Sean Duffy

Sean Duffy

WISCONSIN's 7th DISTRICT

Scandalous

2015/03/02

Dear friends, From backlogs to cover-ups, Wisconsin Veterans have made headlines both locally and nationally this week. While one of the President’s former top lieutenants claims that this Administration has been scandal free, the manner in which many of our Veterans have been treated is, in a word, scandalous. Fortunately, by shedding light on some of the issues, I was able to make headway for one of our Veterans this week, and promise to remain on top of the issue for the many others who still need answers – and action – from the VA. Who Is Looking Out for the Veterans? This week, during a delegation roundtable I hosted with my Wisconsin colleagues and VA officials, I talked about a constituent I have been working with for almost a year, Gary. He has been told that it will likely not be until 2017 before his VA appeal will be heard. The officials at the meeting assured me they would look into Gary’s case, for which I am glad, but that still leaves much work to be done for the thousands of Veterans who share Gary’s predicament. I spoke with KDLH in Duluth about the current situation. Click on the image below to watch the story:    It’s a scandal: In the case of on-going allegations of patient mistreatment at the Tomah VA we are looking for accountability- from lawmakers and from the very doctors entrusted with the care of our Veterans. However, some people involved with the matter have been less than forthcoming about what they knew and when they knew it. This has made this scandal that much bigger and has taken the focus off of what is going on at the Tomah VA and the deaths of the men and women who raised their hands to serve our country. I spoke about the issue on Fox’s “The Kelly File”. Click on the image for the full story:    Let’s Get Political: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made her first appearance of the year before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. I asked the Chair about recent statements she made that have led some to believe that she is politicizing the historically non-political Federal Reserve. I cited a speech Chair Yellen delivered two weeks before the 2014 elections in which she spoke about the politically divisive, and typically left-leaning, topic of income inequality. Click on the image below to watch our full exchange:    Artistic Discovery: We are now accepting submissions for the 2015 Congressional Art Competition. The competition is open to high school students who live in Wisconsin’s 7th District. The winning piece will hang in the Unites States Capitol and the winning artist will also receive a trip for two to Washington D.C. for the official unveiling ceremony. For all of the competition details, click on the image below:   Make sure you are also following me on Facebook and Twitter to stay-up-to-date with the latest on all the big issues from Washington and the 7th District. Thank you for the continued privilege of representing you in Congress. Until next week…   Have a great week,               Sean Read More

Let’s Get Political

2015/02/25

Duffy Questions Chair Yellen Washington D.C. – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made her first appearance of the year before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. The committees Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Chairman, Sean Duffy (WI-07), questioned the Chair about recent statement that have led some to believe that she is politicizing the historically non-political Federal Reserve. Rep. Duffy cited a speech Chair Yellen delivered two weeks before the 2014 elections in which she spoke about the politically divisive, and typically left-leaning, topic of income inequality. Click on the image below to watch their full exchange:   [[{"fid":"438","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]]   ### Read More

And the nominees are...

2015/02/22

Dear friends,   "The Academy" handed out Oscars for best performances tonight, but I had several conversations this week that have led me to wonder, “Who should get the award for 'best big- government blunder’ of the week?” And the nominees are… Tomah VA:  Allegations of improper treatment of veterans at the Tomah VA have led many people to ask, “Who knew what when?” That is an ongoing debate, but just as important, I want to know “What can be done to ensure that this type of mistreatment does not continue?”  Last week I told you I submitted a request to hold a field hearing in Tomah to the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. First thing Tuesday morning I was very pleased to learn that my request had been granted. I will keep you posted as the hearing details emerge. Meantime, please continue to share with me any information that you think may help us to better serve 7th District veterans. To read more about the forthcoming hearing, click here.    Temporary Dream: As the DHS funding deadline approaches, Rachel and I weighed-in on the debate on Jose Diaz-Balart’s MSNBC program. We need immigration reform in this country, and we still have a group of people in Congress who say, “let’s work on a solution and get it done right.” However, why did the President have to issue his executive overreach right after the election instead of working with the new American Congress? It is because he doesn’t care about the people and the community; he cares about politics. People leave countries where they don’t have rule of law to come here because we do. Let’s use our rule of law and do this the right way. Click on the image below to watch our interview:  Another Obamacare “oops”: In a Friday afternoon news dump, the Obama Administration revealed it sent 800,000 Obamacare enrollees incorrect tax forms.  I discussed the latest Obamacare mishap with Kimberly Guilfoyle on Fox’s “On the Record”. Click on the image to watch the interview:   Honorable mention: I again joined Jose Diaz-Balart on his Spanish language Sunday show, “Enfoque”.  We had a great conversation about the top news stories of the week, but I couldn’t resist having a little fun with the man who is the Spanish voice over my words. Click here. I’ll leave it up to you, the voters and constituents, to decide which one should get the award, but, I assure you, in all of these areas, I will continue to engage in the debate and work to be a part of the solution. Until next week… Have a great week,             Sean Read More

