Washington, D.C.--Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement regarding UnitedHealth’s decision to leave nearly the entire health exchange market:
“UnitedHealth’s recent announcement that they are nearly completely leaving the Obamacare insurance markets demonstrates the failure of government run healthcare. UnitedHealth’s decision signals the beginning of the end for ObamaCare, as decreased participation in the exchanges will cause rates to increase exponentially. I knew this was an inevitability, which is why I have done everything I can to repeal and defund this horrible healthcare law. Our country should learn from its mistakes and move away from a costly government run health system and towards more patient centered, personalized care.”
By Carlos Galarza-Veve
WALHALLA — The work underway to convert a large section of the old Oconee County jail into a “Hope and Future” center that will help mend broken lives has now caught the attention of Congressman Jeff Duncan.
On Easter recess from the U.S. House of Representatives, Duncan got a personal tour Tuesday of the former detention facility from Ashley Williams, who is leading the ambitious faith-based outreach program as the director of Christ Central Ministries Oconee. Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw joined in the walkthrough.
Williams presented Duncan with an overview of the programs that will be offered, including emergency shelter, recovery center for men and women, GED classes and training that will certify recently released inmates with employable skills.
During the tour, the congressman met and talked with a few of the dozens of volunteers, many of them from Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Walhalla — including middle-to-high-school-age students – who rolled up their sleeves to help with the cleaning and restoration work that’s been going on since last week.
Diane Reeves, a spokeswoman and organizer with Christ Central Ministries, described the difference in what’s been accomplished to date inside the old jail since Friday as being nothing short of “a miracle.”
Still remaining are many of the old visages inside the cells — including unprintable scribblings and graffiti — that welcomed the congressman.
Crenshaw said he’s looking forward to seeing the program get off the ground.
“I think this is going to pay dividends for ending overcrowding in our new jail,” the sheriff said.
From experience, Duncan said he’s seen that where faith-based organizations get involved, it is changing lives and making a difference.
“The government has a role, and the sheriff has a role for law enforcement and incarceration and rehabilitation,” Duncan said. “But at some point in time, people will get out of jail or will find themselves in situations where they’re homeless and have unfortunate scenarios. Places like this give a Christian, faith-based solution. It’s not long-term. It’s not a permanent solution. It’s a temporary fix. But you’re not only feeding them and housing them, you’re feeding their souls with the love of Jesus Christ and we’re meeting their basic needs. It’s not an end scenario — it’s a means to the end.”
Above all, Duncan is impressed that a facility once used for incarceration will be used to rehab and help someone get back on their feet and move on to the next step.
Duncan added that his office will work with the sheriff on any grants that might become available for programs such as the Hope and Future Center.
“If we don’t help individuals who are leaving incarceration, then chances are they may end back there,” the congressman said. “I look at it as an investment.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Duncan released the following statement after reports surfaced that Cuban State Security arrested Reverend Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, placed his wife and daughters under house arrest, and surrounded their church with police – all just hours before President Obama arrived for his official visit in Cuba:
Chairman Duncan: “President Obama has chosen to go to Cuba when the Castro regime continues to repress freedom. The Castro regime’s decision to arrest Mario Felix, place his wife and daughters under house arrest, and threaten their church at the start of Holy Week and only hours before Obama’s visit reflects utter contempt for human rights and American values. I am deeply concerned about Mario Felix’s health, as Cuban State Security have prevented any contact with his family and have disallowed him food and liquids – all when he appears physically ill.
Today, so many people in Cuba, including the Ladies in White, the Patriotic Union of Cuba, bloggers and human rights defenders, pastors, and unnamed ordinary citizens live under government forced repression. They have no experience of life without state authority under the Castro regime. I strongly urge Obama to speak out firmly for those in Cuba who have no voice, for those whose voice has been silenced, and for those like Mario Felix have been unjustly detained. I also urge Mario Felix’s immediate release.”
NOTE: Mario Felix testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere’s field hearing in Miami on November 6, 2015 entitled, “Deplorable Human Rights Violations in Cuba and Venezuela.” This hearing followed a September 17, 2015 Subcommittee hearing on “Challenges to Religious Freedom in the Americas.”
