Jeff Duncan

Jeff Duncan

SOUTH CAROLINA's 3rd DISTRICT

Congressman Duncan Issues Statement on the Resignation of Secretary Hagel

2014/11/25

LAURENS, SC—South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan issued the following statement regarding Secretary Hagel’s resignation:

"While I have had some policy disagreements with Secretary Hagel, I would like to thank him for his service to the country. As the nation’s first Defense Secretary to be an enlisted combat veteran, Mr. Hagel brought a unique and important perspective to the Department."

"Just under a year ago, President Obama compared ISIS to a JV basketball team. Now ISIS represents one of the greatest threats in the Middle East and a major concern across the globe. The lack of vision from the White House on national security matters has been astonishing, and I am hopeful that the next Secretary of Defense will have the boldness and expertise to correct some of the Administration’s shortsightedness. I urge my Senate colleagues to hold a rigorous confirmation process for Secretary Hagel’s successor in order to ensure that our military is managed by a highly capable leader who will listen closely to the advice of our military commanders."

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Duncan Issues Statement Following the President's Immigration Announcement

2014/11/24

WASHINGTON, DC-South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s executive action on immigration:

"What the President has done is unprecedented, unconstitutional, and an affront to the American people. In addition to poisoning the well and making it almost impossible to work together on other issues, the President’s actions have created a constitutional crisis that our Founding Fathers had hoped to avoid. Presidents cannot make law on their own. Regardless of how one feels about this issue or any other, I would hope that we could all come together and agree that the precedent set by this President is dangerous."

"My oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States is clear. It requires me to use every power at my disposal to make sure this type of action is stopped, condemned, and prevented from ever happening again. One of the most important and effective ways Congress can stop this is by blocking funding. Federalist 58 states, ‘This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.’ It is the prerogative of Congress to deny funding to Executive proposals in which they believe are unconstitutional or damaging to the country. Presidents have frequently signed legislation that contained such funding restrictions. Democrats such as Senator Carl Levin of Michigan have reaffirmed that restricting funding is a proper role of the legislative branch by stating it ‘(is) not bringing down the government. (It’s) a fairly traditional, targeted approach to make a policy point."

"The President’s actions seem to have more to do with politics than policy. The President’s not considering the fact that he’s hurting Americans from all walks of life who are still struggling to find jobs. The President does not seem to care that this action will make our immigration system worse by incentivizing others to come here illegally."

"I expect the President will threaten to veto any attempt from Congress to stop this unilateral action, and then blame Congress for acting ‘irresponsibly’ if the result is more gridlock. If the President wanted to fix our broken immigration system, he could start by securing the border and enforcing the laws already passed by Congress. But make no mistake, what the President is doing will make our immigration system worse."

"Congress has not only the right but the responsibility to stop this executive action. The President decided to act unilaterally on this issue and is solely responsible for the conflict that will certainly arise. We need a Commander-in Chief, not a Campaigner-in-Chief. We need a leader who puts the health and well-being of the country ahead of 2016 politics. This is a sad day for the nation, and I intend to use all of my constitutional authority to put a stop to the President’s illegal behavior."

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Rep. Jeff Duncan to Hold Congressional Hearing on Emergency Preparedness

2014/11/18

WASHINGTON, DC—South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan will hold a Congressional Hearing at Clemson University at 1:00pm on Friday, November 21st on emergency preparedness. The hearing will focus on the importance of local, state, federal officials and non-profits working closely together during crisis situations, and preparing for threats like natural disasters, public health emergencies like Ebola, cyber-attacks, energy infrastructure issues, among other concerns. The hearing will be held at Clemson’s historic Tillman Hall and is part of Congressman Duncan’s work as Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency of the House Homeland Security Committee. Some of the invited witnesses include South Carolina’s Adjutant General Bob Livingston, Director of South Carolina’s Emergency Management Division Kim Stenson, Anderson County Sherriff John Skipper, and Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost for Computing and Information Technology for Clemson University Jim Bottum. The event is free and open to the public.

