Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller

FLORIDA's 1st DISTRICT

Miller Applauds House Passage of VA Opioid Legislation

2016/05/11

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4063, the Jason Simcakoski Promoting Responsible Opioid Management and Incorporating Scientific Expertise (PROMISE) Act.

The bill would improve Department of Veterans Affairs opioid safety measures by directing all department hospitals to designate pain management teams, ensuring employees that prescribe opioid drugs receive proper training in pain management and safe opioid prescribing practices, and standardizing safe opioid utilization and tracking practices across the system.  The bill also increases accountability by requiring the directors of each VA hospital to certify employees have received the proper training in prescribing opioids. Finally, recognizing the need to ensure safe transition between the Department of Defense and VA, the bill requires an update of joint VA/DoD clinical practice guidelines.

The PROMISE Act is named in honor of Marine Corps veteran Jason Simcakoski, who died of mixed drug toxicity while he was an inpatient at the Tomah, Wis., VA Medical Center. A VA investigation found that hospital staff improperly prescribed his medications.  

H.R. 4063 now awaits consideration by the Senate. Following House passage of the bill, Chairman Miller released the below statement.

“A bag of pills is simply not a solution to a veteran’s health care needs. That’s why we must act to reduce VA’s reliance on prescription painkillers and ensure that in instances they are prescribed, VA is doing so safely. Veterans and families shouldn’t have to suffer like Jason Simcakoski and his loved ones have, and if the PROMISE Act becomes law, it will help ensure they won’t.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

 

 

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Miller Statement on Senate Veterans Omnibus Legislation

2016/05/03

Miller Statement on Senate Veterans Omnibus Legislation

 

WASHINGTON — Following reports of a deal in the Senate regarding an omnibus package of veterans legislation, Chairman Miller released the following statement:

 

“News of this deal is a positive development. If what Sens. Isakson and Blumenthal are working on passes the Senate, I look forward to immediately engaging in conference committee negotiations in order to move a VA reform package to the president’s desk.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

 

 

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Miller Statement on Sharon Helman’s Guilty Plea

2016/03/02

Miller Statement on Sharon Helman’s Guilty Plea

 

WASHINGTON — Today Chairman Miller released the below statement regarding former Phoenix VA Medical Center Director Sharon Helman pleading guilty to a felony.  

“While I’m pleased Sharon Helman is now facing some consequences for her criminal activity, I’m extremely puzzled as to why the Department of Justice chose to coddle her with a sweetheart plea deal that amounts to nothing more than a weak slap on the wrist. Such extraordinary leniency is an insult to the many veterans who suffered from the malfeasance and mismanagement of the Phoenix VA Health Care System. It’s also a reminder that to this day not a single Phoenix VAHCS employee has been successfully disciplined for wait-time manipulation and the department still refuses to punish two high-level Phoenix VA managers who it found to have retaliated against whistleblowers. Enough is enough. It’s time for VA and the Senate to get in step with veterans and taxpayers and get behind commonsense proposals like the House-passed VA Accountability Act, which would enable the department to quickly purge corrupt and incompetent employees from the payroll and prevent convicted felons from sneaking out the back door with full taxpayer-funded pensions. Until then, VA’s accountability problems will only continue.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

 

Related

The VA Accountability Act would give the VA secretary the authority to swiftly fire or demote any employee for poor performance or misconduct while protecting whistleblowers and limiting the agency’s ability to place misbehaving employees on paid leave. It would also give VA the ability to recover annuities on pensions of VA employees convicted of felonies committed on the job. It passed the House in July of 2015 and is pending in the Senate.

VA’s own internal probe finds impunity of agency leaders at scandal-ridden hospital

The Washington Post,  Dec. 16, 2015

 

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Miller Newsletter 2/14/16

2016/02/17

US Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida's 1st District
Miller Newsletter
February 14, 2016

In the News

Passing of Justice Antonin Scalia

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday. Nominated by President Reagan in 1986, Justice Scalia was the longest serving justice on the Roberts Court and a longtime defender of the conservative Constitutional principles upon which our Nation was founded. Vicki and I extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen, his nine children, 28 grandchildren, and the entire Scalia family.

Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Antonin Scalia

President Obama's Final Budget Request
President Obama released the final budget of his presidency last week. While it is nice that the President actually delivered this budget to Congress on time this year, unlike years past where he has consistently missed his budget deadline, the fact is that the President’s budget is nothing more than a progressive roadmap to fiscal and economic ruin.