House panel plans VA hearing in Tomah

2015/02/18

  By Donovan Slack, Gannett Wisconsin Media Washington Bureau10:26 a.m. CST February 18, 2015   (Photo: Darren Hauck for CIR) CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE WASHINGTON – The chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee has granted a request by Wisconsin lawmakers to hold a congressional field hearing in Tomah to examine issues at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center there, including alleged over-prescription of opiates to veterans. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said committee staff would work to schedule the hearing with Republican Reps. Sean Duffy of Wausau and James Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls and Democratic Reps. Ron Kind of La Crosse and Mark Pocan of Madison. "I wholeheartedly share your concerns about the importance of ensuring appropriate pain care is provided to veterans in Tomah and across the country and the need for further congressional oversight of VA's pain and medication management strategies," Miller wrote in a letter to Duffy. "As such, I look forward to working with you and other interested members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation to schedule a field hearing in Tomah at the earliest opportunity." Duffy and the other Wisconsin House members requested the hearing on Friday, saying members of Congress should visit Tomah and hear testimony from Wisconsinites affected by the burgeoning scandal. Duffy said Wednesday he looks forward to the opportunity to "shed better light on what's been happening and the care that our veterans have been receiving at Tomah. "And so I think this goes a long way to making sure we weed out the bad actors at the Tomah VA and start getting quality care for our veterans in Wisconsin," he said. As many as three deaths have been reported in connection with inadequate treatment at the Tomah VA medical center, including the August overdose of 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran Jason Simcakoski of Stevens Point when he was an inpatient. USA TODAY reported last week that Thomas Patrick Baer of Marshfield died after waiting hours for treatment, suffering two strokes, and - family members said - he wasn't given anti-clotting medication or a CT scan because the center's scanner was broken. The VA and its chief watchdog, the VA inspector general, have launched investigations into deaths and prescription practices at the center, but Duffy said additional oversight by Congress is needed. He said the hearings will give more Wisconsinites a chance to participate. "I think people can participate better when we bring Congress to them, as opposed to making them try to get out to Washington, D.C., and participate in Congress," he said. In addition, he said, bringing members of Congress in charge of VA oversight to Wisconsin gives them a rare firsthand look at what's going on there.  "It's infrequent that chairmen will make these decisions to do field hearings -- it's a lot of work just to do them, so it's important issues that will bring the committee out of Washington and to the community," Duffy said. "And this is one of those examples of an important situation that is going to bring Washington to Wisconsin."  Because the hearing is still in the planning stages, the date and witnesses have yet to be decided. Contact dslack@usatoday.com. Follow @donovanslack   Read More

One veteran dying of an overdose is too many

2015/02/15

Dear friends, The House wrapped-up six consecutive weeks of session this week, but not before we sent the Keystone XL Pipeline to the President’s desk. Keep reading for my comments on that vote and a wrap-up of the week that was: Tomah VA Update: While I am pleased the VA has launched an internal investigation, it is in Congress’ best interest to learn all we can about what went wrong at the Tomah VA and prevent this situation from happening at other facilities. One veteran dying of an overdose is too many. On Friday, I made a request to the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee to hold a field hearing in Tomah. While no official decision has been announced, I received indicators from the Chairman that he is interested in heeding our request. I will let you know as soon as I know more. To read my full request to the Chairman, click here.  Delist the Gray Wolf: I was glad to join as an original co-sponsor of H.R. 884, a bill to delist the Gray Wolf as an endangered species in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan and return management responsibility for the animal to the states. Removing the Gray Wolf from the endangered species list is an issue many of you have written me about. All Americans have a responsibility to conserve our natural resources and protect endangered species. However, federal agencies and courts all too often misuse their responsibilities under the ESA based on philosophical beliefs instead of science-based evidence. I applaud my good friend Reid Ribble for taking the lead on this legislation. The Fish and Wildlife Service made the right decision on this issue, and I hope, with the help of this bill, that decision will stand. Learn more about this issue and read my full statement here. Time to Build: This week, the House voted 270 to 152 on a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. It now moves to the President’s desk where Congress and the American people hope the President will re-consider his veto threat and sign the legislation. There is no reason for further delay. Wisconsinites and the American people want this pipeline and they want the new American Congress to lead. The President is the only person standing in the way of this project: it's time for him to move – it’s time to build. Listen to my comments on this week’s vote here. Until next week… Have a great week,   Sean Read More