“Over twenty-five years have passed since Hurricane Hugo devastated South Carolina. First responders must now be prepared for a ‘21st Century Hugo’: not just natural disasters but public health emergencies, like Ebola, cyber-attacks, energy infrastructure issues, among other concerns. We will examine how local first responders are empowered and supported by federal, state, and local partners. I’m thrilled that we will be holding the hearing at Clemson University—far from the bubble of Washington D.C.—where the committee can hear important perspectives from state and local first responders and Clemson experts on how to best prepare for emergencies facing our area.” –Congressman Jeff Duncan

FRIDAY, November 21 at 1:00 p.m.

Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency

Field Hearing: Emergency Preparedness: Are We Ready For A 21st Century Hugo?

Tillman Hall, Clemson University, 101 Gantt Circle, Clemson, South Carolina 29634

Invited Witnesses Include:

Panel I

  • Mr. Robert Fenton, Acting Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Dr. Jeffrey L. Payne, Acting Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Major General Robert Livingston Jr., Adjutant General, State of South Carolina
  • Mr. Kim Stenson, Director, South Carolina Emergency Management Division
  • Sheriff John Skipper, Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County, South Carolina

Panel II

  • Dr. Clifton Lacy, Director, University Center for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response, Rutgers University
  • Mr. Jim Bottum, Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost for Computing and Information Technology, Clemson University
  • Major Thomas Louden, General Secretary, North and South Carolina Division, The Salvation Army
  • Dr. Jason Hallstrom,  Associate Professor, School of Computing and Deputy Director, Institute of Computational Ecology, Clemson University
  • Ms. Emily Bentley, J.D., Associate Professor and Coordinator, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Savannah State University

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Op Ed: An "invisible" Iran in the Western Hemisphere: America's strategic blind spot

2014/10/21

By Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) - 10/21/14

Recently, we have seen a hydra of terrorist organizations wreak havoc around the world. ISIS continues to destabilize the Middle East and has ambitions to expand globally. Al Qaeda recently expanded its operations to India and had plans to attack a U.S. aircraft carrier on 9/11. Boko Haram kidnapped 50 more women in Nigeria and continues pursuing an Islamic caliphate in Africa. Only a year ago, Al Shabaab attacked Westgate Mall in Kenya, and Hezbollah attempted several assassinations around the world. Such an uptick in terrorism was reflected in an April report published by the State Department, which found terrorist attacks had increased 40 percent worldwide since 2013.

As the Obama administration stumbles its way toward a strategy to confront ISIS, some have suggested that the US could try to enlist help from Iran to combat this threat. Specifically, Secretary of State John Kerry said on September 19 that “there is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran.” This would be a monumentally bad decision. Iran is one of the world’s leading sponsors of terrorism and has directly enabled groups like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda to flourish. Additionally, it also continues its march towards nuclear weapons and its attempts to shift the balance of power in Iraq and Syria to its favor. Iran has deeply engaged in Latin America, and its presence and networks have the potential to directly threaten the U.S. homeland.

Iran has a record of terrorism in our hemisphere. Iran sponsored car bombings in Buenos Aires, Argentina of the Israeli embassy in 1992 and the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994. Iran has also plotted terrorism on American soil, such as the 2007 attempt to blow up the JFK airport in Queens, NY, and the 2011 attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador in Washington, DC.

Talk of coordinating with Iran on ISIS shows just how deaf this administration is from even its own commanders who have sounded alarms about Iran’s presence in our neighborhood.

In February, U.S. Southern Commander Gen. John Kelly testified before Congress that “Lebanese Hezbollah has long considered [Latin America] a potential attack venue against Israeli and other Western targets.” He emphasized that “Iran’s involvement in the Western Hemisphere is a matter for concern.”

However, Gen. Kelly was brutally honest stating, “U.S. Southern Command’s limited intelligence assets may prevent full awareness of the activities of Iranian and terrorist support networks in the region.”

Yet President Obama has done nothing to address this threat, and I am deeply concerned that our nation remains vulnerable.

Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published findings of an investigation to examine Iran’s threat to the U.S. homeland. GAO considered whether the administration followed U.S. law, the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act (P.L. 112-220), which required an assessment of the Iranian threat to the U.S. and develop a strategy to address it.

This bipartisan law was the result of multiple Congressional hearings, classified briefings, and visits to Latin America. In December 2012, President Obama signed the bill into law, and in June 2013, the Administration delivered its report to Congress. The report did not say much: it found that Iran’s influence in the Western hemisphere was “waning” but provided little support to justify its conclusion.

