U.S. Congressman LOUIE GOHMERT: Proudly Serving the First District of Texas

 

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Louie Gohmert: House Democrats' floor speech rule change 'has actually been great'

by Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner

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Washington, February 5, 2019 | comments

Prolific special-order speech-giver Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, on Tuesday welcomed a rule change introduced by House Democrats to limit his use of the procedural quirk.

Gohmert has gained a reputation since about 2007 for taking advantage of open-ended House floor time offered to members after the conclusion of the chamber's official business. The opportunity provided the Texas Republican with the chance to deliver long, uninterrupted speeches, which were often carried live on C-SPAN. But under the new framework, rolled out last month and flagged by Politico this week, he will only be able to continue his tradition once a week from now on.

"If Speaker Pelosi thought I was hurting the Republican Party, she surely would want me speaking every night. Obviously, that’s not the case. In fact, one Democrat friend said ‘It's the Louie Gohmert rule’ — which to me is quite a compliment," Gohmert told the Washington Examiner via email.

The reform "has actually been great" because it's been an impetus for younger Republican lawmakers to use the "precious" platform, according to Gohmert.

"Since I can only claim time once per week now, I’ve intensified my encouragement to our Republican Conference to claim the floor time themselves that I cannot. And that is precisely what they are doing," he wrote. "It is really gratifying to see many of our newer members stepping up to make our positions heard, which has eased a burden I have felt since we relinquished the majority in 2007.”

Gohmert, who was first elected to Congress in 2004, is featured in more than 900 C-SPAN videos, C-SPAN reports. The year he appeared in the most recordings was 2009 at 102, and in 2014, he logged almost 29 hours speaking on the House floor. His sometime hour-long speeches touched on a range of issues; among the more controversial was a 2010 address that focused on claims terrorists were taking advantage of U.S. birthright citizenship laws.

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