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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Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act.
“I was pleased that the House today voted to send to the President’s desk a bill to gut ObamaCare and strip Planned Parenthood of funding for a year.
The American people know what a failure ObamaCare has been. Many of my constituents lost their coverage, while others have had their premiums skyrocket and benefits cut. ObamaCare puts government in the way of the doctor-patient relationship in a way that has harmed our freedoms and our medical care at the same time.
The American people also know the horrors of Planned Parenthood. The videos that have streamed over the internet in the last year opened the eyes of millions to the atrocities that are routinely committed in Planned Parenthood facilities around our country. While I am glad that this bill would defund Planned Parenthood for a year, I look forward to having the ability to permanently remove all federal funding eligibility from this awful business. The American people should never have their hard earned money go to an organization that murders the unborn.
While I know that the President will veto this legislation, I am happy that Republican Leadership is planting this flag in 2016 for future Congresses to note. The American people will not settle for anything less than the full repeal of ObamaCare, and this Congress showed today that we know this to be true. I eagerly await the opportunity in 2017 to build on what we’ve done today and eliminate ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood funding forever.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) released the following statement after the House voted 316 – 113 to pass the Omnibus spending package:
America needed Congress to rise to the occasion to fight the tyranny, incompetence, and corruption coming out of the White House. Instead, Congress folded like a cheap suit and gave the President practically everything he wanted. Voting “no” on this Omnibus spending bill was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done in Congress. The bill catered to Washington’s desires while completely ignoring the concerns of the American people.
The White House is creating a national security disaster through its refugee and visa programs, yet Congress lacked the will to stand up and put a stop to it in order to protect our citizens. In a tragic betrayal of the people’s trust, Congress will actually spend more money under a Republican controlled Senate than it did when the Senate was controlled by Democrats.
Some Members of the Congress are so risk averse that they will agree to anything to avoid a government shutdown. Unfortunately, when Members of Congress worry more about keeping their jobs than standing up for freedom, the American people lose every time.
This is more than a missed opportunity. This is a blow to our Constitution and our entire system of government. I am ashamed that there weren’t more Members joining with me to oppose this horrible bill.
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, delivered the following statement at the Subcommittee’s 16th hearing entitled, “Year in Review: U.S. Policy Toward a Changing Western Hemisphere.”
This year, we have seen many changes in the Western Hemisphere. Economic and security factors, migration, natural disasters, and deepening ties with Iran, China, and Russia have greatly impacted the region. Elections in multiple countries have shifted governments and political power. The Organization of American States (OAS) has a new Secretary-General who has affirmed a commitment to revitalizing the organization, and his public statements related to Venezuela have underscored that commitment. Panama hosted the Seventh Summit of the Americas with the inclusion of Cuba for the first time, and the United States began its two-year Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
Furthermore, Colombia has made progress in its peace talks with the FARC, and both houses of its legislature voted this month to approve a proposal for a referendum on an eventual peace deal. In Brazil, economic woes continue, and impeachment proceedings against a sitting president have begun. Moreover, crime and violence in the region have also risen with ever proliferating networks of transnational criminal organizations. This year, Latin America also experienced its worst economic performance since 2009.
The purpose of today’s hearing is to examine the Obama Administration’s policies and programs in the Western Hemisphere to assess their impact and to consider the progress of countries in the region in furthering democracy and freedom of religion and the press; strengthening rule of law and judicial institutions, growing economic prosperity, and providing a safer and more secure region. This Subcommittee has held 16 hearings this year to provide oversight of the Obama Administration’s efforts in the hemisphere and bring public awareness to key developments in the region.
Of the hearings this Subcommittee has held this year, two have focused on budgetary issues and the $1 billion request for Central America; two have examined the energy opportunities in the Western Hemisphere, focusing on Canada and Mexico in particular; three highlighted the challenges to press freedoms, religious liberties, and human rights abuses in Cuba and Venezuela; two focused on the U.S.-Cuba policy shift and impact to U.S. citizens in national security and the unresolved property claims issue; and one explored the opportunities the United States has on Arctic issues in the region.
In January, the death of AMIA Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman in Argentina raised questions about Iran’s networks in the region and the Kirchner government’s relationship with Iran and Venezuela. This Subcommittee has maintained a focus on Iran and Hezbollah’s activities in the region and expanded our oversight to include hearings on China and Russia’s growing presence as well. Whereas these countries have shown great attention to the Western Hemisphere, the Obama Administration’s own response has been minimal.
