Washington, D.C. – During the two week April district work period, Congressman Duncan met with hundreds of people at constituent office hours, open houses, plant tours, informational sessions, round table discussions, and other events. While Congressman Duncan will be in Washington, DC next week due to the House of Representatives being in session, his outreach to constituents will continue through staff led community office hours throughout the Third Congressional District. These office hours will give people an opportunity to seek assistance on any issue involving a federal agency or discuss issues of concern. Common agencies that constituents seek help in working with are the VA, IRS, and Social Security Administration.
Below is a copy of the community office hours. If anyone has any questions, they can contact the Laurens, SC Congressional Office at (864)-681-1028.
Oconee – Oconee County Delegation Office
· 10 Short Street
· Walhalla, SC 29691
· 10:00am – 12:00pm
Edgefield – Edgefield Town Hall
· 402 Main Street
· Edgefield, SC 29824
· 10:00am – 12:00pm
Pickens – Pickens City Hall
· 219 Pendleton Street
· Pickens, SC 29671
· 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Saluda – Saluda Town Hall
· 100 S. Jefferson Street
· Saluda, SC 29138
· 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Gray Court – Gray Court Town Hall
· 329 W. Main Street
· Gray Court, SC 29645
· 9:00am – 11:00am
Greenwood – Greenwood County Administration
· 600 Monument Street, Park Plaza, Suite 104
· Greenwood, SC 29646
· 2:00pm – 4:00pm
McCormick – McCormick County Administration Center
· 610 South Mine Street
· McCormick, SC 29835
· 10:00am – 12:00pm
Fountain Inn – Fountain Inn City Hall
· 200 N. Main Street
· Fountain Inn, SC 29644
· 10:00am – 12:00pm
Abbeville – Abbeville County Administrative Complex
· 901 West Greenwood Street, Conference Room B
· Abbeville, SC 29620
· 2:00pm – 4:00pm
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 sent a letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury urging immediate attention to a potential threat to critical U.S. energy infrastructure as a result of a recent asset transfer between Venezuela’s PDVSA and Russia’s Rosneft. This development impacts PDVSA’s U.S.-based subsidiary, Citgo, and vital U.S. national security interests.
Chairman Duncan - “The United States has a clear national interest in achieving energy independence. The recent loan agreement between Russia and Venezuela involving Citgo refineries, pipelines, and terminals presents a clear threat to U.S. energy security. Given the uncertain economic and political situation in Venezuela, I am deeply concerned that a future default by Venezuela could result in Russian ownership of Citgo. This would give Russia clear control over the sixth-largest refinery in our country, the ability to impact gas prices for the American people, and a strategic advantage over U.S. freedom of action globally. Russia has made no secret of its ambitions to thwart the U.S., and it is using countries in the Western Hemisphere to accomplish its objectives. I urge CFIUS to review this recent transaction and take necessary action to protect our nation’s energy infrastructure.”
Ranking Member Sires –“The Chairman and I recently held a hearing examining Venezuela’s collapse and in the days shortly after things went from bad to worse. Maduro continues to tighten his grip on the country by trying to dissolve the legislature and using violent tactics to suppress peaceful protestors who are trying desperately to have their voices heard and save their country. Given the troubling developments, I am hoping the Trump Administration is looking into what would happen if Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA collapses, giving a Russian oil company currently under U.S. sanctions a nearly 50% stake in Citgo. I urge them to pay close attention to this issue as it develops and work with Congress to protect American interests and values both here abroad.”
The text of the letter can be found HERE.
*Note: the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere held a hearing on March 28, 2017 related to this issue.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, released the following statement after mudslides in Colombia killed over 250 people this weekend:
“I offer my deepest condolences to the Colombian people following the tragic mudslides this weekend in Mocoa. Such devastation is heartbreaking, and the United States shares in the grief felt by so many Colombians. I am committed to helping Colombia recover from this horrific disaster, and I am praying for President Santos and the first responders to have wisdom to care for the needs of the Colombian people and for the victims’ families to find peace in this time."
