Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, held a meeting with President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama. They discussed joint and regional efforts to address transnational crime, border security, and the crisis in Venezuela, as well as the Panama Canal expansion. Chairman Duncan released the following statement:
“Panama continues to be one of our strongest regional partners thanks to the leadership of President Varela. The country’s economic growth is a model for the hemisphere, and I deeply value the cooperation we have had on economic, security, and political issues. I am dedicated to building on our joint efforts in the months ahead, as I see Panama as a key partner to address illegal migration, transnational crime, and drug trafficking. I also thank President Varela for reinforcing our economic partnership by creating a safe environment for the many American businesses that operate in Panama. Finally, I applaud President Varela’s commitment to promoting respect for democracy and human rights in Venezuela. As the situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, I urge Panama and every country in the region to do more to pressure the Maduro government to hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, and accept humanitarian aid."
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan issued the following statement:
“I strongly support canceling the August Congressional recess. While I believe it's important for Members of Congress to be in their home districts listening to constituents during this period, it's also abundantly clear that too much of the people's work remains unfinished. Congress needs to stay in session in order confirm President Trump's nominees, finish the rollback of Obamacare, finalize a budget, begin tax reform, and adopt national security and immigration reforms. Congress needs to do its part to help President Trump implement his agenda, and the best way to do that is for the House & Senate to keep working in Washington.”
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Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, released the following statement on President Trump’s new policy toward Cuba, which reverses significant components of the Obama Administration’s previous policy:
Chairman Duncan – “President Trump kept his promise to uphold U.S. law regarding Cuba. His actions today affirm that the U.S. will not tolerate closer relations with the Cuban government absent significant advances in the Castro regime’s respect for the human rights of its people. I applaud the decision to increase restrictions on financial transactions and require greater accountability. The prohibition against major U.S. economic activities with GAESA is also critical to lessening the military’s grip on Cuba’s economy.
“Most importantly, this new Cuba policy finally stands with the Cuban people and heroic dissidents in their fight for freedom in the face of communism rather than supporting the oppressive Castro regime. I commend President Trump for this principled stand and look forward to working with his Administration to also resolve U.S. certified property claims and protect U.S. security interests from Cuba’s ongoing counter-intelligence, proliferation, and criminal activities.”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan today welcomed the National Champion Clemson Tigers to Washington D.C. Congressman Duncan joined Coach Dabo Swinney and 180 players, coaches, and staff from the Clemson Tigers at the White House and then led them on a tour of the United States Capitol.
“I was thrilled to be able to share in this terrific day for my alma mater, Clemson University,” Duncan said. “It was incredible to join these young men and the dedicated coaches and staff who support them in celebration at the White House with President Donald Trump, and at the United States Capitol with the South Carolina Congressional Delegation. It was a joy to share in this celebration with so many folks from Clemson’s administration and Board, as well as team members and their families.”
Duncan was also impressed by Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney.
“Coach Dabo Swinney impresses me on so many levels. This team’s national champion success on the field is matched only by the success off the field. Coach Swinney is a man of character and faith, and that translates into everything he’s trying to do with these young student-athletes. As a Clemson alumnus and former walk-on member of the football team, I couldn’t be prouder of what Dabo stands for.”
“It was my pleasure to show the team the Capitol today, to impart some of our nation’s history and culture, and to share the joy of their championship celebration.”
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Washington, D.C. – Upon passage of H.R. 10 (Hensarling-TX), the Financial CHOICE Act, Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement:
“The Dodd-Frank Act was a shameless gift to Washington and Wall Street insiders against the American people. It affected every community, especially the more rural areas like the Third District of South Carolina. This backdoor attempt to nationalize the banking system contributed to the slowest economic recovery from a major recession since 1960. In a 2010 signing statement, President Obama said the goal of the Dodd-Frank Act is to “protect consumers from abusive financial services practices.” The Act fundamentally deflected the root causes of the financial crisis away from government policy and instead blamed capitalism. Though scapegoating capitalism gets cheers in the Harvard faculty lounge, it is a failure in the real world. Real people are hurt by these arrogant experiments in state sponsored economics. Since Dodd-Frank was enacted, one in five U.S. banks—1,706—has disappeared. These are your local credit unions and bankers who are accountable to the people they serve, not to Wall Street. Main Street was hurt, while cronies in the White House and Congress wrote a bill to benefit the biggest banks with the most campaign dollars. Dodd-Frank was one of the single most destructive acts ever passed in the Obama era. What is truly shameful is that it ignored the true driver of the housing bubble: the Federal government. It was the reduction of underwriting standards for residential mortgages by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac combined with the expansion of quotas for low to moderate income mortgages that drove the markets towards subprime markets. On the eve of the crisis, 56% of all mortgages in the US—31 million—were subprime or risky mortgages. Of these, 76% were on the books of government agencies.