With the exception of altering the U.S. relationship with Cuba without requiring any substantive changes from the Castro government in return, a tactical response to the migration crisis in Central America, and an emphasis on LGBTI and climate change initiatives, the Obama Administration has shown little strategic vision for U.S. leadership and has failed to make an effective case for why countries in the region should make the United States their partner of choice.
In my view, the United States should be prioritizing relations with democratic, free countries in the region instead of capitulating to leftist governments in Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Brazil. Rather than rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline with Canada, limiting U.S. economic potential, and ignoring important security dimensions in the U.S. relationship with Mexico, the United States should recognize that North America’s greatest potential lies with even stronger U.S. relations with Canada and Mexico.
In Central America, we have seen no changes in the root causes of migration to the United States, and I remain concerned with the high levels of migrant flows we have seen within the last few months into Mexico from Central America and at the U.S. Southern border. A $1 billion request from the Obama Administration will not solve these problems without active U.S. leadership and tight oversight of U.S. taxpayer dollars, real and measurable political will from the countries themselves to address rampant corruption, and strong and independent national institutions that are transparent and accountable to the people.
In addition, I believe we are missing opportunities to create stronger partnerships on trade and energy issues in the hemisphere. In particular, we ought to consider ways to more highly prioritize U.S. relations with the Pacific Alliance countries of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, which reportedly represent 36 percent of Latin America’s economy, 50 percent of its international trade, and 41 percent of all incoming foreign direct investment. In addition, energy cooperation in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America should be more foundational for U.S. policy and underscore our efforts in the region. With the Western Hemisphere home to nearly a third of the world’s oil; U.S. reserves of oil, natural gas, shale gas resources; and growing investment opportunities for U.S. businesses in multiple countries in the region, energy is a positive area of cooperation that we simply have not explored enough.
Indeed, with this year’s elections in the hemisphere, I am hopeful that we will see greater economic and security partnerships between the United States and many more countries. Long-time ruling parties were kicked out in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Mexico saw several surprise victories from independent and non-party candidates in its June legislative and local elections, Guatemala saw a rare victory against corruption with the unseating of a sitting president and resignation of a vice president and the election of a political outsider as president in October who promised to clean up corruption.
After years of delay and extended political crisis, Haiti has held two rounds of elections this year with a final round scheduled for later this month. Even our best partner on trade and energy issues, Canada, saw the turning out of the incumbent government after several years of consecutive leadership. With the results of center-right Mauricio Macri’s victory in Argentina last month in the first-ever runoff election in Argentina’s history, I am excited about the possibilities of improved bilateral relations and greater Argentine leadership in the hemisphere. In addition, this past weekend’s elections in Venezuela marked an important turning point for that country with the opposition’s landslide victory over “Chavismo.”
Our Subcommittee began this year by engaging with regional Caribbean leaders over the issue of finding better ways to partner on energy issues and looking at how our own energy boom in the United States can benefit our friends who have historically depended on Venezuela to meet their energy needs. Next year, I look forward to deepening U.S. engagement in the region, maintaining our attention on Iran, China, and Russia’s actions in the hemisphere, and particularly focusing on energy, business and trade opportunities, terrorism and border security threats, and counter-drug efforts in the region.
As we take time today to assess the Obama Administration’s approach to the Western Hemisphere and the status of specific countries in the region, I look forward to using the perspectives shared here today by our panel of witnesses in order to help shape and sharpen U.S. engagement in the region next year. With that, I turn to Ranking Member Sires for any opening statement he would like to make.
Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement concerning the violent attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris and Lebanon.
The attacks around the world – most recently in Lebanon and Paris – are another reminder of our global conflict with radical Islam. It is an ideology that rejects the core ideals of democratic freedom and human rights. This is not a wake-up call, that came decades ago. This is a chilling reminder to Europe and the United States that open border policies endanger our communities. Islamic extremists will continue to infiltrate and radicalize citizens living within our borders with the goal of committing acts of terror and intimidation. I call on President Obama to immediately halt the resettlement of any refugees from Syria and other countries with known radical Islamic terrorist cells, at least until ISIS has been defeated and an improved refugee vetting process has been established.
It is the primary responsibility of the United States federal government to provide for a common defense. We owe it to the American people to provide the best security for our nation that we can, from border security to interior security. We must not compromise that security in the name of political correctness. Bringing in Syrians like the one involved in the Paris attacks would be a tragic mistake.
The price of liberty remains eternal vigilance. These are the days for which we must prepare, even though we hope they never come. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were affected by these attacks as they continue to recover.