Today, GAO found that the Administration failed to follow the law as mandated by Congress. GAO found four major flaws:

First, the State Department failed to reach out to all of the U.S. posts in the Western hemisphere and did not get input from key foreign partners, such as Mexico. Second, while the State Department found support for its conclusion that Iran’s influence was “waning” from Washington bureaucrats, it did not have the agreement of U.S. military personnel: U.S. Southern Command provided a “notable dissent from the consensus.” Third, the State Department only fully addressed two of the 12 elements required by law and did not address four elements at all. Fourth, the State Department’s bureaucracy prevented its strategic thinking, as its internal policy that its reports to Congress “be limited to five pages” prevented a complete answer to the required elements.

Similarly, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) “did not report on elements for which they had no information.” Instead of identifying its lack of information as intelligence gaps or offering recommendations to Congress on ways to address these gaps, ODNI chose to ignore the question.

GAO also recommended the administration reassess its findings and provide Congress with updated information.

The administration’s flippant attempt to follow the law is stunning to me given Iran’s blatant history in the hemisphere and repeated Congressional attention to this issue. In June 2013, I held yet another hearing to examine Iran’s influence in the region and further urge the administration to take this issue seriously.

The security of the American people and our interests in Latin America require a cohesive strategy and clear situational awareness of Iranian activity. Iran should not have the capability to direct or support terrorist activity in our own hemisphere. We must do more to connect the dots, secure our borders, and protect the U.S. homeland.

I sincerely hope the administration will address the issues raised in today’s GAO report.

Duncan has represented South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District since 2011. He sits on the Foreign Affairs; the Natural Resources; and the Homeland Security committees, and is chairman of Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency.

http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/221322-an-invisible-iran-in-the-western-hemisphere-americas-strategic-blind-spot

Here is a copy of the GAO Report referenced above http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666202.pdf

 

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Duncan Urges Suspension of Visas from Ebola Countries

2014/10/17

Laurens, SC – Today, South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency within the House Committee on Homeland Security, joined the Chairman of the full Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Michael McCaul, and other Committee members calling on U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Department of State Secretary John Kerry to temporarily suspend travel visas for individuals traveling from areas of West Africa impacted by the Ebola virus until the outbreak is under control.

Congressman Duncan has also previously advocated for adopting quarantine protocols for any persons traveling into the United States from West Africa.

Below is the text of the letter sent to Secretaries Johnson and Kerry outlining the request. 

October 15, 2014

The Honorable Jeh Johnson Secretary U.S. Department of Homeland Security Nebraska Avenue Center Washington, DC 20528

The Honorable John Kerry Secretary U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretaries Johnson and Kerry,

We write today concerning the urgent need to contain the Ebola Virus. While we understand significant efforts are underway to screen travelers at the point of exit leaving West Africa, as well as recently established procedures established at five ports of entry in the United States, we believe additional steps should be considered to curtail the potential spread of Ebola to the United States.

Last week, the Committee on Homeland Security held a field hearing in Dallas, Texas, where we received testimony from Federal, State and local officials on the government’s current response to the recent Ebola cases in Texas. While we remain confident in CBP’s ability to adequately screen individuals with overt signs of disease, given the virus’s long incubation period of up to 21 days, individuals carrying the virus may not show symptoms when they leave West Africa or upon entry in the United States.  As was the case with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola case in Dallas, symptoms manifested days after he arrived.

Despite the strong public health system in the United States to combat a spread of Ebola, the most recent cases involving the two Dallas health care workers demonstrates the vulnerabilities of our system and steep learning curve public health officials are facing.  In light of these current vulnerabilities, we urge you to consider temporarily suspending visas of individuals from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone until the outbreak is under control.  Such a measure would ensure healthcare workers and supplies are able to be transported to impacted areas of West Africa, while also ensuring the public health and safety of the American public.

Taking such action to temporarily suspend some of the 13,500 visas would improve the American public’s confidence of public health officials to limit the spread of Ebola to the United States, while simultaneously permitting a robust effort by the U.S. Government and global health agencies to combat this vicious disease in West Africa. Moreover, we believe that any individuals that are diagnosed with Ebola should go to one of the four hospitals (Emory University Hospital, National Institutes of Health, Nebraska Medical Center, St. Patrick Hospital in Montana) that specialize in the treatment of this disease.