“But the left could never acknowledge that government policies of “helping the poor” could create such a mess. The government dug the graves for the most vulnerable, and Dodd-Frank filled them in.
“The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, demonstrates how effective financial regulation should be enacted under law. This is for the community bankers and credit unions who keep the businesses open in my district. Though the other side tars capitalism as the enemy, I will continue to promote it as the strength. This is a win for the Third District of South Carolina.”
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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan today released the following statement after the announcement of Trey Gowdy as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:
“I am thrilled that my friend Trey Gowdy has been chosen as the Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee by the House Republican Steering Committee today. Trey is a good friend and a good man who is the right person for the job if ever there was one. Trey is toughminded but evenhanded, and will be fair but firm with wayward government employees. His background as a skilled and effective prosecutor perfectly prepares him for this post.
"Congratulations to Trey on the Chairmanship!”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, delivered the following opening statement at the Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Energy Opportunities in North America”:
Over the past few years, this Subcommittee has prioritized the issue of energy very intentionally. We have taken time to examine opportunities in the region and consider how the U.S. can increase energy cooperation with our neighbors to pursue greater economic growth, create jobs, lower gas prices, and increase our energy security. Today’s hearing on North American energy opportunities follows legislation that I authored in the 113th Congress to approve the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement, which became law; three Subcommittee energy hearings last Congress; a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on North American energy that Ranking Member Sires and I requested, which is currently ongoing; and a hearing on South American energy potential last month. In my view, energy holds a very important key to unlocking untapped potential for the hemisphere, and I believe the Trump Administration has an incredible opportunity now to increase U.S. energy engagement with the region – to the benefit of U.S. interests as well as to the region as a whole.
After all, the United States is the largest energy producer in the Western Hemisphere, producing over 12 million barrels of oil and 27 trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas per day. Collectively, as of 2015, North America accounted for 72 percent of Western Hemisphere oil production and 85 percent of natural gas production. Tight oil and shale gas in the United States, Canada’s oil sands, and Mexico’s energy reforms and offshore oil prospects create circumstances for a far more highly integrated and interdependent North American energy market. A stronger North American energy partnership would expand the size of our energy market, lead to more jobs, reduce costs for consumers, and enhance North American energy security and independence. Of course, global oil prices will continue to impact U.S. energy interests. However, the U.S. would likely experience less impact from the volatility in the Middle East, attempts by OPEC to regulate energy output and prices, and even Venezuela’s energy production freefall if we relied less on these sources of energy and instead built a stronger North American energy market to lower our risk and meet our needs more effectively.
Consequently, I believe that the Trump Administration has an excellent opportunity now in efforts to improve NAFTA to include energy issues in any future deal. The energy landscape has changed substantially since NAFTA was first negotiated and thus warrants closer examination and potential inclusion, in my view. In addition, the Trump Administration has another opportunity with the recently concluded negotiation of the U.S.-Mexico “Section 123 Agreement” to consider how U.S. nuclear exports to Mexico might assist our southern neighbor with its stated objectives to reduce the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions through nuclear power. This agreement awaits White House consideration and submission to Congress for review. According to U.S. industry, if this “Section 123 Agreement” moves forward, Mexico plans to construct two new nuclear plants, which could potentially generate more than $2 billion in direct U.S. exports and support more than 10,000 jobs in more than 20 U.S. states if U.S. firms end up constructing those new plants.
Let’s consider for a moment the recent energy developments in North America that have brought us here today. The U.S. has experienced the greatest natural gas supply transformation of any country in the world in recent years due to shale. Today, Canada is the fifth-largest energy producer in the world and our largest foreign supplier of energy. It also has the world’s third-largest proved oil reserves and is one of the largest producers of dry natural gas. Likewise, Mexico is a major producer of petroleum in the world and is the fourth-largest in the Americas. Several recent discoveries of oil and natural gas in Mexico, the development of unconventional resources, and considerable shale resources near the U.S.-Mexico border offer additional promising opportunities. Furthermore, Canada’s privatized oil sector and Mexico’s 2013 reforms opening its energy sector to private investment make further energy cooperation with these non-OPEC members more critical to U.S. national interests.