Our Nation is more than $19 trillion in debt, so right now, thanks to irresponsible spending in Washington, a child born today in America automatically inherits almost $60,000 in debt, at a time when the average household wage is about $52,000. Meanwhile, the share of the debt held by hardworking taxpayers, who are still struggling to get by in the Obama economy, amounts to over $158,000 per taxpayer—more than the value of the average home in Florida’s First Congressional District. Commonsense tells us that it isn’t right to burden our children and grandchildren with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, nor is it right to ask the average homeowner in Northwest Florida to take on a share of the national debt that exceeds the value of their own home. Given these fiscal realities, any budget that doesn’t lay out a path to balancing our budget and paying off our debt must be rejected.

But instead of addressing this fiscal reality, which threatens not only our economic security, but also our national security, the President’s budget doubles down on his failed big government tax-and-spend policies. The President’s budget doesn’t even attempt to solve out debt crisis; instead it would raise our debt to more than $27.4 trillion over the next ten years. And the President’s budget never balances, so if we accepted the President’s policies, our debt would simply continue to grow from here until infinity. In fact, the President’s failure to address our debt means that by the end of his 10-year budget window, interest payments on the debt would increase from $240 billion a year today to an even more astounding $787 billion a year—about $200 billion more than our current defense budget.

Now a budget that fails to balance is bad enough, but on top of this failure, the President heaps a series of massive tax increases—$3.4 trillion in total—which would hurt small businesses and working families. The President’s budget contains a new tax on oil, which would raise the price of gas by an average of 24 cents per gallon, and it also proposes to raise tax rates on small businesses from an already unacceptable 39.6 percent to 43.4 percent.

The American people expect solutions to the many challenges our Nation is facing. Once again, President Obama has shown that he has no answer beyond the same failed policies of big bureaucracy and debt governance. Soon, House Republicans will release our budget and present the American people with another path, where, rather than ignoring our fiscal and economic challenges, we tackle our debt head on and take the necessary steps to balance our budget and ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a prosperous America.

Connect to Congress
I appeared on WEAR last week to discuss a range of important issues including the Zika virus, the VA, and the President's budget. To watch my interview, click on the image below.

Click on the image above to view Congressman Miller's February 10, 2016 WEAR Interview

Miller Media Clips
To read some recent some additional press clips highlighting my work on behalf of Florida's First Congressional District and our Nation’s veterans and servicemembers, visit the following links:

Leaked Tape: Union Prez Calls VA Chair ‘A Fool,’ Says He’ll ‘Whoop’ VA Sec’s ‘Ass’
VA proposal would do away with appeals board for punished executives
Lawmakers eye ever-growing VA budget
5 percent boost to VA spending in 2017 might not be enough
Lawmaker: Reinstated VA bureaucrat to get 'do-nothing' job
Appeals board reverses another VA executive’s punishment
Judge Reverses Firing of VA Senior Executive in Albany
'Blatant dishonesty and corruption:' Care delays at Colorado Springs VA clinic spur outrage
VA gets another back eye, judges overturn demotions for corruption
Special Report: What might have saved these Veterans?
Colorado Veterans Faced Excessive Wait Times, Denied Care

Veterans Corner


VA’s Inability to Discipline Yet Another Misbehaving Employee
The recent Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) decision to overturn the removal of former Albany Stratton VA Medical Center Director Linda Weiss marked the third time in less than two weeks the MSPB has prevented VA from disciplining a misbehaving employee and is yet another MSPB ruling that defies common sense. It will likely force VA to create a do-nothing job for an employee it has no confidence in. But it is encouraging that VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson is finally starting to realize what nearly every‎ objective observer concluded long ago: the MSPB coddles and protects misbehaving employees rather than facilitating fair and efficient discipline. And as long as we have a system in place that requires a similar standard to discipline federal workers as it does to send criminals to prison, accountability problems at VA and across the government will only continue. Now is the time for Gibson to work with Congress to reform the federal government's dysfunctional civil service system. For the sake of the many dedicated federal employees who are being forced to work side by side with MSPB-protected dead wood, I am pleased Gibson and VA Secretary McDonald have recently expressed an interest in helping us reform this broken system.

House Passes a Series of Veterans-Related Measures

Last week, the House once again made important progress toward improving the lives of Veterans while enhancing accountability and efficiency at the Department of Veterans Affairs by passing nine veterans-related bills, including two I sponsored—H.R.3106 and H.R. 4437. H.R.3106 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire an assistant inspector general for construction projects to continually investigate VA’s construction process, which is continually plagued by cost overruns and mismanagement, and H.R.4437 would extend the deadline for the submittal of the final report on VA care required by the Commission on Care, which is studying how to best deliver health care to veterans over the next 20 years.

