Louis Buller (Louie) Gohmert, Jr. (born August 18, 1953) is an American politician and current Republican U.S. Representative from Texas's 1st congressional district.
Life and career
Gohmert was born in Pittsburg, Texas. He received his B.A. from Texas A&M University in 1975. At A&M, he was a Brigade Commander of the Corps of Cadets and class president. He later received his Juris Doctor from Baylor University in Waco 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 comprising Smith County (Tyler) in 1992 and was reelected two times before being appointed by Governor Rick Perry to fill a vacancy as Chief Justice on Texas's 12th Court of Appeals, where he served from 2002 to 2003. After Texas' 2003 mid-decade redistricting process, he successfully defeated Democratic incumbent 1st District Congressman Max Sandlin for his seat in Congress, becoming the first Republican since Reconstruction to represent the 1st District of northeast Texas. In the Republican primary, Gohmert defeated State Representative Wayne Christian of Center, who thereafter returned to the state legislature.
Gohmert serves on two House committees: Judiciary (because of his judicial background) and Natural Resources (as his district sits on top of the East Texas oil field).
In 2006, Gohmert won his second term by defeating independent Roger L.
Owen, a swimming pool builder from Hallsville. He faced no major-party opposition in 2008.
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.
On July 29, 2009, he signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1503. This bill would "amend 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 is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
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.
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.
Energy and the environment
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).
Gohmert has made statements and voted for legislation that support the use of school vouchers.
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.
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. 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.
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
- Israel Allies Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Tea Party Caucus
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.
February 13th, 2012