Washington, D.C. – In preparation for the upcoming April district work period, Congressman Duncan announced plans to hold individual meetings with constituents on Monday, April 10th in Laurens and on Thursday, April 13th in Anderson, South Carolina in addition to his regularly scheduled public outreach.
“One of my most important responsibilities as a Member of Congress is to listen. I have made listening to people’s concerns a priority during my entire 6 years in Congress and look forward to continuing that tradition over the April district work period,” Duncan said. “These listening sessions, along with visits to churches and small businesses, and attending community events gives me valuable insight that helps better represent the people of South Carolina.”
Constituents interested in meeting with Congressman Duncan on the 10th or the 13th can call his Anderson, South Carolina office at 864-224-7401 by Friday March 31st to schedule an appointment.
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, will hold a hearing on Venezuela. The hearing is entitled, “Venezuela’s Tragic Meltdown,” and live webcast and witness testimony will be available HERE.
Below is Chairman Duncan’s opening statement (as prepared for delivery) at the hearing in both English and Spanish:
“We are at a critical point in Venezuela’s history. Severe widespread shortages in food, electricity, medicine, and basic goods within what was once the richest country in Latin America have led to starvation, the highest infant mortality rate in the world, and horrific conditions in hospitals. Today, Venezuela is on the edge of a complete meltdown. The country has the highest inflation rate in the world with a falling GDP; its oil company, PDVSA, is not generating enough revenue; and its currency is worthless. Gross economic mismanagement; widespread corruption throughout the government; and an erosion of democracy, rule of law, and human rights in the country have led Venezuela to its sad state today. Americans should take note – Venezuela is a case study in the failure of socialism.
This is the third hearing that this Subcommittee has held on Venezuela since I began my Chairmanship in January of 2015, and we remain deeply concerned for the welfare of the Venezuelan people and potential regional implications from Venezuela’s instability. Venezuela has the largest oil and second largest gold reserves in the world, but incredibly, under President Maduro’s tenure, the country has become practically a failed state. Last year, the economy shrank by almost 17 percent. This year, the International Monetary Fund estimates that inflation will increase to over 1,600 percent. The poverty rate is the highest in four decades, and the homicide rate is at a 35-year high. Such indicators provide little hope for a recovery absent significant change in the country’s policies.
Those who can afford to leave are fleeing the country in droves. Thousands have gone to Chile, Colombia, and Brazil seeking food and medicine, and here at home, Venezuelans make up the largest percentage of asylum requests to the United States with those numbers growing 150 percent since 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If the crisis in Venezuela continues, we all could have a situation on our hands where we are faced with massive refugee flows and public health threats from rising numbers of malaria and diphtheria cases in Venezuela that do not respect borders.
In addition, Venezuela’s PDVSA continues to creep along, but corruption and low oil prices have led to slower output. This situation has the potential to greatly impact gas prices here at home, as the United States is the third-largest importer of Venezuelan oil. The recent news that PDVSA received a $1.5 billion loan in exchange for giving Russia’s state-owned oil company, Rosneft, 49.1% of its shares in Citgo is problematic for U.S. interests. Should Venezuela default on its debt obligation to Rosneft, the Russians would become the second-largest foreign owner of U.S. refining capacity and thereby take control of critical U.S. energy infrastructure, including three U.S. refineries and a network of pipelines. This is an untenable situation that undermines U.S. energy security interests. Furthermore, Venezuela’s Petrocaribe program no longer provides energy with the same preferential financing terms as it did before. Its beneficiaries in the Caribbean and Central America should consider alternatives for their own energy security, including from the United States’ own abundance of oil and natural gas.
Moreover, the political landscape in Venezuela looks bleak as well. While the people turned out in droves last year and spoke loudly at the ballot box in December 2015, giving the opposition a two-thirds supermajority in the legislature, the Maduro government refuses to listen to its citizens. Instead, Maduro has used the Supreme Court and Electoral Commission to nullify all legislative action, and he has thrown over 100 political prisoners in jail. Maduro refuses to submit to the people’s accountability: he has stolen their right of free expression, nullified their vote, and continues trampling on the constitution and rule of law.
