Congressman Floats Defunding Part of the Executive Branch

.photo.right{display:none;} Republican Louie Gohmert suggested Thursday that it may be necessary to defund part of the branch “until such time as they become truthful.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas presses Attorney General Eric Holder for answers, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
National Journal
Matt Berman
See more stories about...
Matt Berman
Sept. 12, 2013, 11:12 a.m.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4437) }}

No one in Con­gress gives a floor speech like Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. He’s the Must-Watch con­gress­man, as an early sum­mer speech on the farm bill made clear. On Thursday, Gohmert took to the House floor and gave an­oth­er whirl­wind per­form­ance, cov­er­ing all of the House GOP’s fa­vor­ite whip­ping points.

And, yes, he sug­ges­ted that if the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion keeps giv­ing out “blinded opaque­ness” in­stead of trans­par­ency on the spring’s IRS scan­dal, then Con­gress may have to de­fund part of the ex­ec­ut­ive branch.

“Couple of is­sues that cer­tainly are worth elab­or­at­ing on today,” Gohmert in­of­fens­ively began. He kicked off his speech with the read­ing of a Wall Street Journ­al ed­it­or­i­al on the IRS. “It cer­tainly ap­pears that the IRS was weapon­ized for the polit­ic­al pur­pose of one party which would, of course, be one of the worst night­mares for the Founders of this coun­try,” Gohmert went on. Al­though, it should go without say­ing, that while Gohmert did ac­know­ledge that the Founders wer­en’t so keen on the idea of polit­ic­al parties to be­gin with, they cer­tainly didn’t have any con­cep­tion of an In­tern­al Rev­en­ue Ser­vice.

Then Gohmert brought down his omin­ous ham­mer:

When one party in power in the ex­ec­ut­ive branch can weapon­ize its fed­er­al agen­cies against its polit­ic­al op­pon­ents, un­less it is stopped, this little ex­per­i­ment in demo­cracy will come to an end.

So what is there that Con­gress can do to help dis­arm fed­er­al agen­cies?

If the ad­min­is­tra­tion is not go­ing to be forth­com­ing with in­form­a­tion about the IRS, then it may be ne­ces­sary to de­fund part of the ex­ec­ut­ive branch un­til such time as they be­come truth­ful.

Gohmert par­tic­u­larly seemed to single out the De­part­ment of Justice for budget­ary ven­gence, say­ing it hasn’t been forth­com­ing dat­ing back to at least the Fast and Furi­ous gun-run­ning scan­dal.

After this, Gohmert turned to his art. The ex­cite­ment on the floor was palp­able. “He’s grabbing posters!” someone dis­tinctly whispered. And then they ar­rived:

(C-SPAN)

It’s not really a typ­ic­al con­gres­sion­al art spread, which can be found on the al­ways im­press­ive and up-to-date Tumblr col­lec­tion of C-SPAN’s Bill Gray. But the massive posters of the four men killed in the 2012 Benghazi at­tack made their point. “They de­serve the truth [about Benghazi] to come out,” Gohmert said.

But what else could hap­pen if the full “truth” comes out? Gohmert went on to cite a re­cent Breit­bart post which tossed out the idea that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion may have vi­ol­ated an in­ter­na­tion­al law passed in 2011 against ship­ping weapons in or out of Libya. Said Gohmert:

If in­di­vidu­als with­in this ad­min­is­tra­tion then vi­ol­ated the in­ter­na­tion­al law that they pushed to cre­ate, then they prob­ably need to be care­ful when they’re trav­el­ing in years after they leave the White House or the ad­min­is­tra­tion ef­forts, be­cause, who knows, might get an in­dict­ment some­where in one of these in­ter­na­tion­al tribunals say­ing, “You’ve vi­ol­ated the U.N. law you passed!” You got guns in­to or out of Libya. You vi­ol­ated the law.” People in this coun­try need to un­der­stand that par­ti­cip­at­ing in the mak­ing of laws, and the par­ti­cip­at­ing in the vi­ol­a­tion of laws have con­sequences.

In Gohmert’s world, the out­comes for the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion could be ser­i­ously bleak: Either get de­fun­ded, or find your­self in an in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al court. Luck­ily for them, both of these out­comes right now seem very, very un­likely.

What We're Following See More »
CONTRARY TO REPORTS
Ryan Not Endorsing Trump Just Yet
20 minutes ago
THE LATEST
SHORT ON LACTATION STATIONS, CHANGING TABLES
U.S. Capitol Doesn’t Meet Standards for New Moms
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"The U.S. Capitol does not meet the federal government’s own standards for accommodations for new mothers," according to an investigation by NBC Channel 4. "Though the U.S. General Services Administration, a government agency which oversees the management of federal government buildings, requires a minimum number of lactation stations and changing tables, Congress is exempt from the rules and fails to meet those standards." The Capitol grounds have 12 lactations stations, far short of the 42 that would be required given the number of female workers there.

Source:
OTHER SECRETARIES AT FAULT, TOO
State Dept. Review Faults Clinton Email Management
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A State Department audit has faulted Hillary Clinton and previous secretaries of state for poorly managing email and other computer information and slowly responding to new cybersecurity risks. ... It cites 'longstanding, systemic weaknesses' related to communications. These started before Clinton's appointment as secretary of state, but her failures were singled out as more serious."

Source:
CRUZ STILL TOOK DELEGATES AT THE CONVENTION
Trump Rolls in Washington Primary
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump "was on course to win more than three-quarters of the vote in Washington's primary" last night. Ted Cruz's defunct candidacy still pulled about 10 percent. "Cruz dropped out of the race on May 3, but won 40 of the state's 41 delegates up for grabs at last weekend's state GOP convention."

Source:
MULTIPLE OFFICERS INJURED
Trump Rally Turns Violent in New Mexico
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"What started as a calm protest outside Donald Trump’s rally Tuesday erupted into fiery violence as protesters jumped on police cars, smashed windows and fought with Trump supporters and police. Police faced such an angry crowd that they called in reinforcements from around the state, seeking to double their numbers to counter the protesters, whose numbers swelled beyond 600." Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police, who broke up several fights. 

Source:
×