I urge your consideration of these necessary steps to prohibit the spread of this deadly virus.  I thank you for your attention to this grave matter and wish you the best of luck as our nation faces this public health crisis.

Sincerely,

Representative Michael McCaul Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security

Representative Candice Miller Chairman, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

Representative Peter King Chairman, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence

Representative Jeff Duncan Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency

Representative Richard Hudson Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation and Security

Representative Susan Brooks Chairman, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications   

 

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Duncan talks energy, ISIS at GOP meeting

2014/10/09


Jeff Duncan Receives Guardian of Seniors' Rights Award

2014/10/09

Alexandria, Virginia – Legendary entertainer Pat Boone, spokesman for the national non-partisan senior citizen group the 60 Plus Association today announced that Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina’s third Congressional district has earned the group’s Guardian of Seniors’ Rights award. 

Chairman Jim Martin, who founded 60 Plus in 1992, commented, Jeff Duncan can be counted on to protect Social Security and Medicare, fight to repeal Obamacare and end the 'death tax.'  As a trusted public servant, Jeff Duncan will continue to protect the pocket books of senior citizens and end the wasteful spending of our tax dollars, which has our government now borrowing over 40 cents of every dollar to pay its bills. Seniors have to live within their means and so should our government.”

In a statement released by 60 Plus, Boone remarked, “I’m still singing at concerts, but today I’m singing the praises of Jeff Duncan. Seniors can depend on Jeff Duncan.”  Boone, 80, and his wife of 60 years, Shirley, reside in Beverly Hills, California.

Boone is familiar to audiences as a star of music, film and television. Boone has had 38 top-ten hits since his recording career began in the 1950s, and, according to Billboard magazine, still holds the record for the most consecutive weeks (220) on the charts by any performer.

Martin added, Jeff Duncan is more than just a committed public servant with a distinguished track record of fighting on behalf of seniors in Washington; Jeff Duncan is a trusted voice for smaller, more effective and less expensive government. Jeff Duncan is a tireless worker who makes decisions every day based on what's best for our children and grandchildren. Seniors have no better friend in the U.S. House of Representatives than Congressman Jeff Duncan.”               

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Duncan Holds Hearing on GAO Report on St. Elizabeths

2014/09/22

Washington, DC--Congressman Jeff Duncan, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee, held a hearing today to hold senior Administration officials accountable for mismanagement of the Department of Homeland Security’s headquarters project at the St. Elizabeths campus in Southeast Washington DC. The hearing examined a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released at the hearing. GAO found that DHS and the General Services Administration (GSA) have failed to conduct proper management and oversight of the project. Specifically, DHS and GSA did not follow leading practices for capital decision making, cost and schedule estimates were unreliable and overly optimistic, and plans that began in 2006 had not been updated. The report echoed similar findings outlined in a subcommittee Majority staff report released in January 2014.

Congressman Duncan said “the truth is that DHS and GSA don’t have any idea how much St. Elizabeths will cost or when it could be finished.” The GAO report made several recommendations and called on Congress to make funding contingent on the agencies strengthening their plans. Congressman Duncan noted “Congress should heed GAO’s recommendation that no new funding be appropriated until DHS and GSA get their act together.

Congressman Duncan has lead efforts to save taxpayer dollars and improve oversight of DHS’s major purchases. In June, the House passed Congressman Duncan’s bipartisan legislation—H.R. 4228, the DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act—which seeks to empower senior leaders to hold programs accountable, better inform Congress of troubled programs, and develop a strategy for DHS’s future major purchases. The legislation awaits action in the United States Senate.

A copy of the GAO report can be found here: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-648

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Jeff Duncan tears apart citizenship law

2014/09/16


U.S. dismisses warning of ISIS in Mexico

2014/09/16


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Contact Information

116 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5301
Fax 202-225-3216
jeffduncan.house.gov

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.


Serving With

Mark Sanford

SOUTH CAROLINA's 1st DISTRICT

Joe Wilson

SOUTH CAROLINA's 2nd DISTRICT

Trey Gowdy

SOUTH CAROLINA's 4th DISTRICT

Mick Mulvaney

SOUTH CAROLINA's 5th DISTRICT

Tom Rice

SOUTH CAROLINA's 7th DISTRICT

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