This month, OAS Secretary General Almagro provided evidence of “the further deterioration of the state of affairs in Venezuela” and issued yet another call for the Venezuelan government to hold free and open general elections. On March 23rd, fourteen countries in the Americas released a joint declaration supporting Almagro’s efforts calling for Venezuela to hold elections, affirm democratic institutions, and free all political prisoners. The U.S. supported that effort, and while it called for dialogue, it also left open the possibility for further action, including suspension of Venezuela from the OAS if change does not occur.
While I am hopeful that this declaration will result in a change in Maduro’s behavior, the past dialogue efforts have all failed to do just that. The OAS Member States need to think very carefully about how long to give the Venezuelan government to comply, as this declaration reminds me of a very similar situation last year in the OAS. It also begs the question for the Trump Administration: how is U.S. policy towards Venezuela today any different than it was a year ago? Last December, MERCOSUR suspended Venezuela for failing to meet membership requirements.
It is my view that the OAS should take the same approach if Maduro does not immediately call for elections and change his behavior towards his citizens. As an aside, it has come to my attention that the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Haiti are not supporting the OAS Secretary General’s efforts to promote democracy in Venezuela. If this is the case, I think it would be difficult for the U.S. Congress to justify continued U.S. financial assistance to these countries, and I respectfully urge them to reconsider and support democracy in Venezuela.
In conclusion, the United States is watching the situation in Venezuela closely. Last year, I along with Ranking Member Sires and nearly 30 Members of Congress urged the Obama Administration to advocate for the release of Francisco Márquez and Joshua Holt from prison in Venezuela. Today, Francisco is free and sitting in the audience. Francisco, I applaud your courage in the face of extreme brutality, and I urge President Trump to prioritize the release of Joshua Holt and to continue U.S. vigilance in countering the Venezuelan government’s activities in drug trafficking, organized crime, and assistance to Islamist militants. This hearing could not be timelier in view of today’s OAS Permanent Council meeting, and I look forward to what our witnesses will share. With that, I turn to Ranking Member Sires for his opening statement.”
Washington, D.C. – Upon the unveiling of the President’s Budget Blueprint, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) released the following statement:
"I want to congratulate my friend Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, on the release of the America First Budget Blueprint. The Budget that OMB has proposed takes responsible steps towards ensuring that Americans priorities are addressed first.
"As Mick said yesterday, ‘This is not a soft power budget, this is a hard power budget.’ I couldn’t agree more. It is long past time to shore up the nation’s defenses with the spending needed to modernize our military and improve readiness. Defending our country must always be the nation’s top priority, and this budget takes important steps in that direction.
"I have long said that our national debt is one of our greatest national security threats of our generation. During Barack Obama’s Presidency, budgets were used merely as propaganda documents to gather votes. I am encouraged that for the first time since I have been in Congress, I am seeing a budget from our President that sets priorities and makes tough decisions. I completely agree with the decision to cut foreign aid as the way to pay for increased military spending. America cannot be the world’s policeman, the world’s banker, or the world’s welfare program. America’s citizens have enough problems at home – we don’t need to look halfway around the globe to find people to spend money on. I’m also encouraged that the President recommended an increase to Veterans funding, because without our veterans we would not have our freedoms.
"I’m glad that the President is looking towards the Constitution when determining what to fund and what to cut. Our federal government has specific and enumerated powers granted to it by the Constitution. Only by restricting funding to those key functions of government will we begin to claw out of our $20 trillion debt.
"I look forward to working with the Administration to push these priorities through Congress, ensuring that the American people get the most out of every tax dollar taken from them."