Duffy & Wisconsin Delegation Colleagues Request Field Hearing at Tomah VA

2015/02/13

Washington D.C. – In light of recent reports regarding the Tomah Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Center overprescribing opiates, U.S. Representatives Sean Duffy (WI-07) and James F. Sensenbrenner (WI-05), Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Ron Kind (WI-03) sent a formal request for a field hearing to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House VA Committee. The request, delivered to the committee on Friday morning, reads in part: “While we are pleased the VA has launched an internal investigation, it is in Congress’ best interest to learn all we can about what went wrong at Tomah and prevent this situation from happening at other facilities. One veteran dying of an overdose is too many.” The office of the Inspector General launched an investigation in 2011 to look into allegations regarding the prescription of opiates and tension between the pharmacists and Dr. David Houlihan. While the report found merit for the complaints, and did offer recommendations, they administratively closed the case without providing a copy of the report to relevant committees or Members of Congress whose constituents are served by the Tomah VA. Rep. Duffy’s office did not become aware that such a report existed until it surfaced in a news story in January of 2015.   The Members concluded their request: “We ask the Committee to investigate the VA’s prescription practices as a whole. Tomah can serve as an example to ensure this never happens again.” A signed copy of the request may be found here: [[{"fid":"434","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"file media-element file-full"}}]].  Read More

Duffy Supports Bill to Delist Gray Wolf

2015/02/12

Decision should be based on scientific evidence, not philosophical belief   Washington D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (WI-07) joins as an original co-sponsor of H.R. 884, a bill to delist the Gray Wolf as an endangered species in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan and return management responsibility for the animal to the states. The gray wolf was one of the first animals protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1966. In 2011, after determining that the animal had rebounded, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the gray wolf from the ESA in the Western Great Lakes Region and charged each state with further management of the wolves. On December 19, 2014, a federal judge invalidated that decision, returning the wolf to the Endangered Species list, preventing state management, and consequently reinstating it as a threat to families and farmers in rural Wisconsin. Rep. Sean Duffy, an avid outdoorsman and Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, cautioned against the court’s decision, “All Americans have a responsibility to conserve our natural resources and protect endangered species. However, federal agencies and courts all too often misuse their responsibilities under the ESA based on philosophical beliefs instead of science-based evidence. I applaud my good friend Reid Ribble for taking the lead on this legislation. The Fish and Wildlife Service made the right decision on this issue, and I hope, with the help of this bill, that decision will stand.”   Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, George Meyer, offered, “The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation greatly appreciates Congressman Duffy’s support for gray wolf legislation restoring state management responsibility for the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. The gray wolf is currently well managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It is important for the numbers of wolves to be carefully managed in order to assure the continued viability of the species, but just as importantly to maintain the population at a level satisfactory to the citizens of Northern Wisconsin. Sportsmen and women are strongly behind this legislation.”   Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President, Jim Holte also offered his support, “We appreciate Congressman Duffy’s support as a cosponsor of the gray wolf delisting legislation. Congressman Duffy represents a large portion of Wisconsin that encounters numerous conflicts between wolves and agriculture each year. Delisting of the gray wolf from the endangered species list and turning management back to the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources will allow local management to help alleviate some of these conflicts. This legislation also provides certainty moving forward that gray wolf management will remain a state issue and not subject to future court rulings. Wisconsin farmers support Congressman Duffy’s decision to provide certainty for farmers when trying to protect their livestock from predators.”     ###     Read More

It’s Time.