In conclusion, the collective value of the energy trade between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico exceeded $140 billion in 2015. More can be done, and President Trump’s “America First Energy Plan” is an important blueprint for achieving greater U.S. energy security and independence. However, I believe that in order for that Plan to maximize its potential, we need to expand North American energy cooperation. Currently, our trilateral trade in crude oil, natural gas, refined products, and electricity is joint and integrated in many ways. Our neighbors are major buyers of petroleum products refined in our country, and energy products cross our borders multiple times. Natural gas originating in Canada is often exported into the U.S. in one part of the country and then re-exported back to Canada in another part. Over 50 natural gas pipelines link the North American energy market, six oil pipeline systems link the U.S. and Canada, and over 30 major electricity transmissions connect the U.S. and Canada. Yet, we have substantial room to improve and grow our energy partnership, especially with Mexico. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses on how the U.S. can work with our neighbors to build a stronger North America. I turn now to Ranking Member Sires for his opening remarks.
Washington, D.C. – In response to President Trump’s announcement today to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement:
“I applaud President Trump for taking the step of ending our involvement in the ill-fated Paris Agreement on climate. The Paris Agreement was illegally put into place by President Obama as an “agreement” rather than a treaty. The Senate was never allowed to weigh in, because the Senate would never have ratified such a radical treaty.
“The Paris Agreement would have been disastrous for the American economy, costing billions of dollars in economic losses and millions of jobs for a dubious projected payoff of less than a quarter degree Celsius of global temperature reduction. The President is right to reject this so-called agreement, and Congress is right to pull the plug on funding. While I have long advocated for being good stewards of the world our Creator gave us, I have also advocated for good governance, following Constitutional processes and respecting our national sovereignty, shying away from globalist regulatory policies which seek to hamper American businesses.”
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Laurens, S.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement in honor of Memorial Day:
“Today, we pause to recognize a sacred American holiday – a day to remember those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Our fallen men and women in uniform gave everything in order to protect the precious freedoms and liberties that we enjoy in the United States. We live in the greatest country in the world because of their sacrifice, and we are forever grateful for their service to our nation. Please take time today to honor these brave men and women and remember their legacy that continues to live on.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, introduced H.Res.357, a bipartisan House Resolution reaffirming the strategic partnership between the United States and Canada. Representatives Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Kevin Cramer (ND-At-Large), and Bill Huizenga (MI-02) joined Chairman Duncan as original cosponsors of the resolution. Regarding the introduction of H.Res.357, Chairman Duncan released the following statement:
“Canada is one of our closest friends. We share the longest undefended border, largest bilateral trading relationship, and one of the deepest security and energy partnerships in the world. Today, 32 U.S. States consider Canada their primary trading partner. Canada has been a critical ally of ours in the fight against terrorism, and our border security cooperation is one of the most comprehensive in existence. Our energy ties are especially strong, and I am excited about the future of our energy relationship. As our Canadian neighbors celebrate 150 years of the Canadian Federation, I am thankful for the many ways Canada has supported the United States and look forward to building an even stronger relationship in the days ahead.”
116 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Jeff Duncan is a South Carolina native and a 1988 graduate of Clemson University. Prior to being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Duncan served as branch manager and an Assistant Vice President during his seven years of working in community banking. Later, he became the President and CEO of J. Duncan Associates, a South Carolina based, family owned real estate marketing firm which specialized in statewide real estate auctions.
Duncan served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2002-2010, where he served as the Chairman of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee from 2007 to 2009.
During his tenure in the South Carolina House of Representatives, Jeff was known as one of the most conservative House Members, earning recognition as a “Taxpayer’s Hero” from Governor Mark Sanford for his work combating wasteful government spending and fighting against tax increases. Jeff has also received the “Guardian of Small Business” award from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB); he had an A+ rating from the Club for Growth; he was awarded the Palmetto Leadership Award from the SC Policy Council during his Freshman term; “Legislator of the Year” recognition from both the SC Recreation and Parks Association and the SC Wildlife Federation. In 2010, Jeff Duncan was awarded The Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of South Carolina.
