As President Trump speaks in Arizona tonight, Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement on the President’s work on border security:
"I am pleased by the commitment our President has shown when it comes to securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. I believe this was one of his most important campaign promises – not just to “Build the Wall,” but everything else entailed in true border security.
"The Trump Administration is cracking down on sanctuary cities and campuses, working to begin construction of the wall (as required by the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which President Obama ignored), he’s begun the process of hiring 10,000 new ICE agents (including 5,000 new Border Patrol Agents) and targeted national enforcement of the violent MS-13 illegal immigrant gang.
"The impact has been that illegal border crossings are down 53%, with ICE conducting 40% more raids than last year. Arrests of convicted criminal aliens are up 20%, and 2,700 criminal gang members have been removed – already more than all of last year by 35%. All in all, the President is doing exactly what I’d hoped he would in enforcing our immigration laws and protecting the country, and I look forward to working with him to do even more.
"The proof is in the numbers, and President Trump has proven what many of us have said for years, the first step towards securing our border is to have a President who is serious about enforcing the laws already on the books."
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Washington, D.C. – South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan issued the following statement on the status of Obamacare repeal:
“The Senate voted late into the night on what they described as a "skinny" Obamacare repeal. Skinny in that it only repealed a few of the taxes, the individual mandate, the employer mandate for eight years, and defunded Planned Parenthood for a year. It wasn't much, but it was at least something and showed some progress. Unfortunately, Senators Collins, McCain, and Murkowski voted against even that modest measure. It is infuriating that 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats couldn't put their egos aside to get this done for the American people. It's disrespectful for a handful of these Members (and there are only a handful) to go back on their word to repeal Obamacare when given the opportunity. 90% or more of the Republicans in Congress have been willing to compromise and do the right thing to get this across the finish line, but because of the actions of a few, this critical issue for the country has fallen short, at least for now.
“I am hopeful that the Senate may decide to return to regular order and send the bill back to committee to see if a consensus can be reached. But the Senate is a fickle bunch, and I don't have a clear read on whether or not that is going to happen.
“When I said I wanted to repeal Obamacare, I meant it. I voted to repeal it, I voted to defund it, I voted to repeal portions of it, and I supported court cases against it. If there was anything in my power to stop this horrible law which puts the government between you and your doctor, I have supported it for the past 7 years. I have also laid out for years what I thought a free-market replacement plan should look like, not in bullet points or some vague governing principles, but in actual legislation. I am disappointed that whether through electoral cowardice or a lack of conviction that a handful of my colleagues didn't have the same sense of urgency and commitment to the American people to get this done.
“The worst thing that will come out of this is that Americans are going to be hurt by this inaction. Obamacare is collapsing. There are parts of this country where Americans don't have access to an insurer because companies have left the Obamacare exchanges. There are people in this country who are forbidden by the government from buying the type of insurance which is best for them, so they are forced to go without. Insurance rates are going to continue to go up, and choices in care are already on the decline.
“I was always taught the importance of keeping your word. I can say with a straight face that I have followed through on my commitments to repeal this horrible healthcare law. Unfortunately, there's a group of people in Washington that seem more worried about being re-elected or being well-liked than adhering to that basic human principle of honoring your promises. If you're reading this and you're from South Carolina, know that your delegation largely did the right thing and followed through on the promises that were made to you. If you're from another state, you may want to do some research to see whether your federal representative's words matched their actions.
“I promise to continuing fighting, and I promise to continue calling it as I see it.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Chairman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) and Ranking Member Albio Sires (NJ-08) of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (CA-39) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (NY-16), and Chairwoman Emeritus Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), along with over 20 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Trump urging the Administration to condemn the Maduro regime’s attempt to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution through an illegal Constituent Assembly vote scheduled for July 30.
