|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
Pittsburg, Camp County, Texas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Texas A&M University (B.A.)
Baylor University (J.D.)
|Awards||Meritorious Service Medal|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1978–1982|
|Unit||Judge Advocate General's Corps|
Louis Buller "Louie" Gohmert, Jr. // (born August 18, 1953), is a current Republican U.S. Representative from Texas's First Congressional District. On January 4, 2015, Gohmert announced he would challenge John Boehner for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was defeated in the challenge by Boehner two days later, on January 6, 2015.
- 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 his B.A. in history in 1975.
Gohmert spent a summer as an exchange student in Ukraine. He received a U.S. Army scholarship while at Texas A&M, where he was a brigade commander of the Corps of Cadets and class president. He later received a law degree (Juris Doctor) from Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas in 1977, where he was also class president.
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
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, and has been reelected five times. In 2006, he won his second term by defeating Democrat Roger L. Owen, a swimming pool builder from Hallsville, Texas. He faced no major party opposition in 2008 (facing only an independent) and 2010 (facing only a Libertarian).
In November 2012, Gohmert was elected to his fifth term with 182,621 votes (71.7 percent) to Democrat Shirley J. McKellar's 67,758 (26.6 percent).
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. He 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. He opposes cap-and-trade legislation, such as the one that was passed in the US House when it was Democratic controlled, and 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.
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 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.
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.
On Fox Business News, Gohmert 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. 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 group's 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.
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).
Despite being an advocate for gun rights and supporting a proposal that allows mentally ill individuals to possess firearms, in early 2017 Gohmert expressed fear that he might become the target of gun violence similar to that experienced by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and refused to hold public town hall meetings.
- 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
- Freedom Caucus
- Israel Allies Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Tea Party 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%|
- "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.
- Staff (2011). "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
- 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.
- "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-TX)". washingtonpost.com.
- "Louie B. Gohmert (R)". washingtonpost.com. June 30, 2004.
- Rep. Louie Gohmert: American Strength is Security, frontpagemag.com; accessed August 24, 2014.
- "NationalJournalAlmanac Texas District 1 Rep. Louie Gohmert (R)". nationaljournal.com. April 8, 2013.
- Staff. "Louie Gohmert (R)". wsj.com.
- Houston Chronicle (July 1, 2010). "Texas delegation in depth: Louie Gohmert". chron.com.
- Jay Root (August 26, 2012). "Courting Controversy Works for Louie Gohmert". The Texas Tribune.
- "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. March 12, 2009. 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.
- http://gohmert.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398237 10 July 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgRvVp8wmhk
- "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 – 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.
- "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 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). Interview with Wallace, C. Washington, D. C. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Gohmert, Louie (March 22, 2016). "Clip of House Session of Rep. Louie Gohmert RTX 1st" (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.
- 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. 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.
- "Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- "GOP Rep Invokes Giffords Shooting as Reason Not to Hold Town Hall". The Hill. February 23, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- "Certified Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Biography: U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert". Gohmert.house.gov. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Louie Gohmert|
- Congressman Louis Gohmert official congressional website
- Louie Gohmert at 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
|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