Additionally, the House voted to close the wasteful GI Bill flight-school loophole, which is gouging taxpayers with exorbitant tuition expenses of up to more than $500,000 for a single student, as well as extend the length of time for which newborn babies of veterans are eligible for VA care and give spouses of deceased troops additional time and flexibility to use GI Bill benefits (H.R.3016); protect student veterans and the integrity of the GI Bill by ensuring participating educational programs meet state licensure and certification standards (H.R.2360); make veterans’ annual cost of living allowances automatic, so veterans receiving VA compensation would automatically receive the same COLA as social security recipients, as well as honor veterans by expanding the acceptable forms of documentation used to determine service in the Merchant Marine during World War II and extend a pilot program that offers retreats for newly separated women veterans (H.R.677); force VA to deal with problem medical centers by sending a rapid deployment team to each underperforming facility with the goal of achieving satisfactory performance as soon as possible (H.R.3234); help ensure VA is properly focusing on the suicide prevention programs that are most effective for women and result in the highest satisfaction rates (H.R.2915); provide for the conveyance of land of the Illiana Health Care System of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Danville, Illinois (H.R.3262); and authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to convey to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs all right, title, and interest of the United States to the property known as “The Community Living Center” at the Lake Baldwin Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, Orlando, Florida (H.R. 2915).

These bills would help rein in the incompetence that permeates VA’s construction efforts, end the egregious taxpayer abuse some unscrupulous and greedy schools are committing on a daily basis, and most importantly, honor our veterans while improving and expanding the benefits and services they have earned. I am proud to stand with my House colleagues in support of these efforts, which I am hopeful the Senate will pass without delay.

Click on the image above to watch the February 9, 2016 House debate on the series of Veterans-related measures
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Hearing on VA's FY17 Budget Request
Upon the release of the President's budget proposal, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held hearing last week to review the Department of Veterans Affairs FY17 budget request. VA is requesting $182.3 billion for FY 2017, including $78.7 billion for discretionary spending, an increase of $3.6 billion from FY 2016. This request for additional resources comes despite the fact that the department has a history of leaving vast sums of money unspent, including $43 million uncovered in June that VA had “no need” for, according to the VA Inspector General.

Over the past year, VA has repeatedly failed to keep its financial house in order. In Denver, a botched construction project is more than $1 billion over budget. The department has routinely wasted millions on lavish art projects, exorbitant relocation benefits and bonuses for failing employees. And last July, VA threatened to shut down hospitals within weeks due to an unforeseen budget shortfall, forcing Congress to give the department access to an additional $3 billion. In classic VA fashion, not a single employee has been held accountable for these monumental failures. The purpose of last week's hearing was to examine the details behind VA’s budget request and determine how the department would use its budget to improve the quality, efficiency and timeliness of services to veterans while increasing accountability and transparency across the organization. To view my opening remarks and the full hearing, click on the image below.

Click on the image above to view Chairman Miller's opening remarks and the February 10, 2016 House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Hearing on VA's FY17 Budget Request.

Meeting with GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro
Last week, I met with the Comptroller General of the United States Gene Dodaro. In his capacity as head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), or “the congressional watchdog,” Mr. Dodaro supports Congress in its efforts to instill accountability government-wide. During our meeting, we had a candid discussion about the continued lack of accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs. As evidenced by GAO’s addition of Veterans Health Administration to GAO’s High Risk List, Dodaro understands the critical need for action to address VA’s many lingering problems. To that end, we spoke about the continued oversight and legislative priorities of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs as we work to help transform the department into one truly worthy of the veterans it is charged with serving.

Chairman Miller with GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro

 

Meeting with Jewish War Veterans
Accountability at the VA also came up while meeting with Florida members of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America during their annual advocacy day on Capitol Hill. I completely agree that the quality of VA care must remain a central focus of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, but VA’s accountability struggles are contributing to all of the department’s most serious problems. I remain committed to continuing the Committee’s aggressive oversight to ensure the VA culture begins to change.

Chairman Miller meeting with Members of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

AMVETS Meeting
With a membership of more than 250,000, AMVETS is one of our country’s leading veterans service organizations. Last week, I met with AMVETS National Communications Director David Gai and U.S. Army Veteran and AMVETS National Legislative Director Diane M. Zumatto to discuss a variety of issues facing our Nation's heroes. Once again, AMVETS emphasized what we continue to hear from VSOs and veterans across the Nation: we must address the lack of accountability at VA. I value AMVETS’ advocacy on the many issues brought before the Committee and appreciate the group’s continued service.

