Rep. Louie Gohmert On Why He Joined Congress: I Wanted to Stop Single Moms from Getting Welfare

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This week marked the 50th anniversary of LBJ's War on Poverty, which introduced major initiatives designed to help lift Americans out of poverty. President Obama marked the occasion by recommitting himself to fighting poverty, declaring that “our work is far from over.”

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), on the other hand, used the occasion to reaffirm how much he hates poor people, especially single mothers.

In a speech on the House floor Wednesday night, Gohmert explained that the War on Poverty inspired him to run for Congress. But it wasn't because he wanted to fight poverty, it was because he hated welfare. Gohmert said that as a state district judge, he realized that “the government will send you a check for every baby you have out of wedlock” and he decided he had to stop it.

If Gohmert were paying attention, he'd realize that 36% of children in his district live in single parent families, and social safety net programs have been proven to be highly effective at reducing poverty. But his commitment to crazy outweighs facts, and so he's dedicated his congressional career to stopping single mothers from receiving welfare.

Gohmert told an exaggerated story of one single mother he encountered in his time as a state judge, and went on to blame her problems on the War on Poverty:

    “One women had had 15 kids, didn't even know where they all were, that was the most that I ever dealt with. It began to really eat away with me that in the 60s the federal government, desiring to help poor moms who were dealing with deadbeat dads, decided, 'We'll help, we'll give a check for every child you can have out of wedlock.'… The War on Poverty has been a disaster. Why do the children have to suffer for the ignorance and stupidity of the government and those who meant well but just did stupid things? It's tragic.”

Gohmert is in favor of implementing a nationwide policy called a “family cap,” which “aims at cutting off additional support to children born out of wedlock and currently on welfare.” The problem is, even when such a policy is in place, it doesn't work–people still get pregnant. The most effective solutions to prevent pregnancy are actually effective sex education and access to birth control. Predictably, Rep. Gohmert is opposed to both.

Louie Gohmert has once again made it clear that neither facts nor his constituents' welfare matters much to him. Apparently single moms trying to get by are a threat to society (I'm guessing it's a similar threat level to terrorist babies), so Louie Gohmert will keep on fighting the crazy fight to stop them from supporting their children.

About Author

Katie Singh

Katie grew up in Austin and has been involved in Texas politics since 2004. She has been a part of several campaigns, from state house races to working at President Obama's campaign headquarters in 2012. She loves public policy, public health, and tacos. Katie tweets from @kasingh19.

1 Comment

  1. Nobody likes to be ripped off…
    …but his plan to stop 1% of system abusers is to take away food from the children of good people and quiverfulls? Doesn't seem like the most intelligent or Christian solution.

    And does he seriously expect the poor to just stop having sex? Given Texas's war on birth control and sex education, mostly he is just going to give women in poverty a financial incentive to have an abortion.

    Obviously a scientifically proven solution is universal access to free birth control, but why use your brain when it's so much more satisfying to assume people who have different appearance or backgrounds than you have terrible values, and then be punitive and vindictive towards those outsiders.

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