Washington, D.C.--Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s proposed 5-year plan for offshore drilling that removes Atlantic Coast States from consideration:
“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that this Administration would once again choose placating political allies over helping the economic needs of the American people. We know that offshore energy development can be done safely and that it creates tens of thousands of jobs. We know that our economy needs the long term boost that energy jobs can provide. We’ve also seen the transformative impact that energy revenue can have on state budgets, helping finance infrastructure needs and contributing to conservation efforts.”
“It is downright shameful how radical groups used scare tactics to spread misleading and outright false information to communities across the Atlantic coast. The fact that the Administration slow-walked the permitting process for seismic testing that would have allowed this process to move forward shows me that they were never serious about including the Atlantic in the first place. For an Administration that claims to support science, it’s telling that they prevented the public from having access to hard data about exactly what resources existed off the coast and what their economic benefits would be. The American people are relentlessly pelted with propaganda from this Administration about the settled science in other issues like climate change. Well this action proves to Americans that science is only settled or facts only factual when it fits neatly into the narrative constructed by the White House.”
“The vast majority of Americans, and according to recent polls the vast majority of South Carolinians, support moving forward with responsible exploration and development of our offshore energy resources. I am hopeful that a new Administration will choose to take another look at this issue through the long term lenses of economic development and energy security rather than seek cheap political points by continuing to oppose progress.”
Washington, DC (March 16, 2016) – In response to President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to take Antonin Scalia’s seat as a Supreme Court Justice, Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement:
“For the past seven years, President Obama has found every possible way to abuse his Executive Authority. From packing the NLRB with unconstitutional recess appointments to executive amnesty to unilaterally rewriting his signature health care law, President Obama has repeatedly shown how little he respects our laws and our Constitution. He has even bragged about the fact that he had a ‘pen and a phone’ to go around Congress.”
“I took an oath the uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. The Legislative Branch has an obligation to use the system of checks and balances that our Founding Fathers created for this very purpose. That includes the Power of the Purse and the nominating process. I will not in any way surrender the powers of the Legislative Branch to the Executive Branch. Congress not only has the right not to consider the President's nomination, but I would argue given the President's track-record, we have a responsibility not to confirm.”
“Nominating a Supreme Court Justice is one of the weightiest decisions a President can make, and the American People deserve a say in this process. In a 2007 speech to the American Constitution Society, Senator Chuck Schumer stood against filling any Supreme Court vacancies for the remainder of the Bush Administration. Even earlier, in 1992 as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vice President Biden agreed. And let’s not forget Senator Harry Reid’s troubling history of shredding process in the Senate on Judicial appointments. The Democrats need to come to terms with the precedents they have set and the consequences of their actions.”
“The clear remedy to reinsert dignity back into this process is to give the people the opportunity to speak on this issue at the ballot box in November. It’s how we can right the ship in the nominating process. I hear people every day who are angry with Washington, feeling as though no one is listening. As the Presidential contest continues in the coming months, our citizens deserve to know what kind of people their candidates would nominate to the High Court, and then make an informed decision on the direction the country will take. Only the American people can act to restore our Constitution by denying this President another chance to harm it.”
It has come to my attention that a number of scam calls are targeting South Carolina seniors. While Congress continues to work to tighten laws to target these criminals, one of the best ways for you to protect yourself is to be informed and able to spot a fraudulent call. The subject of these phone calls has been focused on callers pretending to be the IRS, demanding payment and other money from innocent Americans. To help you spot these calls, here are some things that the IRS would NEVER do according to the IRS:
If any of these things happen, hang up immediately and do not give out any personal information. Many of these callers have intent to steal your money or identity. These scammers can spoof caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling and may sound official, but this is not always the case. If you think that a call is fake - hang up. If you have any question on taxes you may owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
Please Contact the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484. Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
As your Congressman, it’s important to me to protect my constituents from any harm these calls can do. The IRS is aware of this problem and we are always working to combat fraudulent calls. Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) introduced legislation giving the House of Representatives the authority to file a lawsuit against the Obama Administration should they violate or attempt to violate the law regarding the transfer of detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The legislation is in response to the President’s signing statement to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2016 as well as today’s Department of Defense outline for closing the facility. The language of the NDAA states that the President must notify the appropriate committees at least 30 days prior to the transfer of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and entirely prohibits the transfer of detainees to the United States. A 2014 GAO report found that when transferring detainees from Cuba to Qatar for the exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Obama Administration failed to notify Congress within the appropriate amount of time, thereby violating the law that the President himself signed.