Congressman Duncan is passionate about American Energy Independence. While a State Legislator, Jeff served on the US Department of the Interior’s Outer Continental Shelf’s 5 year Planning Sub-Committee which was charged with making recommendations for oil and natural gas leases on offshore areas. In addition, he served on the state’s Natural Gas Offshore Drilling Study Committee and was appointed to represent the state of South Carolina on the Southern States Energy Board.
Elected in 2010 to the 112th Congress, Jeff currently sits on three House committees including the Natural Resources Committee, the Homeland Security Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee. He also serves as the Subcommittee Chairman of Homeland Security’s Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee. Additionally, Congressman Duncan was appointed by Speaker John Boehner to the Executive Committee for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
The Natural Resources Committee gives Duncan an outlet to promote US energy policy. He is an integral part of the GOP’s House Energy Action Team (HEAT) which supports expedited permitting of energy projects and the use of currently undeveloped areas for energy production in the United States, including areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other Federal land.
Jeff takes a particular interest in the promotion of nuclear energy, a topic especially important to South Carolina, home of the Savannah River Site nuclear complex. Energy independence is vital to national security and a segue to job creation. Congressman Duncan views nuclear power as a key ingredient in that equation. He supports the use of the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as a long-term storage site for nuclear waste. Although he is a strong proponent of American solutions to American energy issues, Congressman Duncan is not in favor of federal energy subsidies for alternative energy or ethanol.
As a Member of the Natural Resources Committee, Jeff can advocate for some of his passions: the enjoyment of the great outdoors as an avid hunter and fisherman. Jeff sits on the subcommittee for fisheries and wildlife.
A member of both the Republican Study Committee and the Tea Party Caucus, Jeff took a strong stand on major fiscal issues in the 112th Congress. Dissatisfied with the level of spending cuts offered, he split from a majority of Republicans in his opposition of: the final fiscal 2011 spending deal; the final debt limit increase deal in August 2011; both versions of a bill to keep the government operating at the start of fiscal 2012; and the final FY 2012 Appropriations bill. A strong believer in the Constitution, Jeff fought against ambiguous language in the National Defense Authorization Act which he feels could put certain American liberties in peril.
In February 2011, he introduced a resolution that would create a new committee called the Committee on the Elimination of Nonessential Federal Programs, with the express purpose of reducing federal outlays. He supports taking a closer look at any government agency that is not included in the constitutional role of the federal government.
Jeff strongly believes that border security does fit the Constitutional definition of a federal duty and is proudly a member of the Border and Maritime Security subcommittee. He advocates an “all-of-the-above” strategy for border enforcement, including physical fencing, greater use of surveillance technology and increased manpower. His stance on border security includes an immigration policy aspect, as well as a national security element. He supports stronger enforcement of immigration laws and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the country.
Duncan has also worked the national security angle to border enforcement from his position on the Foreign Affairs Committee. When news reports broke in October 2011 that the Iranian government allegedly wanted members of Mexican drug cartels to carry out an assassination on U.S. soil, Duncan introduced a resolution urging the government to consider Iran a threat to the Western Hemisphere when formulating counterterrorism strategy.
Act! for America presented Representative Duncan with the “2011 National Security Patriot Award” because of his strong and enduring commitment to protecting our national security and democratic values.
Jeff also serves as the co-chairman of the Sovereignty Caucus along with Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn. The Caucus seeks to combat the influence of international organizations and multilateral agreements on United States policy. He urges greater scrutiny of foreign aid and has been an advocate for blocking economic assistance to governments that oppose the United States in the U.N. General Assembly.
In September 2011, Duncan became the only member of Congress with a 100 percent rating on the Heritage Action for America legislative scorecard “covering the full spectrum of conservatism.” He finished the 112th Congress at the top of the House leader board.
Jeff has been married to his wife Melody for twenty-five years and they have three sons: Graham, John Philip, and Parker. The Duncan family are members of First Baptist Church of Clinton, South Carolina.
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Gonna be a lot of pressure if they don't finish before recess, then head home with nothing... https://t.co/GJRGUQmMLf
I strongly support canceling the August Congressional recess. While I believe it's important for Members of Congress to be in their home districts
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