Washington, D.C. – In response to the updated Executive Order from President Trump, Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement:
“I support President Trump’s updated Executive Order on national security, just as I supported the previous version. U.S. Law specifically grants the President this authority:
“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” (8 US Code 1182-f)
“I am grateful that President Trump takes his responsibility seriously. I am pleased that he is once again putting the interests of the American people first – especially when it comes to safety. Many in the media and on the left seem to have forgotten we are at war with a determined enemy – radical Islamist terrorism. Until that foe is vanquished, we do well to temporarily halt bringing people into the country who can’t be proven not to want to do our people harm, until better vetting procedures can be put into place.”
# # #Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement in response to President Trump’s Joint Address to Congress:
“For the first time since I have been in Congress, I feel like we have a President who talks to the American people instead of lecturing them. I’m glad to finally have a President who has made the people’s priorities his own. Securing the border, keeping our country safe, enforcing our immigration laws, putting Americans first, and making it easier to do business in this country and creating jobs are common sense ideals that we should all be able to support.
“Months ago, I mentioned that I was going to judge President Trump by his actions. From his selection of Mike Pence as his Vice President, to nominating highly qualified leaders like General Kelly, Dr. Ben Carson, Ryan Zinke, Nikki Haley, and Mick Mulvaney to serve in his cabinet, to tapping Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court—I have been impressed with President Trump’s ability to choose the right people for the right roles.
“Over the course of the coming weeks and months, I look forward to hearing more details about the President’s agenda and hope to work with him to Make America Great Again.”
# # #Read More
Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today voted to undo two Obama Administration regulations that were in violation of the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment limits on states’ rights. The first regulation barred hunting and fishing from federal wilderness lands in Alaska, while the second stopped states from cutting Title X grant funding to abortion providers, most notably the disgraced Planned Parenthood organization.
“We are still dealing with the full impacts of the executive overreach by the Obama presidency,” Duncan said. “I am glad to be able to turn back these terrible regulations and again allow states to make their own decisions about how resources are managed, both natural and financial.”
The first vote returned wildlife management back to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, I was particularly proud to vote to overturn the ill-advised Obama Administration rule banning hunting and fishing in Alaska. Like all of our states, Alaska should be responsible for its own wildlife management practices, not unelected bureaucrats in a distant capital. This regulation represents a disturbing shift in the cooperative wildlife management relationship that states have enjoyed for years with the federal government.
“I am proud to work with my friend Don Young of Alaska to restore Alaska’s rightful authority in this matter. Sportsmen around the country will be pleased by this action in the House today. The sustainable management of these natural resources needs to be a state-led function, and this rule would have set a bad precedent that could have negative implications for the lower 48 states as well.”
The second vote will allow states to once again only direct Title X family planning funds to community health centers that do not engage in abortions or the trafficking of the body parts of unborn children.
“Controversial organizations like Planned Parenthood have no business receiving federal taxpayer dollars. Many states agree – it is simply not the job of the federal government to impose regulations like this one to tell those states they’re wrong. Today’s action, when passed in the Senate and signed by President Trump, will eliminate that federal wrong and protect state taxpayers from having their money sent against their will to Planned Parenthood.
“I look forward to the upcoming Budget Reconciliation bill in the House, which will, in addition to repealing Obamacare, make Planned Parenthood and similar abortion businesses ineligible for federal funding, transferring those funds instead to community health centers that actually focus on health. It is time for government at all levels to end funding for this heinous practice.
“I call on the Senate to follow our lead and pass these resolutions so that President Trump can sign them into law as soon as possible.”
# # #Read More
Washington, D.C. – The Senate today confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) as the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) released the following statement:
“I am so happy for my friend Mick Mulvaney, and also for America to have Mick in this new role. Mick is so perfectly suited for this position; I can’t think of a better person to do the day-to-day work that this will entail. His knowledge of budget matters is encyclopedic, and his work ethic is unquestionable.
“Congratulations to Mick! I look forward to working with him to bring our federal budget back into balance and the federal regulatory apparatus back under control. I know he will be missed by his constituents and by his former House colleagues, but I couldn’t be happier for him.”
# # #Read More
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.