Chairman Miller with AMVETS National Communications DirectorDavid Gai and U.S. Army Veteran and AMVETS National Legislative Director Diane M. Zumatto

Wounded Warrior Project Meeting
Headquartered in Jacksonville, the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) was established to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and provide support for our injured service members. I met with WWP Chief Executive Officer Steven Nardizzi to discuss some of Wounded Warrior Project’s programs and hear about the steps the organization is taking in response to allegations that have been made regarding WWP’s finances. WWP has been a longtime advocate for the modern warrior, and that advocacy – accomplished with private donations – comes with the responsibility of being fully transparent to those who generously contribute to the organization, the public at large, and the warriors and family members WWP serves.

Chairman Miller with Wounded Warrior Project Chief Executive Officer Steve Nardizzi

Washington Update

House Votes to Provide Increased Accountability of the U.S. Debt and Promote Fiscal Responsibility

We have a serious debt problem that must be addressed immediately. Under Republican leadership, the House has taken our fiscal responsibility seriously, cutting billions of dollars from the deficit each year, holding a vote to approve a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment, and putting forward House budgets that cut trillions and balance within the budget window. Unfortunately, as further highlighted by the President’s recent big-spending budget submission, the Obama Administration and the executive branch has not taken their fiscal responsibility seriously, which is why the House passed H.R. 3442, theDebt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Actlast week.

H.R. 3442 would require the Treasury Secretary to submit to Congress a Debt Report that includes the state of the public debt and its composition and trajectory. In addition, the bill would also require the Treasury Secretary to present a detailed explanation of the Administration’s proposals to reduce the debt, as well as a progress report on what steps the Administration is taking to implement these proposals. As stewards of taxpayer dollars, Congress takes our fiscal responsibility seriously. It is beyond time for the executive branch to do the same.

House Passes the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act

Obamacare’s impact on our Nation extends far beyond just the health care industry. Through the law’s extensive tax increases and new rules and regulations, Obamacare harms many areas of our economy, including the food and restaurant industry, in this case by imposing burdensome menu labeling requirements on food establishments such as convenience stores, supermarkets, grocery stores and pizza restaurants. In fact, according to preliminary analysis from the Office of Management and Budget, the menu labeling rules are projected to be the third most burdensome rules in Obamacare, requiring 14 million many hours to comply with the regulations.

To help protect these businesses, the House passed H.R.2117 theCommon Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015last week. Instead of applying burdensome and costly regulations, H.R.2117 would provide flexibility to these food establishments to best determine how calorie information would be disclosed. This would include the serving size of menu items, as well as the number calories contained in the whole item or the number of servings with the calories per serving. For restaurants where the majority of orders are placed by customers who order online, over the phone, or using other off-site means, the bill would allow them to provide nutritional information on an online menu. I am a cosponsor of H.R.2117, and I voted in favor of the bill, which passed the House by a vote of 266-144.

Meeting with Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos Secretary General Manuel Lejarreta
I met with the Secretary General of the Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos, Manuel Lejarreta, and Cristina Fraile, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Spain in the U.S., last week to discuss the relationship between the United States and Spain. As we know in Northwest Florida, the United States and Spain share strong historical bonds in military, economic, and cultural affairs dating back to the founding of Pensacola and the days of the American Revolution. There is perhaps no greater exemplar of the ever-lasting bonds between our two countries than General Bernardo de Gálvez, whose efforts during the Revolutionary War helped secure our Nation's independence. I thank the Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos for their work strengthening the U.S.-Span relationship, and I look forward to our continued work together.

Congressman Miller with Embassy of SpainDeputy Chief of Mission Cristina Fraile andSecretary General of the Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos Manuel Lejarreta

Meeting with Institute for Human and Machine Cognition CEO Dr. Ken Ford
I met with Dr. Ken Ford, Founder and CEO of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), last week. Headquartered in Pensacola, IHMC has an impressive team of scientists carrying out research on the cutting edge of numerous fields including: artificial intelligence, cognitive science, knowledge modeling and sharing, robotics and exoskeletons, cyber security, and dozens of other related areas. In Northwest Florida, we are fortunate to have one of the Nation’s premier research institutes located right in our backyard, and their work fits perfectly in our community because there is also a strong defense research component to several of IHMC's initiatives. Dr. Ford came by my office to brief me on recent developments at IHMC, including key Air Force and Navy initiatives. I thank Dr. Ford and all those at IHMC for their phenomenal work in our community.

Congressman Miller with Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition
Dr. Ken Ford

Edward Jones Grassroots Task Force Team Advisor John Peacock
I met with John Peacock, a member of the Edward Jones Grassroots Task Force, last week during his visit to Washington. We discussed a number of issues, including the Department of Labor's harmful Fiduciary rule, which would place misguided regulations that would harm seniors by limiting the amount, and raising the costs, of financial advice that they seek to ensure they have a prosperous retirement. I thank John for coming to share his expertise on this subject, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to push back on excessive regulations that harm the American people.

Congressman Miller with Mr. John Peacock

Northwest Florida NAIOP Meeting
Established in 1967, Commercial Real Estate Development Association NAIOP comprises more than 15,000 members across North America, including more than 1,500 in the State of Florida. Last week I met with Patti Clarke, Michelle Boehm, and Jim Reeves from Pensacola who were in town representing the Northwest Florida NAIOP Chapter. As the leading voice for the commercial real estate industry throughout the Florida Panhandle, I appreciate their dedication to the community and support for the economic growth of the region. I look forward to our continued collaboration in helping to ensure that the Gulf Coast continues to thrive as one of the top business and tourist destinations.

Congressman Miller with Patti Clarke, Michelle Boehm, and Jim Reeves (L-R)

Meeting with American Federation of Government Employees Local President Chris Delbaugh
I met with Chris Delbaugh and Keila Lopez of American Federation of Government Employees Immigration and Customs Enforcement Local 0527 last week. Americans in Northwest Florida and across the country expect our immigration laws to be upheld and enforced, and ICE and other law enforcement officers are they key to carrying out this crucial responsibility. I thank Chris and Keila for taking the time to share their perspective as the frontline officers on the ground working on these issues every day.

Congressman Miller with American Federation of Government Employees ICE Local 0527 President Chris Delbaugh and Chief Steward Keila Lopez

Special Olympics Meeting
Special Olympics International held their annual Capitol Hill Day last week in Washington, and I had the opportunity to meet two Special Olympians from Florida’s Panhandle—Stacy Barnes, from Escambia County, and Tim Hodgins, from Leon County. They shared their experience as Special Olympians and Athlete Leaders, highlighting the life changing opportunity that Special Olympics International provides to develop and enhance the unique talents and abilities of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sports and competition. I congratulate Stacy and Tim on their accomplishment and thank them for coming to Washington to share their story with me.

Congressman Miller with Tim Hodgins and Stacy Barnes

Military Child of the Year
Every year, Operation Homefront presents an award to one outstanding military child from each of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and National Guard. The six winning recipients will receive $10,000 and be flown to Washington, D.C. for a special recognition ceremony. These awards are given to young people who have overcome the many challenges military families and children share through deployments, relocations, and other unique aspects of the life of a military family. The average outstanding military child nominee has moved at least five times, experienced at least one parent’s deployment for 18 months, volunteered an average of 75 hours during the year, maintained above average grades, and excelled in sports, theatre, or music. This year, 90 military children were selected throughout the country as semifinalists for this honor, and three of them are from our very own Santa Rosa County. I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations and best of luck to Lacy Littleton, Air Force semifinalist from Milton High School; Victoria Bendi, Navy semifinalist from Gulf Breeze High School; and Halie Wright, Air Force semifinalist from Gulf Breeze High School.

As always, I welcome your comments. To share your thoughts on legislation, votes or issues, please visit http://jeffmiller.house.gov/ to send an e-mail or call any of my offices.

Thanks,
Jeff

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TOMORROW -- MILLER TO DISCUSS THE VA CRISIS ON FOX NEWS

2016/01/15

MILLER TO DISCUSS THE VA CRISIS ON FOX NEWS

 ---8:15 a.m. Central / 9:15 a.m. Eastern---

Washington, D.C.— Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL-01) will appear TOMORROW on Fox and Friends  on Fox News Channel to discuss the VA crisis and his recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal.  Miller is expected to be interviewed at approximately 8:15 a.m. Central Time / 9:15 a.m. Eastern Time.   

Who:     Congressman Jeff Miller
What:    Fox and Friends
When:   Saturday, January 16, 2016.  8:15 a.m. C.T.  (9:15 a.m. E.T.)
Where:  Fox News Channel
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MILLER STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE ORDER

2016/01/05

Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL-01) issued the following statement today:

“Once again, the president has shown that when he cannot gather enough support for a proposal, even from members of his own party, he will attempt to get his way by edict and executive order.   This administration clearly loathes the Second Amendment, and by attempting to circumvent Congress, President Obama has revealed that he is more concerned with advancing the gun-grabbing agenda than with listening to the American people."

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MILLER STATEMENT ON THE RELOCATION OF SYRIAN REFUGEES TO THE U.S.

2015/11/16

MILLER STATEMENT ON THE RELOCATION OF SYRIAN REFUGEES TO THE U.S.M

“As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, it is abundantly clear to me that this Administration has no plan for screening Syrian refugees coming into this country through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. This creates a gaping hole in our homeland security and presents an imminent danger for Americans here at home.

Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris highlight the difficulty in defending against a well-organized enemy intent on killing and maiming. I hope you will join Vicki and me in praying for the people of France and for the victims and families affected by the latest attacks.

We must be vigilant in defending our shores. I will continue to oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to this country.”

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Miller Statement on Terrorist Attacks in France.

2015/11/14

Vicki and I join the Nation as we send our heartfelt condolences to the victims and families affected by the latest attacks carried out in Paris, France Friday night. While the investigation is ongoing into who was behind the tragic loss of more than 125 innocent people, by all accounts it was perpetrated by the hands of Islamic extremists of ISIL. The cowardly attacks must be met with justice and highlight the need for strengthened security measures both in Europe and in our own Homeland. Meanwhile, we pray that God be with the victims and their families and continue our resolve against those who prey on the innocent. Read More

Chairman Jeff Miller's Statement Honoring Veterans Day

2015/11/11

Chairman Miller Statement Honoring Veterans Day

WASHINGTON – Chairman Jeff Miller today released the following statement in honor of Veterans Day:

“The debt we owe our veterans cannot be overstated. It is their courage and sacrifice – exhibited throughout our nation’s history and to this day – that has made America the greatest country on Earth. Veterans Day is a special time to reflect on everything the brave men and women who have worn America’s uniform have done to protect and preserve our way of life. They’ve propelled our military to victory in countless conflicts and served as a source of inspiration and hope to millions upon millions of freedom-loving people around the globe. One day a year is simply not enough time to honor the tremendous efforts and accomplishments of our veterans. As Americans, it’s incumbent upon us to express our appreciation and support for those who have served each and every day of the year. Please join me in this important task – today and every day.” –
Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

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Miller Newsletter -- November 1, 2015

2015/11/01

Washington Update

54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Article I, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution directs the House to choose its Speaker, and the Speaker of the House serves as the presiding officer in charge of the administration of proceedings in the House. Since 1839, the election for Speaker has occurred on the House floor via a roll call vote, and last week the House voted to elect the 54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, selecting Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin’s First Congressional District as the new Speaker. I voted for Speaker Ryan because he has shown over the course of his Congressional career that he is committed to advancing bold conservative legislative solutions. Under his prior leadership as Budget Committee Chairman, the House passed pro-growth budgets that cut spending, paved the way for reforms to mandatory spending, and, crucially, balanced. As Speaker Ryan now relinquishes his gavel as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and enters his new office as Speaker of the House, I look forward to continuing to work with him and my colleagues in the House to defend the Constitution and the conservative principles on which our Nation was founded.

54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Paul Ryan

Bipartisan Budget Act
As a staunch fiscal conservative, I believe we have a moral imperative to rein in out of control spending, institute a balanced budget, and begin the process of paying down our debt so that the economic prospects of our children and grandchildren are not put in jeopardy. As a result, I could not support H.R.1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which passed the House last week by a vote of 266-167.  While I support the fact that the two-year agreement will provide greater certainty for the defense budget, I did not and do not feel that this bill took sufficient steps to reduce mandatory spending. Furthermore, the bill would raise the debt ceiling through March 2017, thereby allowing for trillions of dollars of additional debt that we simply cannot afford, while also authorizing increases for domestic non-defense spending caps, giving billions of additional taxpayer dollars to wasteful federal bureaucrats. In our current fiscal climate, each item in the budget should receive proper scrutiny so that we can make cuts wherever possible and institute a balanced budget Constitutional amendment. H.R.1314 failed to meet several of these important criteria, and that is why I voted against it.

Ex-Im Bank
The Export-Import Bank was established in 1934 by President Roosevelt’s executive order to foster trade with the Soviet Union. A government corporation, the Ex-Im Bank is the U.S. government’s official export credit agency that finances U.S. exports of goods and services to international markets. Last week, the House passed H.R.597, theReform Exports and Expand the American Economy Act, which reauthorizes the Ex-Im Bank through 2019. I opposed the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank when it came before Congress on May 9, 2012 and did so again last week.  While proponents of the Ex-Im Bank claim that the Bank corrects market failure, I would argue that it can also disrupt the free market and cause unnecessary government intrusion. Furthermore, by diverting resources away from the private sector, the Bank’s activities produce a less-efficient economy and lower general standard of living than would occur in a free market for export finance. In fact, many economists agree that government subsidized export financing does not significantly affect the overall net jobs, but instead, simply shifts jobs from one sector to another. The bottom line is the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers, subsidizing export financing programs, and saddling taxpayers with the risk involved. 

House Votes to Preserve Access to Affordable Investment Advice
In April 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that would define when a person providing investment advice, with respect to a 401(k) or individual retirement account, is considered a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The proposed rule, which would be burdensome to both advisors and investors, would ultimately discourage the middle class from receiving investment and retirement advice in the future.  In response, the House passed H.R.1090, the Retail Investor Protection Act to prohibit the Secretary of Labor from prescribing any regulation until the SEC is given a chance to properly define the circumstances under which an individual is considered a fiduciary. In addition to voting for this bill, I cosigned letters to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez requesting that the DOL not bypass Congress or the will of the American people through implementing this new rule.

House Armed Services Hearing on Defense Acquisition
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee last week on the defense acquisition process, President and CEO of the Institute for Defense Analyses David Chu, Business Executives for National Security Member Joe Pasqua, Director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group's Center for Strategic and International Studies Andrew Hunter, and Paul Francis GAO Managing Director for Acquisition and Sourcing Management provided their invaluable insight from both the governmental and private-sector perspectives offering members of the committee recommendations on acquisition reform.  Without question, a major inefficiency of the Defense Department lies in its acquisition process. That is why my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee and I continue to work very hard to make acquisition reform a top priority in the annual National Defense Authorization Act. Specifically, the defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2016 has important provisions that would allow critical acquisition decisions to be made early in the process to reduce inefficiencies, but much more remains to be done.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to provide the best capability possible to the warfighter while protecting the value of the taxpayer dollar.

Meeting with General Ellen Pawlikowski 

Last week, I met with General Ellen Pawlikowski, Commander of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. We discussed the myriad roles Eglin AFB plays in the AFMC mission—from advanced weapons testing to the ability to provide real time Command and Control for high level exercises conducted on the West Coast. In addition to her team’s critical role in the Air Force, we discussed the emerging population of female veterans and the necessary improvements VA must make to deliver quality health care to these female warriors. We discussed my role as Chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and the Committee’s efforts to infuse a culture of accountability within the VA. I thanked General Pawlikowski for taking the time to stop by, and I commend her for her selfless service to this country over the past 37 years.

Congressman Miller meeting with General Ellen Pawlikowski

Visit with the New Romanian Ambassador to the United States
The United States and Romania enjoy a strong relationship with common interests. The importance of that relationship is as important today as it has ever been. The emerging threat of Russian aggression in the region—as evidenced by Putin’s lawless actions in Ukraine—serves as a reminder that all NATO members must uphold their strong bond if and when any member state faces potential threats.  In that light, I was pleased to visit with the newly appointed Romanian Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency George Maior and look forward to working with Ambassador Maior as my colleagues and I tackle the many issues facing both of our nations today.

Congressman Miller and Congressman Mike Turner (right), Co-Chair of the House Congressional Romania Caucus, meeting with Romanian Ambassador to the U.S., H.E. George Maior, and Romanian diplomats (left).

Veterans Corner

Attempts to Downplay VA Scandal
Whether it’s continued delays in veterans’ medical care, the blatant waste of billions of taxpayer dollars or a rampant lack of accountability throughout every corner of the organization, there is simply no denying that the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs are indeed widespread. Anyone who would claim the opposite simply isn’t paying attention. The VA scandal was caused by dishonest bureaucrats who chose to whitewash the department’s problems rather than solve them. Those who repeat that same shameful pattern of behavior are only shortchanging veterans while giving failed VA bureaucrats cover for continued malfeasance. The only way to reform VA into an organization truly worthy of the veterans it is charged with serving is to acknowledge the department’s challenges and tackle them head on. Downplaying VA’s problems or denying they exist will only lead to more scandal.


In the News

Miller Media Clips
To read some recent press clips highlighting my work on behalf of Florida's First Congressional District and our Nation’s veterans and servicemembers, visit the following links:

After Clinton Minimizes VA Troubles, Three Reports Expose Shortfalls Across Country
Jeff Miller Takes the Lead in Going After Hillary Clinton's Comments About VA's Problems
Export-Import Bank Factors in Race to Replace Marco Rubio in the Senate
John McCain: Bernie Sanders, Not Hillary Clinton, Has ‘Record of Advocacy’ for Vets
Our View: No, Hillary, VA woes are not overblown
Clinton campaign backtracks on VA claim after widespread criticism
Whistleblower To Sen. Blumenthal: Quit Standing Up For Unions Over Veterans
Veterans' groups fire back at Clinton's VA comments
Hillary Clinton's take on VA crisis spurs backlash
Troubled VA Attracts Some Defenders, Prompting Lawmaker Rebuttal
Hillary’s outrageous effort to whitewash the VA hospital crisis

As always, I welcome your comments. To share your thoughts on legislation, votes or issues, please visit http://jeffmiller.house.gov/ to send an e-mail or call any of my offices.

Thanks,
Jeff

Read More

Veterans & Military Hiring Fair

2012/11/02

6th Annual Northwest Florida Veterans and Military Job Fair
Friday, November 2nd, 2012 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Navarre Conference Center
8700 Navarre Parkway
Navarre, Florida

Click here for more information on the Jobs Fair
Read More

Veterans Expo

2012/04/18

Veterans Expo Pensacola
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
WSRE Amos Auditorium
1000 College Boulevard
Pensacola, FL 32504

Veterans Expo Fort Walton Beach
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Northwest Florida Fair Grounds
1958 Lewis Turner Blvd.
Fort Walton Beach,  FL  32547


Bringing together organizations (Federal, State, non-profits, and businesses that have a dedicated Veteran component) for a one day “one-stop shop” venue  that will provide information, support and will answer any veteran benefits related questions or issues. Read More

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Contact Information

336 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4136
Fax 202-225-3414
jeffmiller.house.gov

United States Representative Jeff Miller serves Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is responsible for authorization and oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA.)  VA is the second largest department in the federal government with over 300,000 employees and a budget of over $150 billion.

Miller also serves on the House Armed Services Committees (HASC.)  As a senior member of HASC, Miller has proven to be a strong advocate for our men and women in uniform, and he is one of the leading proponents of Naval Aviation, Special Operations, and Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E.)  Miller was instrumental in helping establish Eglin Air Force Base as the joint primary training location for the F-35 Lightning II.

Congressman Miller was appointed to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The HPSCI provides policy guidance and sets classified funding levels for the sixteen agencies of the Intelligence Community funded by the National Intelligence Program and the Military Intelligence Program. Recently, the Intelligence Committee has held important hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, U.S. Intelligence Operations against Al Qaeda, and Security Clearance Reform.

Congressman Miller also serves on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), where he serves as Vice Chairman of  the subcommittee on Transatlantic Defense and Security Cooperation.

Since coming to Congress, Miller has established himself as one of the staunchest conservatives in the House. He has championed numerous tax relief and veterans’ measures and fought for less government, less taxes, and more personal freedom.

Mr. Miller was sworn in as State Representative in 1998 and again in 2000 to serve District 1. He has served as Chairman of the Utilities & Telecommunications Committee. He was also a member of the Congressional Redistricting Committee, the Committee on General Government Appropriations, the Committee on Rules, Ethics & Elections, and the Council for Ready Infrastructure. He is the past Chairman of the Escambia County Legislative Delegation for 1999-2000.

In addition to his prior service as a State Legislator, Congressman Miller is active in the community as a board member of the Santa Rosa County United Way, the Pregnancy Resource Center of Milton, the Gulf Coast Council of Boy Scouts of America, and the Florida FFA Foundation. He is a member of the Florida Historical Society and various area Chambers of Commerce. Congressman Miller is a native Floridian and was born in 1959. Prior to serving in elected office, he was a real estate broker and deputy sheriff. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1984 at the University of Florida.

Representative Miller is married to the former Vicki Griswold. They are members of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola. They have two children and three grandchildren.


Serving With

Ted Yoho

FLORIDA's 3rd DISTRICT

Ander Crenshaw

FLORIDA's 4th DISTRICT

Ron DeSantis

FLORIDA's 6th DISTRICT

John Mica

FLORIDA's 7th DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Daniel Webster

FLORIDA's 10th DISTRICT

Rich Nugent

FLORIDA's 11th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

David Jolly

FLORIDA's 13th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Tom Rooney

FLORIDA's 17th DISTRICT

Curt Clawson

FLORIDA's 19th DISTRICT

Mario Diaz-Balart

FLORIDA's 25th DISTRICT

Carlos Curbelo

FLORIDA's 26th DISTRICT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

FLORIDA's 27th DISTRICT

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