Following introduction to the House, Congressman Jeff Duncan said: “The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016 passed both the House and Senate with a veto-proof, bipartisan majority. In a direct attack to the rule of law, the President said in his signing statement that his Administration may ignore the restrictions on the transfer of detainees. The language in the bill specifically states that the President must notify the appropriate committees at least 30 days prior to the transfer of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, while clearly prohibiting any transfer to the United States. Furthermore, the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States is completely prohibited under the law. It is plain and simple language, yet the President continues to suggest that he will move forward anyway.
No President is above the law. When Congress passes a law, we have an obligation to the Constitution to ensure that it is followed. It’s time to be proactive instead of reactive, which is why I introduced legislation allowing for the Speaker of the House to initiate litigation against any executive branch officials should they violate the law by transferring dangerous detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Senator Tim Scott has been the leader in the Senate on this issue, raising awareness and fighting the Administration at every opportunity. These terrorists should not be transferred to South Carolina or any other state, and the laws regarding releasing these detainees abroad must be respected. It is important for Congress to legally prepare to respond to any possible violation of the law, which is what this legislation would accomplish.”
Speaking in support of the legislation, Senator Tim Scott said: "It is clear that the President's plan to move Guantanamo to domestic soil would break the law. I want to thank Jeff for his efforts to ensure that Congress is using every tool at our disposal to prevent this reckless plan from moving forward."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) and Ranking Member Albio Sires (NJ-08) of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and Full Committee Chairman Ed Royce (CA-39) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (NY-16) sent a letter to President Enrique Peña Nieto with congratulations on the successful recapture of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán and requesting deeper collaboration to ensure timely extradition of Guzmán to the United States.
Chairman Duncan: “We congratulate the Mexican government on the successful recapture of El Chapo. At this juncture, an expeditious extradition process can ensure that El Chapo will face justice for his crimes as soon as possible. We look forward to building an even stronger U.S.-Mexican security and economic partnership in the days ahead.”
Ranking Member Sires: “We applaud the Mexican government’s recapture of El Chapo. I look forward to working with our partners in Mexico to guarantee El Chapo is brought to justice for the many crimes he has committed both against the people of Mexico and the United States.”
See text of letter to President Enrique Peña Nieto
In response to the arrests of two refugees on charges related to terrorism this week, Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement:
“These arrests point out the exact concerns I have had with the refugee resettlement program. It is particularly troubling that one of the refugees allegedly was able to go to Syria to fight along the Islamist extremists, then allowed to come back to the United States and live here for two years. This again points out what we already know, and what FBI Director Comey confirmed to me in a Homeland Security hearing last year – we do not have a credible vetting process capable of bringing refugees into the United States in a way that keeps America safe.”
“I call on Senator Mitch McConnell to bring to the Senate floor legislation to pause the refugee program long enough to put these vetting processes into place. The House has done work on this – now the Senate needs to act to secure our country from this growing threat. I also call on Speaker Ryan to allow a House vote on a bill to give Governors like Greg Abbott and Nikki Haley the authority to prevent refugee resettlements in their states.”
“I applaud law enforcement for their vigilance, and for making these arrests before American citizens were harmed here. The job of stopping terrorist attacks is often a thankless one, and these folks put their lives on the line every day to protect us.”
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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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Great seeing Lakeside Middle School today & Teacher Dave Madden! Y'all ROCK! https://t.co/V6mt5cs8sc
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Beautiful day in the Nation's Capitol from the Speaker's balcony! I love sharing this with visiting constituents! https://t.co/fHUd43hI9T
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