2015/02/11

The bill passed the House 270 to 152. It now moves to the President’s desk where Congress and the American people hope the President will re-consider his veto threat and sign the legislation.Duffy votes for, House passes, bill to approve Keystone XL Pipeline   Washington D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (WI-07) voted, yet again, for the Keystone XL Pipeline. “There is no reason for further delay. Wisconsinites and the American people want this pipeline and they want the new American Congress to lead. The President is the only person standing in the way of this project: it's time for him to move – it’s time to build.”   President Obama has promised to veto the bill despite virtually every roadblock he has laid down having been cleared. Fifty-seven percent of Americans support the pipeline, nine Democrat Senators voted for it when it passed the Senate, and the Nebraska Supreme Court cleared the pipeline last month in a ruling that the President had longed claimed was the main reason for his delay.    The Keystone XL Pipeline has been in the approval process since September 19, 2008, when the application was first submitted to the U.S. State Department. That’s 2,337 days, or more than six years. The actual construction of the pipeline would range from one to two years. If the pipeline had gone through a reasonable approval timeline, it would have been completed two to three years ago.     AUDIO COMMENTARY FROM REP. DUFFY:  [[{"fid":"433","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full"}}]]     ### Read More

Is it time yet?

2015/02/08

Dear friends,  This week the House will vote on the Senate’s version of a bill to (yet again) approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The President has promised to veto it despite virtually every roadblock he has laid down having been cleared. Fifty-seven percent of Americans support the pipeline, nine Democrat Senators voted for it when it passed the Senate last week, and the Nebraska Supreme Court cleared the pipeline last month in a ruling that the President had longed claimed was the main reason for his delay. The Pipeline has been in the approval process since September 19, 2008, when the application was first submitted to the U.S. State Department. That’s 2,334 days, or more than six years. The actual construction of the pipeline would range from one to two years. If the pipeline had gone through a reasonable approval timeline, it would have been completed two to three years ago. Enough with the games, Mr. President, it’s time to build. Here are some quick facts on this project: ·      The Keystone XL pipeline would connect Canadian oil sands all the way to the Gulf Coast, moving up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day - half the amount the U.S. imports from the Middle East - decreasing our oil dependence on countries that don’t share America’s interests. ·      On January 31, 2014, the State Department - which is responsible for the cross-border pipeline approval process - issued its final Environmental Impact Statement noting the pipeline will have limited environmental impacts. In fact, there would be greater safety and environmental risks if the pipeline isn’t built since fuel would still be transported by truck or rail. ·      On January 12, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, introduced by Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND-At Large). I was proud to support this legislation, which expedites approval of all necessary permits for the Keystone XL pipeline and limits litigation that would further tie up the project. This legislation passed the House by a bipartisan 266 to 153 vote. ·      On January 29, 2015, nine Senate Democrats joined Senate Republicans to vote in favor of a similar version of the Keystone XL legislation, securing strong passage of 62 to 39. ·      On February 11, 2015, the House is expected to vote on, and likely pass, the final version of the Keystone XL approval and send to the President’s desk for his signature. There is no reason for further delay. Wisconsinites and the American people want this pipeline and they want the new American Congress to lead. We will not allow the President's veto threat to stand in the way of more than 40,000 jobs and American energy independence. The President is the only person standing in the way of this project: it's time for him to move – it’s time to build.   For updates on the latest movement on Keystone XL and other key pieces of legislation, make sure to like or follow my Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, please see the column on the right for tomorrow’s town hall schedule. Until next week… Have a great week,   Sean Read More