Subcommittee Chairman Duncan: “This Constituent Assembly is illegitimate and could lead to a wider humanitarian and refugee crisis. Sunday’s referendum was significant with 98 percent of seven million Venezuelans rejecting Maduro’s continued assaults on Venezuelan democracy and its citizens. I applaud President Trump’s leadership on Venezuela and his commitment to ‘take strong and swift economic actions’ if the July 30th vote takes place. Yet, I also urge him to condemn the Constituent Assembly as illegitimate, impose additional sanctions, and call out Cuba’s nefarious activities in Venezuela. We also need to work with the EU and regional countries to craft an approach that exerts further pressure on the Maduro regime.”
Subcommittee Ranking Member Sires: “Maduro’s Constituent Assembly is nothing but a sham. His only goal is to throw out the constitution and anoint himself as leader for life. The Venezuelan people have been fighting tirelessly to preserve their democracy and restore the basic respect for human rights that all people deserve. Maduro has answered their calls by having his forces shoot young people in the streets, letting armed bandits beat members of the National Assembly, and jail anyone who is bravely trying to improve the lives of the Venezuelan people. I call on our allies in the region to band together and continue standing up to Maduro’s bullying tactics and support the will of the Venezuelan people.”
Chairman Royce: “The White House was right to make clear that the U.S. will not tolerate the Maduro regime rewriting the constitution to further undermine the rights of the Venezuelan people. We must continue to press regional leaders and the United Nations to put a stop to the Maduro regime’s violence and repression.”
Ranking Member Engel: “I commend the Venezuelan people for speaking with a unified voice and rejecting President Maduro’s proposed constituent assembly. Venezuelans—and those of us watching from around the world—won’t be fooled into thinking that a sham, undemocratic effort to rewrite the constitution is anything but another attempt to distract from the country’s real problems. The dismantling of Venezuela’s democracy with its failure to abide by the Inter-American Democratic Charter, daily human rights abuses, and food and medical shortages are the real issues on Venezuelans’ minds. I am pleased that the Venezuelan people are using their voices even as the Maduro government continues to try to silence them.”
Chairman Emeritus Ros-Lehtinen: “Voting in massive numbers last weekend, the Venezuelan people have sent a powerful and unambiguous message that they reject Maduro’s illegal attempts to rewrite the country’s constitution. With the Maduro regime already engaged in widespread human rights abuses, corruption, and narco-trafficking, the sham Constituent Assembly scheduled for July 30 can only add to Venezuela’s misery as Maduro and his thugs consolidate power. Venezuelans are crying out for assistance and I urge the United States and all responsible nations to stand with them in their fight for democracy and human rights. We must pressure the Maduro regime with sanctions until the Constituent Assembly is suspended, all political prisoners are released, all ties to drug trafficking are cut off, humanitarian aid is delivered, and free and fair elections are held.”
NOTE: The full text of the letter can be found here.
ADDITIONAL SIGNERS: Representatives Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Norma Torres (CA-35), Ron DeSantis (FL-06), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Daniel Donovan (NY-11), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Francis Rooney (FL-19), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Mo Brooks (AL-05), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Christopher Smith (NJ-04), William Keating (MA-09), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Ted Yoho (FL-03), Dina Titus (NV-01), Paul Cook (CA-08), Lois Frankel (FL-21), and David Cicilline (RI-01)
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Washington, D.C. – In response to the news that the Senate would remain in session in early August, cancelling the first two weeks of the “August recess,” Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement:
“I am very pleased that the Senate has decided to stay in session and continue to work on the issues facing our country. Cancelling the early recess weeks is the right thing to do to ensure that Obamacare is repealed, a budget deal is reached, the government remains open, President Trump’s nominees are confirmed, and our tax system is reformed with pro-growth cuts.”
Congressman Duncan signed onto legislation that keeps the House open in August if appropriations work remains incomplete and signed onto a letter with colleagues asking House leadership to keep the House in session.
“While I would certainly like to take the time to visit constituents back home in South Carolina in August, I call on House leadership to follow suit and remain in session as long as the Senate is in session. It is too important to get our country back on track after 8 years of executive abuse and economic neglect to take a break now.”
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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) introduced H.R. 3118, the “Iran and Hizballah Western Hemisphere Prevention Act of 2017” to prevent further access of Iran and Hizballah into the Latin America and Caribbean region and disrupt and degrade Hizballah’s illicit networks operating in the region.
