It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?" 
Muslim Brotherhood controversy
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 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 seeking investigations into what they claimed was the U.S. government’s involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood.
One of the letters in particular to Ambassador Harold W. Geisel, the Deputy Inspector General of the United States Department of State, used the department's Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, as an example of the undue influence. The letter said that Abedin "has three family members–her late father, her mother and her brother–connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations," referring to a study by the Center for Security Policy.
Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Scott Brown, as well as Bachmann's former campaign chief Ed Rollins defended Abedin against these allegations. Speaker of the House John Boehner told reporters: "I don't know Huma. But from everything that I do know of her, she has a sterling character, and I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous." Congressman Mike Simpson condemned the letter as a revival of McCarthyism, telling the Idaho Statesman: "Unfortunately, it's not just Michele. The public says, 'There go those Republicans again.' It's a bad reflection on all Republicans. I can't believe the other four members she got to sign the letter with her. Amazing... That doesn't reflect the House Republican Caucus."
In an editorial on the website Politico, Newt Gingrich argued in favor of investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood, characterizing Gohmert and the rest as the "National Security Five". Columnist Cal Thomas shrugged off the specter of McCarthyism, and said that the real possibility of infiltration by Islamic extremists deserves to be investigated.
Responding to her critics, Bachmann said that "The concerns I have and my colleagues have are real," and "We cannot elevate political correctness over national security." Rooney expressed similar concerns: "As a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, my top priority is ensuring the security of our nation." And that "I regret that Mrs. Abedin has become the media focus of this story, because the intention of the letters was to bring greater attention to the legitimate national security risk."
- Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
- Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
- Task Force on Judicial Impeachment
- Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
- Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
|Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2004|
|Democratic||Max Sandlin (incumbent)||96,281||37.68%|
|Libertarian||Dean L. Tucker||2,158||0.84%|
|Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2006|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||104,099||68.00%|
|Democratic||Roger L. Owen||46,303||30.24%|
|Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2008|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||189,012||87.57%|
|Independent||Roger L. Owen||26,814||12.42%|
|Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2010|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||129,398||89.72%|
|Libertarian||Charles F. Parkes III||14,811||10.27%|
|Texas' 1st congressional district election, 2012|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||178,322||71.4%|
|Democratic||Shirley J. Mckellar||67,222||26.9%|
- "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier". Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Louis Buller “Louie” Gohmert, Jr.". ancestry.com. April 8, 2013.
- "Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)". rollcall.com. April 8, 2013.
- "The U.S. Congress Votes Data Base Louie Gohmert (R)". washingtonpost.com.
- "Louie B. Gohmert (R)". washingtonpost.com. June 30, 2004.
- "NationalJournalAlmanac Texas District 1 Rep. Louie Gohmert (R)". nationaljournal.com. April 8, 2013.
- The Wall Street Journal. "Louie Gohmert (R)". wsj.com.
- Houston Chronicle (July 1, 2010). "Texas delegation in depth: Louie Gohmert". chron.com.
- Houston Chronicle (July 1, 2010). "Texas delegation in depth: Louie Gohmert". chron.com.
- Jay Root (August 26, 2012). "nytimes.com".
- Jay Root (August 26, 2012). "Courting Controversy Works for Louie Gohmert". The Texas Tribune.
- The Wall Street Journal. "Louie Gohmert (R)". wsj.com.
- "General election returns, November 6, 2012". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- "Text of H.R.1503 as Introduced in House: Presidential Eligibility Act – U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "Louie Gohmert Goes Off On Eric Holder At House Hearing publisher=Huffington Port". 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- Chris Moody (January 3, 2013), John Boehner re-elected as speaker of the House Yahoo News
- Rayfield, J. (August 8, 2013). "Texas Tea Partyers want Louie Gohmert for Senate". Salon. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List". Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- "Rep. Louie Gohmert Wants Congress to Ditch Federal Income tax for 2008". Fox News. December 1, 2008.
- "Louie Gohmert – Debt, Deficit, Spending, and the Size of Government". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Associated Press (November 18, 2011). "House rejects balanced budget amendment". USA Today. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
- "Louie Gohmert – Energy and the Environment". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "Texas congressman lectures colleagues on caribou romance". Anchorage Daily News. February 7, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Kamen, Al (February 8, 2012). "The State Department is no Donald Trump". The Washington Post.
- 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.
