Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | Louie Gohmert | White House | border | security

Gohmert Compares White House and Border Security

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 02:11 PM

President Barack Obama doesn't think there should be a fence across the nation's southern border, so Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert had a tongue-in-cheek suggestion Wednesday: Why not just take the White House fence down too?

"I would think if the administration is going to be consistent, it’s now time to remove the fence from around the White House," Gohmert said during a House Judiciary hearing to acting Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy. "Because if it isn’t good enough for our border, it should not be good enough for the White House. So I would ask you to consider that consistency and also consider the fact that maybe there really is some real virtue in having a fence that slows people down.”

Clancy was at the hearing to answer questions from lawmakers about the recent fence-jumping incidents at the White House, and Gohmert took the opportunity to connect the question of the White House fence to proposals for a fence along the nation's border, a plan he and other border security proponents have been pushing for some time.

But, Gohmert told Clancy Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has decided such a fence is "worthless."

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As far as the White House is concerned, Gohmert said, "we've had different hearings...and you know there seemed be in the past a feeling of invulnerability of the White House."

And with the fences, you "knew somehow there was bound to be more security there than you can see. So it rattles folks when somebody can jump over the fence and get there," Gohmert said.

While there have been some concern about a second fence being put up, Clancy said actually there has been a row of bike racks installed along the perimeter.

"We're realizing people can still get over the bike rack, so what it does is it still gives us a little more time to react," Clancy said.

He explained that the fence is 7 feet, 6 inches tall, and there has been discussion with several groups to determine how to make the fence higher without compromising the historic nature of the White House.

And after mentioning past security concerns at the White House, Gohmert dug in.

"Has there been any thought to just eliminating the fence around the White House?" he asked Clancy. "Has Secretary Napolitano ever talked about that, maybe having a virtual fence, or electronic fences? Has that been discussed at all?"

And then, "would you be in favor of removing the fence around the White House and having a virtual or electronic fence around it?"

Still not biting, Clancy said that his "knee-jerk" answer to that would be no because of the tourists that arrive at the White House every day.

The clamor for the fence rose even higher this summer as thousands of undocumented immigrants flooded into the United States from Central America, and proponents want the Secure Fence Act of 2006 to be enforced.

That law, signed by President George W. Bush, approved for the construction of the fence, along with more checkpoints, cameras, vehicle barriers, and lighting.

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President Barack Obama doesn't think there should be a fence across the nation's southern border, so Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert had a tongue-in-cheek suggestion Wednesday: Why not just take the White House fence down too?
Louie Gohmert, White House, border, security
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2014-11-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 02:11 PM
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