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.
I’m a small town girl from northeastern Pennsylvania. My mom quit teaching when I was born, and dad was a hairdresser, in a tiny family owned salon. My parents, two sisters, a brother and I all lived with my grandfather. It was a good, safe and affirming way to grow up. I was a Girl Scout and in the Luther League. My high school was so small that everybody did everything. My life was rich with piano, ballet, basketball, student council parliamentarian, marching band (baritone sax), chorus, school newspaper, yearbook, cat dissection in science club, prom decorating committee chair, playing Maggie in Brigadoon, and induction into the National Honor Society.
After graduating from Bucknell University in 1970, my career in public service began. I started teaching the same year public education first included special education children. They were truly “the least of these,” as they had been warehoused because of their special needs and had never been to school. I taught special education for twelve years and moved to Mauldin, South Carolina, graduating with a M. Ed. from Clemson University.
I lived in Charleston for two years in the early eighties and took professional development courses in science education. Returning to the upstate, I became a physical science and chemistry teacher and jumped into high school life: coaching the academic team, sponsoring cheerleaders, chaperoning dances, training Natural Helpers, getting my CDL and AP chemistry certification. Teaching is a public service job at all grade levels and in all venues. I was honored to be selected Wade Hampton High School’s Teacher of the Year.
I bought a lake house in Townville in the early 1990s and taught chemistry for nine years at Seneca High School. Tech Prep was a new initiative and I worked with teachers and administrators from across the state to develop the Chem Tech curriculum. With input from higher education and industry, we produced lessons and trained teachers to spread Tech Prep chemistry to all districts. This was one of the first initiatives to prepare students for the highly skilled workplace, and I was recognized as SC Tech Prep Teacher of the Year for my efforts. I received National Board Certification as a teacher in chemistry while at Seneca High School.
Coming out of retirement, I moved to New Mexico and taught at Los Alamos Middle School for ten years. While there, I was recognized by the NMAS as Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, was selected LAMS Teacher of the Year, and renewed my National Board Certification. I also completed the Master of Science Teaching degree at New Mexico Tech.
It may seem like I was too busy for family, but I have an awesome adult daughter who blessed me with twin 3-year-old granddaughters. My husband, Hank, is a stay-at-home man who has supported every adventure. He is the spiritual rock of my family and my best friend.