How conservative really is Attorney General challenger Louie Gohmert? Part 1 of 2: Missed votes, increasing his own salary

United States Congressman Louie Gohmert. It’s surprising he showed up for his own picture, given his poor attendance record in Congress.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Washington, D.C., January 10 – Congressman Louie Gohmert has a reputation as a “conservative” in the United States House of Representatives and “inside the Beltway” of Washington, D.C. Nevertheless, a closer look at his voting record – beyond the “establishment”-serving American Conservative Union rating – reveals a troubling history of missed votes, consistent votes to increase his own salary, and a strong alliance with liberal Democrat Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, the Democrats’ standard-bearer for Governor of Texas in 2022.

Strangely, Gohmert has chosen in 2022 to run against the strongest and most conservative Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, in the history of the Lone Star State. During the Biden administration, Paxton has become the chief immigration law enforcement officer in the United States, through his lawsuits to force the President to follow and enforce federal immigration laws and through his opinions and advice allowing Texas to police and patrol its own border with Mexico.

Gohmert, who hasn’t practiced law for two decades, would be a strange choice for Attorney General to replace someone with the experience of Paxton. Gohmert’s attendance record in Congress also raises serious questions about his work ethic.

This two-part series analyzes some of Gohmert’s important absences and votes in the United States Congress. It’s good that he’s retiring from Congress, for that retirement gives the voters of the 1st Congressional District in northeast Texas, which such District includes Tyler among other cities, a chance to elect someone who will work consistently and vote consistently to serve the citizens rather than himself.

Absent from Important Votes

During his Congressional career, Gohmert missed 826 total votes to date. With the makeup of Congress as close as it has been during the past 18 years, the Democratic Whip organization can rely on Gohmert’s absence to assist them in passing Democrat legislation and blocking Republican legislation. Some of his biggest misses include:

  • Gohmert has failed to vote on several bills addressing immigration issues. Of particular note, Gohmert failed to vote on a bill which provided residency status for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children. He also failed to vote on a bill which allowed undocumented agricultural workers to apply for permanent residency.
  • Gohmert has failed to vote on several bills aimed at encouraging corporate diversity and diversity in public schools. Gohmert also failed to vote on a bill, which sought to remove the bust of Chief Justice Roger Taney from the Old Supreme Court and statues of Confederates heroes from the National Statuary Hall.
  • Gohmert also failed to vote on bills, which sought to eliminate the Presidential Election Fund and reimburse states that switched to paper ballot voting systems, the latter of which constitutes an important election integrity effort.

 

YearNumber of Eligible VotesNumber of Gohert’s Missed VotesPercentage of Votes Gohmert Missed
2021449449.79 Percent
20202533112.25 Percent
2019701507.13 Percent
2018500346.8 Percent
2017710405.63 Percent
2016621243.86 Percent
2015704365.11 Percent
2014563223.90 Percent
2013646578.82 Percent
2012653619.34 Percent
2011948586.11 Percent
20106648112.19 Percent
2009991939.38 Percent
2008690649.27 Percent
2007826506.05 Percent
2006543417.55 Percent
2005671405.96 Percent
Total826 Votes

Source of Raw Data: GovTrack.us.

Gifting Himself Salary Increases

One of the key spending issues conservatives have focused upon is they’ve opposed the practice of government employees voting to raise their own salaries. It’s an odious practice, which boosts spending all across the federal government, because, when elected officials seek to boost their own salaries, they then feel they must cover their gifts to themselves with concurrent raises to all other federal employees.

At least on three major occasions, Gohmert voted to give himself a pay raise as a United States Congressman.

#1: In 2006, Gohmert voted for a $3,100 pay increase:

  • In 2005, Gohmert voted for a $3,100 pay increase. Gohmert did so by preventing the consideration of an amendment to prevent the automatic increase.
  • By agreeing to order the previous question, some Members considered the vote to be against consideration of an amendment to permit a pay raise prohibition to be offered. Had the House not agreed to a motion to order the previous question, they argued, a Member could have offered an amendment to the rule related to the pay adjustment. Under the terms of House Resolution 342, as adopted, an amendment seeking to halt the pay raise was not in order. During floor debate, Representative Jim Matheson made known his intention to offer an amendment to the rule to prohibit the increase, and spoke against the previous question so that his amendment could receive a waiver to be considered.
  • The motion passed, 263-152. As a result, “Members received a pay adjustment of 1.9% in January 2006, increasing their salary to $165,200 from $162,100.”

Sources: GovTrack.us, Congressional Research Service, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.

#2: In 2007, Gohmert voted for a $2,800 pay increase:

  • In 2006, Gohmert voted for a $2,800 pay increase. Gohmert did so by preventing the consideration of an amendment to prevent the automatic increase.
  • By agreeing to order the previous question, some Members considered the vote to be against consideration of an amendment prohibiting a pay raise. Had the House not agreed to a motion to order the previous question, they argued, a Member could have offered an amendment to the rule related to the pay adjustment. Under the terms of H.Res. 865, as adopted, an amendment seeking to halt the pay raise was not in order. During floor debate, Representative Jim Matheson made known his intention to offer an amendment to the rule to prohibit the increase, and spoke against the previous question so that his amendment could receive a waiver to be considered.
  • The motion passed, 249-167. However, a pay increase was delayed by a continuing appropriations resolution (CR) on December 8, 2006 and then fully blocked by another CR on February 15, 2007. Had it passed, the 1.7% increase would have totaled about $2,800.

Sources: GovTrack.us, Congressional Research Service, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.

#3: In 2008, Gohmert voted for a $4,100 pay increase:

  • In 2007, Gohmert voted for a $4,100 pay increase. Gohmert did so by preventing the consideration of an amendment to prevent the automatic increase.
  • By agreeing to order the previous question, some Members considered the vote to be against consideration of an amendment prohibiting a pay raise. Had the House not agreed to a motion to order the previous question, they argued, a Member could have offered an amendment to the rule related to the pay adjustment. Under the terms of H.Res. 517, as adopted, an amendment seeking to halt the pay raise was not in order. During floor debate, at least one Member spoke against ordering the previous question and indicated that, if the motion was defeated, he intended to offer an amendment to the rule to prohibit the pay increase.
  • The Congressional Research Service also claimed “at least one member” spoke out against this measure and wanted to offer an amendment to prohibit the pay increase.
  • The motion passed, 244-181, resulting in a 2.5% pay increase from $165,200 to $169,300.

Sources: GovTrack.us, Congressional Research Service, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.

Conclusion

A conservative philosophy doesn’t encompass sloth and greed. One must question whether Gohmert would have the gumption to put in the long work hours Paxton has devoted to the Office of the Attorney General of Texas and whether Gohmert would place his own interests above those of Texas citizens.

Gohmert didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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