Washington, D.C. – Today President Obama made the announcement to reject the Keystone XL pipeline application from energy company TransCanada. Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) released the following statement criticizing the Administration’s decision:
“The Obama Administration’s decision to reject the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline is outrageous. I am appalled that a lame duck President would so obviously subvert the will of the American people in the name of environmental socialism. This decision will cost thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars to American consumers, while achieving nothing of value for the environment. In fact, the oil will still be drilled and exported, but these exports will strengthen China, not the United States. “
“The American people’s march to energy independence will not be deterred by the dithering of an out of touch President. The free market has taken huge steps towards energy security in the past few years, thanks to advances in technology, and no thanks to an Administration bent on wrecking the American economy to advance its own brand of social engineering. I look forward to working with a new Republican Administration, who will undoubtedly have a greater sense of patriotic purpose and better judgment when it comes to American energy independence. The American people eagerly await the day when we have a President who puts the needs of the American people ahead of left-wing special interests.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the cusp of a veto by President Obama of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2016, Congressman Jeff Duncan released a statement concerning the President’s refusal to fund the defense of the United States:
“Last week, President Obama vetoed critical legislation which fulfills an important role of the federal government: providing for the common defense. I am deeply disappointed in the President playing politics with our military and our national security, and holding hostage the funding for our troops that is essential for them to protect the United States over the fact that a defense bill does not increase non-defense spending. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2016 cuts excessive and wasteful spending while transferring those resources to more urgent priorities, makes long-needed reforms to ensure that America’s forces are ready and equipped to protect the nation, continues to provide for our veterans, further prohibits the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. soil, and is also consistent with the exact amount requested by the President.”
“Instead of holding our military hostage, the President should be urging the Senate to take up the numerous appropriations bill that the House has passed which would address non-defense spending. Vetoing vital legislation that would protect our nation and our military, is once again a political move by President Obama to advance his political whims, and yet another serious foreign policy mistake.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) released the following statement concerning the termination of the Obama Administration’s Syrian rebel training program.
“The Obama Administration announced last week that they would be ending the Pentagon’s $500 million program to train and equip Syrian rebels. I am glad that the Administration now sees that this program was not a smart decision, but that call comes about a year too late. Taxpayer dollars have already been spent on a failed program, while “moderate” rebels fighting in Syria have already turned over their weapons to an al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra.
Unlike many of my colleagues, I did not support the Administration’s plan to arm the Syrian rebels from the beginning. This program is one that was supposed to train over 5,000 rebel fighters who administration officials hoped would counter ISIL. Instead, this program trained around only 100 fighters that were deployed to Syria, and of those hundred, only about “four or five” were still fighting in Syria. Most recently, it was reported that one of the U.S.-trained Syrian rebel commanders gave American arms and vehicles to fighters from the Nusra Front.
We needed and still need today a bold strategy to combat ISIS. Training unknown Syrian rebels was not a bold strategy. It was one of “pale pastels.” Nor was it wise to wade into the middle of another country’s civil war without clear objectives, allies, and foresight. I support and have cosponsored legislation that would arm our allies, the Kurds. The Kurds have proven their capability against ISIS, and Defense Secretary Carter has said that the work that has been done with the Kurds in northern Syria is “an example of an effective approach.”
ISIS presents a direct threat to the U.S. homeland and interests abroad. This Administration has had a weak and ineffective policy in Syria and against the threat of ISIS. I hope now that the President sees that in order to combat this evil, he needs a bold strategy and a clear, attainable objective. ISIS is not and never was a “junior varsity team.” They are a group of radical terrorists that have directly threatened the U.S. and have taken the lives of at least four Americans. It is past time for the President to lead and engage more forcefully in the battle of ideas to discredit the evil ideology and propaganda of ISIS. Greater offensive action needs to be taken to weaken ISIS’s appeal, exploit its vulnerabilities, and weaken its influence over people.”
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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@samwithans so....Equality means equality, correct? I read your tweet to say that women would get treated differently and would want that?
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This week the House took up President Obama's veto on the pass that passed Congress to repeal ObamaCare. Unfortunately, the bill was 49 votes
From Fox News: Congressman Jeff Duncan went on a tirade on Wednesday, questioning President Obama's priorities: "I'm amazed that an administration
Update on ObamaCare Lawsuit
An all powerful central government is not what the founders had in mind.
Generally, Americans vote based on their wallets- ie. How the economy is doing or who they think can turn economy around, or they vote base on