Chairman Jeff Duncan – “Threats from Iran and Hizballah in the Western Hemisphere are well-known. Just this Monday, an individual with alleged links to Hizballah was indicted in Miami for drug trafficking after being extradited to the U.S. by Paraguay. Earlier this month, two individuals were arrested for attempting to provide support to Hizballah in Panama, targeting U.S. and Israeli embassies. This follows the foiled plot in Peru by a Hizballah operative in 2014, the attempted assassination of the Saudi Ambassador linked to Iran in 2011, the foiled Iranian plot to blow up JFK airport in 2007, and the horrific terrorist attacks in Argentina in the 1990s.”
“Congress has focused extensively on this issue with several hearings, visits to the region, and legislation. This oversight work led me to realize that the U.S. needs a clearer vision to address Iran and Hizballah’s activities in the Western Hemisphere. This bill calls for a strategy to more closely align various U.S. government actions on these issues, develop a counter-network disruption campaign, and review relevant sanctions related to Hizballah to assess their use and effectiveness. It will also prioritize engagement with countries in the region to develop counter-organized crime legislation, work towards declaring Hizballah a terrorist organization, and address Hizballah’s illicit networks in the region.”
Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) – “Hizballah is one of the most deadly terrorist organizations in the world and we have witnessed its devastation throughout the Middle East. There are growing threats by Iranian and Hizballah organizations against U.S. national interests in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean, and the Iran and Hizballah Western Hemisphere Prevention Act would allow us to prioritize our bilateral diplomatic response and engagement with regional allies in a comprehensive effort to build our capacity to monitor and prevent hostile activities and security threats by terrorist organizations, such as Hizballah, throughout the Western Hemisphere.”
*Original Cosponsors include Representatives Michael McCaul (TX-10), Dan Donovan (NY-11), Ron DeSantis (FL-06), Norma Torres (CA-35), Tom Suozzi (NY-03), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Ted Yoho (FL-03), Christopher Smith (NJ-04), and Ted Lieu (CA-33)
*A Section-by-Section can be found HERE.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan voted for two bills (HR 3003 & HR 3004) to crack down on illegal immigration, increase penalties for deported felons who return to the country illegally, withhold federal law enforcement grant dollars from so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions, and give victims of illegal immigrant crimes the right to sue “sanctuary cities.”
“Two years ago this weekend, Kate Steinle was walking on a pier in San Francisco with her father. She was murdered in cold blood, allegedly by an illegal immigrant who had already been convicted of seven felonies and been deported five times.
“Kate Steinle isn’t the only victim of illegal immigrant crime, only one of the more publicized victims. Earlier this month in Reston, Virginia, an illegal immigrant member of the infamous MS-13 gang allegedly murdered a 16-year old girl who was walking to her mosque on a Sunday morning. These crimes have become all too common, and are completely preventable if our government did a better job securing our border and enforcing our immigration laws.”
“That’s why I was proud today to support ‘Kate’s Law’ and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. It is time for us to Make America Safe Again. Make no doubt, we have a long way to go to make our country safe from illegal immigrants. We need to beef up interior enforcement and border enforcement, and we need to complete the physical barriers on our southern border as demanded by the Secure Fence Act of 2006. But today’s actions are a good start. I will continue to work with President Trump and my colleagues in the House to secure our country from the threats of terrorism and illegal immigration.”
Congressman Duncan spoke in favor of the bills on the House floor today. Video of that speech can be found here.
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Washington, D.C. – In response to the Supreme Court unanimously agreeing to hear President Trump’s travel ban case, Congressman Jeff Duncan issued the following statement:
“Just as conservatives have been saying all along, when courts look at this case on the basis of the law and the Constitution, the President will win. That is exactly what happened today with the Supreme Court ordering all injunctions of the President’s travel ban lifted until the high court issues their ruling. With the President’s initial executive order being a 90 day review, and the Supreme Court taking much longer than that to rule on the case, the court’s decision practically allows the President to move forward with his national security agenda unfettered. I support President Trump’s efforts to make America safe again, and I believe his temporary travel ban is a wise precaution in these troubling times.”
“This case is just one of many that will be heard by the Supreme Court regarding polices enacted by the Trump Administration. Because of this, I also call upon Justice Ginsburg to recuse herself from this case, and any other case involving President Trump or his policies, based on her comments to the media last year about then-candidate Donald Trump. I have joined with a number of my colleagues in writing her demanding her recusal. Justice Ginsburg has clearly demonstrated that she cannot operate in an evenhanded and impartial manner, and she should recuse herself from considering this case.”
You can read the letter here.
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Washington, D.C. – In response to the Supreme Court’s 7-2 ruling upholding religious liberty in the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer case, Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement:
“I am thrilled that the Supreme Court upheld the religious liberty of churches today. Just because a daycare provider is a church doesn’t mean they can be excluded from equal access to government funding for those services. I am glad that our position in the case was on the winning side and that a commonsense application of the law was applied.”
“I am also happy to see that the Court will take up the case of Colorado bakers who are being persecuted because of their faith. The guarantee of the First Amendment’s Freedom of Religion includes the freedom to worship as we please, as well as protecting how we live out our faith in our daily lives. I look forward to the Court acting to protect the bakers in the Colorado case and in so doing, protect Christians around the country from further persecution.”
Congressman Duncan signed on to an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Trinity Lutheran case. A copy of that brief can be found here: http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/TrinityLutheranMeritsAmicusCongress.pdf
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Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, held a meeting with President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama. They discussed joint and regional efforts to address transnational crime, border security, and the crisis in Venezuela, as well as the Panama Canal expansion. Chairman Duncan released the following statement:
“Panama continues to be one of our strongest regional partners thanks to the leadership of President Varela. The country’s economic growth is a model for the hemisphere, and I deeply value the cooperation we have had on economic, security, and political issues. I am dedicated to building on our joint efforts in the months ahead, as I see Panama as a key partner to address illegal migration, transnational crime, and drug trafficking. I also thank President Varela for reinforcing our economic partnership by creating a safe environment for the many American businesses that operate in Panama. Finally, I applaud President Varela’s commitment to promoting respect for democracy and human rights in Venezuela. As the situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, I urge Panama and every country in the region to do more to pressure the Maduro government to hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, and accept humanitarian aid."
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan issued the following statement:
“I strongly support canceling the August Congressional recess. While I believe it's important for Members of Congress to be in their home districts listening to constituents during this period, it's also abundantly clear that too much of the people's work remains unfinished. Congress needs to stay in session in order confirm President Trump's nominees, finish the rollback of Obamacare, finalize a budget, begin tax reform, and adopt national security and immigration reforms. Congress needs to do its part to help President Trump implement his agenda, and the best way to do that is for the House & Senate to keep working in Washington.”
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116 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Jeff Duncan is a South Carolina native and a 1988 graduate of Clemson University. Prior to being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Duncan served as branch manager and an Assistant Vice President during his seven years of working in community banking. Later, he became the President and CEO of J. Duncan Associates, a South Carolina based, family owned real estate marketing firm which specialized in statewide real estate auctions.
Duncan served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2002-2010, where he served as the Chairman of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee from 2007 to 2009.
During his tenure in the South Carolina House of Representatives, Jeff was known as one of the most conservative House Members, earning recognition as a “Taxpayer’s Hero” from Governor Mark Sanford for his work combating wasteful government spending and fighting against tax increases. Jeff has also received the “Guardian of Small Business” award from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB); he had an A+ rating from the Club for Growth; he was awarded the Palmetto Leadership Award from the SC Policy Council during his Freshman term; “Legislator of the Year” recognition from both the SC Recreation and Parks Association and the SC Wildlife Federation. In 2010, Jeff Duncan was awarded The Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the Governor of South Carolina.
Congressman Duncan is passionate about American Energy Independence. While a State Legislator, Jeff served on the US Department of the Interior’s Outer Continental Shelf’s 5 year Planning Sub-Committee which was charged with making recommendations for oil and natural gas leases on offshore areas. In addition, he served on the state’s Natural Gas Offshore Drilling Study Committee and was appointed to represent the state of South Carolina on the Southern States Energy Board.
Elected in 2010 to the 112th Congress, Jeff currently sits on three House committees including the Natural Resources Committee, the Homeland Security Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee. He also serves as the Subcommittee Chairman of Homeland Security’s Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee. Additionally, Congressman Duncan was appointed by Speaker John Boehner to the Executive Committee for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
The Natural Resources Committee gives Duncan an outlet to promote US energy policy. He is an integral part of the GOP’s House Energy Action Team (HEAT) which supports expedited permitting of energy projects and the use of currently undeveloped areas for energy production in the United States, including areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other Federal land.
Jeff takes a particular interest in the promotion of nuclear energy, a topic especially important to South Carolina, home of the Savannah River Site nuclear complex. Energy independence is vital to national security and a segue to job creation. Congressman Duncan views nuclear power as a key ingredient in that equation. He supports the use of the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as a long-term storage site for nuclear waste. Although he is a strong proponent of American solutions to American energy issues, Congressman Duncan is not in favor of federal energy subsidies for alternative energy or ethanol.
As a Member of the Natural Resources Committee, Jeff can advocate for some of his passions: the enjoyment of the great outdoors as an avid hunter and fisherman. Jeff sits on the subcommittee for fisheries and wildlife.
A member of both the Republican Study Committee and the Tea Party Caucus, Jeff took a strong stand on major fiscal issues in the 112th Congress. Dissatisfied with the level of spending cuts offered, he split from a majority of Republicans in his opposition of: the final fiscal 2011 spending deal; the final debt limit increase deal in August 2011; both versions of a bill to keep the government operating at the start of fiscal 2012; and the final FY 2012 Appropriations bill. A strong believer in the Constitution, Jeff fought against ambiguous language in the National Defense Authorization Act which he feels could put certain American liberties in peril.
In February 2011, he introduced a resolution that would create a new committee called the Committee on the Elimination of Nonessential Federal Programs, with the express purpose of reducing federal outlays. He supports taking a closer look at any government agency that is not included in the constitutional role of the federal government.
Jeff strongly believes that border security does fit the Constitutional definition of a federal duty and is proudly a member of the Border and Maritime Security subcommittee. He advocates an “all-of-the-above” strategy for border enforcement, including physical fencing, greater use of surveillance technology and increased manpower. His stance on border security includes an immigration policy aspect, as well as a national security element. He supports stronger enforcement of immigration laws and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the country.
Duncan has also worked the national security angle to border enforcement from his position on the Foreign Affairs Committee. When news reports broke in October 2011 that the Iranian government allegedly wanted members of Mexican drug cartels to carry out an assassination on U.S. soil, Duncan introduced a resolution urging the government to consider Iran a threat to the Western Hemisphere when formulating counterterrorism strategy.
Act! for America presented Representative Duncan with the “2011 National Security Patriot Award” because of his strong and enduring commitment to protecting our national security and democratic values.
Jeff also serves as the co-chairman of the Sovereignty Caucus along with Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn. The Caucus seeks to combat the influence of international organizations and multilateral agreements on United States policy. He urges greater scrutiny of foreign aid and has been an advocate for blocking economic assistance to governments that oppose the United States in the U.N. General Assembly.
In September 2011, Duncan became the only member of Congress with a 100 percent rating on the Heritage Action for America legislative scorecard “covering the full spectrum of conservatism.” He finished the 112th Congress at the top of the House leader board.
Jeff has been married to his wife Melody for twenty-five years and they have three sons: Graham, John Philip, and Parker. The Duncan family are members of First Baptist Church of Clinton, South Carolina.
Retweeted by repjeffduncan
I admit it, when I saw the ESPN Robert Lee story first appear on my facebook feed, I was sure it was fake & ignored it. 🙄
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@debrapharris well deserved! Thank you for your service to our community!
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@RobWA3 what open forum are you referring to? And I am happy to provide you with links to my previous statements.
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@RobWA3 no finally about it. I've supported him on most things publicly.