Subcommittee Examines Legal and Ethical Violations at HUD

2015/02/05

Witnesses testify senior HUD officials broke federal law      Washington, Feb 4 - Senior officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – some of whom were presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed – broke federal law and violated employment practices, according to investigators from HUD’s Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In testimony today before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, HUD Inspector General David Montoya described instances of “senior officials bending the rules and engaging in outright misconduct, sometimes with minimal risk that HUD will take appropriate action when it learns of the misconduct.” A witness from the GAO told the Subcommittee that her agency concluded HUD officials also violated federal law by engaging in “indirect or grassroots lobbying” when they urged individuals at organizations that receive HUD funding to contact members of Congress regarding HUD’s pending appropriations bill.   A report issued last year from HUD’s Inspector General into this same matter also revealed that HUD officials attempted to cover up their illegal lobbying activity by obstructing the investigation. In his testimony today, Montoya recounted that episode, saying HUD officials “impeded our investigation by withholding information and threatening” investigators from the Inspector General’s office.  “In response to our report of investigation, HUD took no formal disciplinary action.”   Montoya told the Subcommittee “that case illustrated what can happen when senior government officials veer from the course of ethical decision-making, skirt the edges, and act in a manner that is not in the government’s best interest.” Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), the Subcommittee’s chairman who called today’s hearing, recalled last year’s HUD inspector general report. “At the time, I found those revelations troubling, but I had hoped we could chalk it up to a few bad apples at HUD. But we’re back here today to discuss what happened with those so called 'bad apples' because of other, completely unrelated allegations that have surfaced."   Witnesses at the Subcommittee today offered testimony about the following alleged legal and ethical violations at HUD: HUD’s Inspector General recently found that senior HUD employees violated federal employment law practices and HUD policies by hiring former registered lobbyist Debra Gross within HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing.  Ms. Gross improperly used her position at HUD to champion an agenda favorable to the public housing authorities represented by her former employer.  Ms. Gross also acted outside her authority by hiring two HUD employees without proper vetting.   HUD’s Inspector General concluded that Ms. Gross and her two hires “provided false statements to investigators” related to their “HUD hiring and communications regarding the hiring” while under oath during interviews.  Although Ms. Gross denied “pre-employment email communication” with key HUD officials, she ultimately admitted to having had “extensive communications.”  The two employees hired by Ms. Gross were “less than forthcoming” about the nature of their hiring, although they both “stated that they were never interviewed during the hiring process.” HUD’s Inspector General separately confirmed that then-Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones, along with four other senior HUD officials, violated HUD administrative policies in connection with preparing and transmitting a July 31, 2013 e-mail requesting that 1,000 recipients lobby specified Senators regarding a pending appropriations bill.  The GAO subsequently concluded that HUD violated federal anti-lobbying laws by disseminating this email.  The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is currently determining whether any prohibited personnel practices were committed  Individuals at HUD also attempted to obstruct the anti-lobbying investigation and improperly influence other witnesses.  Elliot Mincberg -- then Acting General Deputy Assistant Secretary for HUD’s Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations unit -- inserted himself into an ongoing witness interview, inappropriately contacted employees of HUD’s Office of General Counsel before their interviews, threatened HUD inspector general investigators that they would be “charged as a result of their inappropriate actions,” and was not forthcoming about his involvement in the dissemination of the July 31 e-mail communication.    ### Read More

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Contact Information

1208 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3365
Fax 202-225-3240
duffy.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Congressman Sean Duffy was born and raised in Hayward, Wisconsin. His great, great grandfather was one of the state’s early pioneers and a laborer for the Northwestern Lumber Company. His great grandfather, one of Hayward’s founding settlers, was a sawyer for 27 years.

Congressman Duffy has never strayed far from his roots, becoming a nationally recognized professional lumberjack athlete. He is a two-time world champion in the 90-foot speed climb, three-time champion in the 60-foot and an accomplished log-roller. Sean has been a color commentator for ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, as well as a Badger State Games Honorary Athlete and takes pride in bringing national attention to a sport with vital roots in Wisconsin’s proud history.
The tenth of eleven siblings, Congressman Duffy worked his way through law school by performing in lumberjack shows and exhibitions across the state of Wisconsin and around the country. After graduating from law school he practiced law for two years in Hayward before becoming a special prosecutor in Ashland, Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter, he became the acting assistant D.A, and later the District Attorney of Ashland County. He is most proud of his dedication to prosecuting child sex crimes. Working together with law enforcement, Congressman Duffy helped make Ashland County one of the first counties in the state to investigate and prosecute child Internet sex crimes.

Congressman Duffy met his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy, an Arizona native, through the MTV show, “The Real World,” Together, they are the proud parents of six children: Evita, Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma, and MariaVictoria.


Serving With

Paul Ryan

WISCONSIN's 1st DISTRICT

Jim Sensenbrenner

WISCONSIN's 5th DISTRICT

Glenn Grothman

WISCONSIN's 6th DISTRICT

Reid Ribble

WISCONSIN's 8th DISTRICT

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