Event Summary: ‘The New Congressional Reality: United States after the Midterm Elections’

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This is an event summary of a speech given by Louie Gohmert, United States Representative and Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, on 25 November 2014. It reflects the views expressed by the speaker, not those of The Henry Jackson Society or its staff.

On 25 November 2014, United States Representative and Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations Louie Gohmert, spoke at the House of Commons on the topic of ‘The New Congressional Reality: United States after the Midterm Elections.’ Gohmert gave a wide-ranging policy overview, addressing domestic and foreign policy – touching on issues such as immigration, Congressional cooperation and the Middle East.

Domestic Policy

  • President Obama’s amnesty executive order is unconstitutional, and as a result, illegal immigrants should not be authorized to legally work in the country. The amnesty should be completely defunded.
  • The Republican Party should not feel threatened by Hispanic voters, as they share similar values to many Republicans regarding amnesty, law and order and immigration.
  • The government shutdown of October 2013 was a result of the Democrats’ unwillingness to compromise. Following the midterm election victories for the Republicans, Congress will now see greater co-operation taking place, as the Majority Senate Leader will no longer be able to protect vulnerable Democrats and President Obama.
  • Impeachment proceedings against President Obama should not be initiated unless more than half of the country wishes to see the President removed.
  • The resignation of Chuck Hagel is a result the lack of input he was allowed to have and the lack of respect given to the military.

Foreign Policy

  • The United States should seek to create a stronger partnership with Egypt. The protests leading to the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi have shown that moderate Muslims have the potential to be key allies in the region;
  • The US should have tried to mould an Afghanistan with a federal government within which tribal leaders would have had room to provide considerable input, rather than the centralised government supported by President George W. Bush.
  • Launching a military attack on Bashar al-Assad positions in Syria would have allowed the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to take over.
  • ·         The United States should learn from past lessons, notably Afghanistan, in order to better deal with ISIS. An all-out war is not the only viable option, but instead the West should consider collaborating extensively with moderate Muslims who do not want radicals in charge.
  • Turkey should militarily intervene to halt the threat of the Islamic State, or the Kurdish minority should otherwise be provided with the arms with which to do so.
  • The nuclear deal with Iran is problematic and is a threat to both Israel and the Western world.
HJS



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