- "Texas Republican Supports Pipeline For The Sake Of Caribou Sex". The Inquisitr. February 8, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Heil, Emily (February 7, 2012). "Louie Gohmert: Best caribou wingman ever". The Washington Post.
- "Louie Gohmert – Education". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "Louie Gohmert on Foreign Policy". OnTheIssues. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "Louie Gohmert – Abortion". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Bassett, L. (24 May 2013). "Louie Gohmert Tells Woman She Should Have Carried Brain-Dead Fetus To Term, Just In Case (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- Gun policy, J.; Durbin, D.; Gohmert, L. (16 December 2012) (News). Connecticut school shooting reignites gun control debate. Interview with Wallace, C.. Fox News Sunday. Washington, D. C.. http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-news-sunday-chris-wallace/2012/12/16/connecticut-school-shooting-reignites-gun-control-debate#p//v/2039381272001. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- Joe Tapocino (June 27, 2010). "Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert warns of baby-making terrorists coming to US". nydailynews.com.
- Editorial (August 14, 2010). "... and avoid crackpot theories, too". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Elise Hu (June 28, 2010). "TX Rep. Louie Gohmert Warns of Terrorist Babies". The Texas Tribune.
- Richburg, Keith (18 July 2010), "For many pregnant Chinese, a U.S. passport for baby remains a powerful lure", Washington Post, retrieved 13 August 2010
- Cooper, Anderson (August 12, 2010). "Video: Rep. Gohmert on 'terror babies' conspiracy". CNN. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- "Jon Stewart & Anderson Cooper Look at Gaping Holes – Security – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – 08/17/2010 – Video Clip | Comedy Central". Thedailyshow.com. 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Editorial (July 20, 2012). "... and avoid crackpot theories, too". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "House Members Seek National Security Answers". Congress of the United States. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- "Letter to the Deputy Inspector General" (PDF). Congress of the United States. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- Cordes, Nancy (19 July 2012). "Michele Bachmann refuses to back down on claims about Huma Abedin". CBS This Morning. Retrieved 19 July 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."
- Gaffney, Frank. "Key Findings". The Muslim Brotherhood in America. Center for Security Policy. Retrieved 11 August 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."
- Rollins, Edward. "Bachmann's former campaign chief -- shame on you, Michele". FoxNews. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- Terkel, Amanda. "John McCain Slams Michele Bachmann's 'Unfounded' Attacks On Huma Abedin, Muslim-Americans". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- O'Keefe, Ed (19 July 2012). "John Boehner: Accusations against Huma Abedin ‘pretty dangerous’". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- Popkey, Dan (10 August 2012). "Idaho's Rep. Simpson says Michele Bachmann reviving McCarthyism 'outrageous,' tainting all Republicans". Idaho Politics's Blog. Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 11 August 2012. "Seven-term GOP Rep. Mike Simpson said Friday that Rep. Michele Bachmann's claim that an extremist Islamic group has infiltrated the U.S. government is a revival of McCarthyism that must be condemned."
- Gingrich; Newt (29 July 2012). "In defense of Michele Bachmann, Muslim Brotherhood probes". Opinion Contributor. Politico. Retrieved 11 August 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."
- Thomas, Cal (29 July 2012). "Suppose Michele Bachmann is right?". The State. Retrieved 11 August 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."
- "Bachmann shuns 'political correctness'". United Press International. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012. "While in Minnesota to observe work on the new St. Croix River bridge, Bachmann brushed off backlash over her speculation that U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Ind., and Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood."
- Opinion Staff (20 July 2012). "Is Rep. Tom Rooney using McCarthy tactics on Muslim Brotherhood?". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 18 August 2012. "Rep. Rooney said he was concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, in which a Muslim Army officer murdered 13 people."
- "Certified Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Biography: U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert". Gohmert.house.gov. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Congressman Louis Gohmert official congressional website
- Louie Gohmert for Congress
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography at Ballotpedia
- Biography at NNDB
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Congressional profile at Roll Call
- Fact-checking at PolitiFact.com
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Financial investments (personal) at The Washington Post
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Works by or about Louie Gohmert in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Appearances at the Internet Movie Database
- Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Profile at the Texas Tribune
- "Nine New Veterans Join Congress", Veterans of Foreign Wars Magazine
- Video of Gohmert Criticizing Rep. John Murtha
- Video of Gohmert Blaming Stock Market Failures on Democrats and Murtha
|United States House of Representatives|
Max Sandlin (D)
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 1st congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority