|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Texas's 1st district
Assumed office |
January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Max Sandlin|
Louis Buller Gohmert Jr.|
August 18, 1953
Pittsburg, Texas, U.S.
Texas A&M University (BA)|
Baylor University (JD)
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1978–1982|
|Awards||Meritorious Service Medal|
Louis Buller Gohmert Jr. // (born August 18, 1953) is an American politician who currently serves as the U.S. Representative from Texas' 1st congressional district, in office since 2005. A member of the Republican Party, Gohmert is part of the Tea Party movement. In January 2015, he unsuccessfully challenged John Boehner for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Early political career
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives
- 4 Reelection in 2016
- 5 Electoral history
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and education
Gohmert was born in Pittsburg, Texas, the son of Erma Sue (née Brooks) and Louis Buller Gohmert. He is of German descent on his father's side. Gohmert was raised in Mount Pleasant, Texas, where he graduated from the local high school in 1971. He then enrolled in Texas A&M University, receiving a B.A. in history in 1975. While at Texas A&M, Gohmert was a student leader for the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs alongside future fellow Congressman Chet Edwards, and a member of the Ross Volunteer Company.
Early political career
Gohmert was elected as a state district judge for Texas's 7th Judicial District, serving Smith County (Tyler, Texas) from 1992 to 2002. He was elected to three terms. He 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 his H.I.V. status.
The order angered LGBT activists and civil libertarians. In 2002, 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, which ended in 2003.
U.S. House of Representatives
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A mid-decade redistricting made the 1st District significantly more conservative than its predecessor. Tyler, which had long anchored the 4th District, was shifted to the 1st District. In the 2004 Republican primary, Gohmert defeated State Representative Wayne Christian of Center, Texas. He defeated Democratic incumbent 1st District Congressman Max Sandlin with 61 percent of the vote. Gohmert has never faced another contest even that close, the lowest percentage of victory being 68 percent in the 2006 election.
On July 29, 2009, Gohmert 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 ... 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 and made several unsuccessful attempts to inject his viewpoint as a point of personal privilege.
On January 3, 2013, Gohmert broke ranks with the House leadership to nominate outspoken Florida Representative Allen West for Speaker of the House, although West narrowly 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.
On January 4, 2015, Gohmert announced he would formally challenge Speaker John Boehner for the Speaker of the House position in the 2015 election. He announced the move on Fox & Friends Weekend. He lost to Boehner two days later, on January 6.
Gohmert has signed the Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge. He 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 four Republicans who voted against, joining 161 Democrats to oppose a balanced budget Constitutional amendment in November 2011.
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. 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. 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." He argued the 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.
Climate change and the environment
Gohmert does not believe in manmade climate change, and has asserted that data supporting the theory is fraudulent. He opposes cap-and-trade legislation, such as the one that was passed in the U.S. House when it was Democratic controlled, and supports expanding drilling, and exploration and drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
In an interview on the C-SPAN program Washington Journal on July 8, 2015 after Pope Francis issued his second encyclical Laudato si', Gohmert said the Pope was incorrect in identifying climate change as a serious problem. Gohmert supported the U. S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
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.
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 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? ... 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", Gohmert said.
On December 16, 2012, two days after the Sandy Hook shootings, 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 L. Hochsprung] had an M4 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 claimed that the 20 victims who had been killed with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle had "defensive wounds".
On March 22, 2016, Gohmert was one of only 4 representatives to vote against H.R. 4742 (383 voted for the act). H.R. 4742 is a bill to authorize the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women. Gohmert gave the following quotes in defense of his position: Gohmert acknowledged that the bill was "well intentioned," but said that "this program is designed to discriminate against that young, poverty-stricken boy and to encourage the girl. Forget the boy. Encourage the girl."
"Terror baby" national security vulnerability
On August 12, 2010, Gohmert appeared on Anderson Cooper 360° to defend comments he had recently made on the floor of the House regarding "terror babies". In a speech about national security made on the House floor in June 2010, 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 terrorist. When adult, this operative—a U.S. citizen by birth—could be easily infiltrated in the U.S. to carry out terrorist actions.
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. 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, which described "birth tourism" packages, mainly directed at Chinese tourists. These "birth tourism" packages, Gohmert pointed out, take advantage of a "gaping hole in the security of our country."
Letter to Director of National Intelligence
On June 13, 2012, Gohmert was one of five Republican United States representatives (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 outlining their "serious national security concerns", and asking for "answers to questions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical groups' access to top Obama administration officials." In the letter, Gohmert and the other U.S. lawmakers wrote 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."
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, wife of former U.S. representative Anthony Weiner, 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.
The letter and the Center for Security Policy's accusation were widely denounced as a smear, and achieved "near-universal condemnation", including from several prominent Republicans such as John McCain, John Boehner, Scott Brown, and Marco Rubio.
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. Columnist Cal Thomas replied, to accusations of "McCarthyism", that the real possibility of infiltration by Islamic extremists deserves to be investigated.
Representative Gohmert was one of three Republicans who called for the resignation of Robert Mueller, the prosecutor investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, on the grounds that he can not conduct his investigation fairly because of his conduct as a prosecutor and as acting director of the FBI.
Reelection in 2016
Gohmert handily won his seventh term in the general election held on November 8, 2016. With 192,434 votes (73.9 percent), he defeated the Democrat Shirley J. McKellar, who polled 62,847 ballots (24.1 percent). Libertarian Phil Gray polled 5,062 votes (1.9 percent).
- Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice
- Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations (Vice Chair)
Committee on Natural Resources (Vice Chair)
- Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
- Freedom Caucus
- Israel Allies Caucus
- United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus
- Tea Party Caucus
- Republican Study Committee
- Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus
- Congressional Western Caucus
|Democratic||Max Sandlin (incumbent)||96,281||37.68%|
|Libertarian||Dean L. Tucker||2,158||0.84%|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||104,099||68.00%|
|Democratic||Roger L. Owen||46,303||30.24%|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||189,012||87.57%|
|Independent||Roger L. Owen||26,814||12.42%|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||129,398||89.72%|
|Libertarian||Charles F. Parkes III||14,811||10.27%|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||178,322||71.4%|
|Democratic||Shirley J. McKellar||67,222||26.9%|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||115,084||77.47%|
|Democratic||Shirley J. McKellar||33,476||22.53%|
|Republican||Louie Gohmert (incumbent)||192,434||73.90%|
|Democratic||Shirley J. McKellar||62,847||24.13%|
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. Gohmert is a Southern Baptist.
- Gillman, Todd J. (January 4, 2015). "Texas tea partier Louie Gohmert to challenge Speaker John Boehner". Trail Blazers Blog. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
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- "Ross Volunteer Association". Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
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- Staff. "Louie Gohmert (R)". wsj.com.
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- Staff (2011). "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
- Jay Root (August 26, 2012). "Courting Controversy Works for Louie Gohmert". The Texas Tribune.
- "Text of H.R.1503 as Introduced in House: Presidential Eligibility Act – U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. March 12, 2009. Archived from the original on February 25, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- "Louie Gohmert Goes Off On Eric Holder At House Hearing". NPR. April 8, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- Chris Moody (January 3, 2013), "John Boehner re-elected as speaker of the House", yahoo.com; accessed August 24, 2014.
- Rayfield, J. (August 8, 2013). "Texas Tea Partyers want Louie Gohmert for Senate". Salon. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- Kusma, Tyler. "Louie Gohmert Announces Challenge to Speaker John Boehner". TKNN.info. TKNN. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "GOP Rep. Gohmert: Democrats Should Change Their Name over Slavery, Racist History". Louie Gohmert. July 10, 2015.
- "Democrats Should Change Their Name". July 14, 2015 – via YouTube.
- "GOP Rep Invokes Giffords Shooting as Reason Not to Hold Town Hall". The Hill. February 23, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List" (PDF). 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.
- "House rejects balanced budget amendment". USA Today. Associated Press. November 18, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
- "Louie Gohmert – Education". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "CBO – H.R. 1871". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- "Gohmert Praises Baseline Reform Act of 2013". The Office of Congressman Louie Gohmert. May 9, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
- "Louie Gohmert on Energy and the Environment". The Political Guide. November 9, 2010. Archived from the original on July 15, 2018. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- Cesca, Bob (July 10, 2015). "Louis Gohmert's "Dumb & Dumber" philosophy of climate denial". Salon. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- Edwards, David (July 8, 2015). "Louie Gohmert: The pope is treating climate change deniers like Galileo — and it's Obama's fault". The Raw Story. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- Gohmert, Louie (June 1, 2017). "Gohmert on Trump's Decision to Withdraw From Paris Climate Accord" (Press release). Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- "Texas congressman lectures colleagues on caribou romance". Anchorage Daily News. February 7, 2012. Archived from the original on March 15, 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 on Foreign Policy". OnTheIssues. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "Louie Gohmert – Abortion". The Political Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- 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.
- Lieberman, J.; Durbin, D.; Gohmert, L. (December 16, 2012). "Connecticut school shooting reignites gun control debate; Gun policy". Fox News Sunday (Interview: News). Interviewed by Wallace, C. Washington, D. C. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Gohmert, Louie (March 22, 2016). "Clip of House Session of Rep. Louie Gohmert" (video). C-Span. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
- Video (August 14, 2010). "Original speech". Youtube. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- "Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert warns of baby-making terrorists coming to US". New York: nydailynews.com. June 27, 2010.
- "... and avoid crackpot theories, too". Boston Globe. August 14, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Elise Hu (June 28, 2010). "TX Rep. Louie Gohmert Warns of Terrorist Babies". The Texas Tribune.
- 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
- Cooper, Anderson (August 12, 2010). "Video: Rep. Gohmert on 'terror babies' conspiracy". CNN. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- "House Members Seek National Security Answers" (PDF). Congress of the United States. June 13, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "House Members Letter". The Hill. July 18, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Letter to the Ambassador Harold W. Geisel" (PDF). Congress of the United States. June 13, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- 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.
- 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 Abedin; 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.
- Kay, Jonathan (July 23, 2012). "Bachmann, Gaffney, and the GOP's Anti-Muslim Culture of Conspiracy". The Daily Beast.
- Sturgis, Sue (July 20, 2012). "Meet the man behind the Muslim conspiracy uproar". The Institute for Southern Studies. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
- Bendery, Jennifer; Terkel, Amanda (July 19, 2012). "More Republicans Speak Out Against Bachmann Attacks". The Huffington Post.
- 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.
- Thomas, Cal (July 29, 2012). "Suppose Michele Bachmann is right?". The State. Archived from the original on August 11, 2012. 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.
- Newsy, 3 House Republicans Call Mueller Compromised, Demand Resignation, Retrieved November 4, 2017, "...Reps. Gaetz, Biggs and Gohmert think Mueller can't fairly conduct his Russia investigation because of events that happened while he was FBI director./.."
- Kyle Cheney, November 3, 2017, Politico, Conservatives introduce measure demanding Mueller’s resignation: It’s the latest sign of GOP resistance to the special counsel’s Russia probe., Retrieved November 5, 2017
- "Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Livingston, Abby (2017-03-26). "U.S. Rep. Ted Poe resigns from Freedom Caucus". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- "Caucus Membership : U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert". gohmert.house.gov. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
- "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- "Certified Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 19, 2016. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- "Biography: U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert". Gohmert.house.gov. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps". Baptist Press. January 5, 2011. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
- Congressman Louis Gohmert official congressional website
- Louie Gohmert at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
- Profile, texastribune.org
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- "Nine New Veterans Join Congress", Veterans of Foreign Wars Magazine
- on YouTube
- video of Gohmert Blaming Stock Market Failures on Democrats
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 1st congressional district
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority