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.”
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
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
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.
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).
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.
Washington D.C. — Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL-01) issued the following statement regarding the President’s announcement to keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016.
“While I feel it is appropriate for the President to consider maintaining a U.S. presence in Afghanistan, I find it hypocritical that he would make such an announcement while at the same time posturing to veto the bipartisan Defense bill that authorizes the funds for the pay and benefits for our military men and women and their families.
As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have maintained that a complete troop withdrawal from the unstable regions of Afghanistan was a bad idea. President Obama telegraphing the date certain of the withdrawal to our enemies was even worse.
Now that President Obama has reconsidered his policy in Afghanistan, I hope he will reconsider his opposition to the Defense Bill that overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate and would authorize pay for those who wear the uniform.”Read More
|To view the Pope's address to the Congress on September 24, 2015, click on the image above.
On March 13, 2013, Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected by the College of Cardinals to assume the Papacy and became the spiritual leader of the roughly 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide, including many right here in Northwest Florida.
Pope Francis is the first to choose his papal name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, as well as the first Jesuit pope and the first from the Americas. Last week, he added to his list of firsts when, as head of state of the Holy See, Pope Francis became the first to address a joint meeting of Congress.
While he is not the first pope to be engaged in global and public affairs, Pope Francis’ vision and approach to his Papacy during his more than two years as pontiff has sparked mixed emotions amongst Catholics, Members of Congress, and individuals of various faiths. Though not Catholic, as a devout Christian, my faith in God guides me, and while there may be areas on which I respectfully disagree with the Pope, I too respect the dignity of human life, value peace and justice, and believe that we have a moral and civic duty to contribute to the common good of society.
Speaking from the People’s House, with our national motto “In God We Trust” engraved in marble a few feet above the rostrum and facing out to the marble portrait of Moses—part of the collection of historical figures selected for their influence on American law—which is centered over the gallery door in the House Chamber, the Pope addressed a Nation founded on our faith in God. God has always been a part of the fabric of American life, and we truly are the greatest Nation on earth and leader of the free world because of our founding principles, including religious liberty, and the men and women who have fought for and defended these principles throughout the last 239 years.
The Pope’s underlying message—highlighted by the Golden Rule—however, was a global one that transcended party lines and spoke to all mankind. Despite any political disagreements we may have, it is my hope that the Congress, and the millions of viewers across the country, walked away from the Pope’s address with a greater sense of humility, renewed sense of hope to preserve the beauty of American dream, and an appreciation of life and the freedom of religion that we are blessed with in the United States of America.
|Pope Francis makes a brief appearance on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol following his address to Congress. Source: speaker.gov/pope
House Votes to Establish a More Streamlined and Transparent Federal Permitting Process
The ingenuity and hardworking spirit of the American people has helped our Nation achieve unprecedented economic success and complete impressive construction projects in short spaces of time. It took our Nation just over a year to build the Empire State Building and only five years to finish the Hoover Dam, but today, project after project remains stalled due to bureaucratic inertia. These delays hamper economic growth and job creation, and according to a 2011 study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are more than 350 delayed projects that, if approved, would add $1.1 trillion to our economy and create 1.9 million jobs.
The vast majority of construction delays today are the result of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements to conduct environmental impact statements. When NEPA was instituted by Congress in 1969, these environmental impact statements were expected to be completed in a matter of months, but despite advances in technology that should make environmental reviews easier, the average NEPA environmental impact statement takes about three and a half years today, largely due to bureaucratic inefficiencies. To help streamline this process and ensure that job creating projects are considered in a timely manner, the House passed legislation last week that would create a framework to increase efficiency and enhance coordination among agencies in the environmental review process. Specifically, H.R.348, the RAPID Act, would allow a project sponsor to prepare environmental documents required by NEPA, and require that agencies establish a reasonable schedule for completing the environmental review within the prescribed timeframe and for them to make permitting decisions. This bill, which I voted for, passed the House by a vote of 233-170, and it is part of a larger effort by the House to reduce the regulatory regime and support our Nation’s businesses and workers.
One of the issues that I hear about consistently from constituents in conversations, letters, phone calls, and emails is the need to address Washington’s out-of-control spending. For far too long, big government advocates in our Nation’s capital have spent hard-earned taxpayer dollars irresponsibly, racking up a massive debt of more than $18 trillion in the process. This spending is unsustainable, and it poses a serious threat to the future economic prosperity of our Nation. As a fiscal conservative, I believe we must continue to take action to cut spending, balance our budget, and pay down our debt, and that is why I have consistently supported measures like a balanced budget constitutional amendment, as well as spending reforms put forward and passed by a Republican-led Congress, like the Budget Control Act (BCA), that have successfully reduced the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars.
The Budget Control Act, which was signed into law in 2011, places spending caps on our federal budget. While the BCA is far from perfect, the need to seriously tackle federal spending remains as important today as it was when the law was originally passed. Ultimately, we must pass and send a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment to the states for ratification in order to address our spending issues in the long-term and ensure that all future Congresses adhere to fiscally responsible budgeting principles, but in the interim, I believe it is vital that we continue to take steps to reduce spending now. That is why I agree with many constituents in Northwest Florida that we should reject efforts by some to increase spending and capitalize on the success achieved earlier this year through the House and Senate passed Budget, which prioritized funding for national defense and balanced within the 10-year budget window. As stewards of taxpayer dollars, Congress has an obligation to current and future generations to act responsibly, and as we consider funding bills in the coming days and weeks we should not lose sight of this imperative.
In the News
Speaker to Resign
Speaker John Boehner announced his retirement, effective October 30, 2015, from Congress last week after more than 24 years in Congress and nearly 5 years serving our Nation as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House is one of the most important positions in American democracy, as outlined in Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The Speaker’s position comes with great responsibilities, and it is critical that whoever the House chooses as the next Speaker will continue to carry out the task with the utmost reverence for our Constitution as they serve our Nation and her citizens in the People’s House.
Miller Media Clips
To read some recent press clips highlighting my work on behalf of our Nation’s veterans and servicemembers, visit the links below:
Pope’s visit a ‘historic’ event
Floridians eagerly await pope's visit
Report: VA health care needs total overhaul
Jeff Miller, Lois Frankel Team Up to Honor Disabled Veterans
VA In Midst of ‘Leadership Crisis’
Courthouse In Line for Renovations
In the District
Tragedy Strikes a Thin Blue Line
|Okaloosa County Deputy Sheriff William “Bill” Myers
Source: Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Bill Myers, devoted father, husband, and grandfather, decided 25 years of putting his life on the line for his community was not enough. He came out of retirement to continue his service, and so he could save enough money to take his beloved granddaughter to Disney World. While serving a restraining order to protect the wife of the suspect, Deputy Myers was tragically and cowardly shot and killed.
The very foundation of our Nation is built upon justice, and we as citizens rely on those willing to risk their lives to enforce the rule of law. Without the stability and protection provided by law enforcement, the opportunity for freedom and individual rights would not exist. Deputy Myers knew this, and devoted his life to it. My wife, Vicki, joins me in sincerest gratitude for Deputy Myers’ service, and we pray that God be with his wife, Jan; sons Sean, Eric, and Adam; his family and friends during this time of great mourning. Additionally, we thank all law enforcement officials serving and protecting our community and great Nation, and pray that God watch over them as they watch over us.
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.
|Click on the image above to learn more about #FaithitForward or to share a story of faith to be featured on the FaithitForward Facebook page.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL-01) announced that he will be touring the Federal Courthouse in Pensacola, Florida along with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA-09), and Ways and Means Committee member Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16.) The Federal Courthouse has been plagued with water intrusion and mold issues. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has oversight jurisdiction over federal buildings and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA.)
Immediately following the tour, there will be a press conference on the steps of the Courthouse.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
10:30 a.m. CT
Pensacola Federal Courthouse
1 N. Palafox St.
Washington, D.C.— Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL-01) will appear Monday onFox and Friends on Fox News Channel to discuss the replacement Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which VA says will now cost $1.73 billion – more than $1 billion over budget. The project is the biggest construction failure in VA history. Miller is expected to be interviewed at approximately 7:15 a.m. Central Time.
Who: Congressman Jeff Miller
336 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
Retweeted by RepJeffMiller
Does it really take longer for the #VA to hire a doctor, than the Obama administration to vet a Syrian refugee?
Retweeted by RepJeffMiller
It is abundantly clear to me this Administration has no plan for screening #SyrianRefugees. I continue to oppose bringing them into U.S.
Congressman Miller's Thanksgiving Day message.
USA Today: Turkey downs Russian warplane claiming airspace breach
For Immediate Release: Miller: VA Refusal to Recoup Relocation Money a “VA Seal of Approval” for Corruption and Fraud WASHINGTON — Yesterday
NY Daily News: Worldwide travel alert issued by State Department over terror threats
The Hill: New ObamaCare angst as top insurer threatens to bail