Miller Announces Retirement From U.S. House
Eight is enough for Congressman Jeff Miller. The Chumuckla Republican announced Thursday he will not seek a ninth term in the House.
In his written statement, the 56-year-old Miller does not give a reason why he’s stepping down – only saying he knew the day would come. He says the average stay for a member of the U-S House of Representatives is three terms -- six years.
“I’ve been in Washington now 15 years, the last six as Chairman of the [House Veterans Affairs] Committee,” said Miller. “Those VA Committee hearings are coming to an end for me, because there’s a term limit [as Chairman]. And I just thought it was the appropriate time to depart.”
Jeff Miller won a special election in 2001, after Cong. Joe Scarborough resigned abruptly five months into his fourth term. Miller says being there for the people of Florida’s 1st House District has always been his top priority.
Of all of the measures that Miller has either co-sponsored or supported, he points to the reforms at the VA as one of his greatest victories leading Veterans Affairs.
“It is the biggest legislative change to the way the VA does business since its inception,” Miller said. “Accountability and transparency is [sic] absolutely critical.”
Part of that reform involves a pair of “new” clinics in the First District, including the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic – which has become the model for others around the country. Also in his written announcement, Miller says some of his office’s finest moments are unknown to most.
“The personal calls that come into the office, helping somebody with Social Security problems, or tax issues,” said Miller.
In the remaining nine months of his term Miller says one of his jobs will be to continue a “robust oversight” of the VA. There’s also work awaiting through his memberships on the House Armed Services and Select Intelligence Committees.
As of now, Miller is the lone candidate listed on the Supervisor of Elections website as a candidate for the Florida-1 House seat. That will change, of course. Qualifying runs from noon on June 20 until noon on June 24, for the August 30 primary. And he has some advice for his successor, whoever they may be.
“Listen to the constituents of this district, they will never lead you astray,” said Miller. “You can’t get caught up in the Washington Beltway think-tanks. You’ve got to stay connected to your local district.”
When the 115th Congress is sworn in next January, Jeff Miller will not be there. Where will he be?
“I think I might open a bait shop in Chumuckla,” Miller said with a chuckle, then added:
“This decision was not made with any future employment in mind. I know it’s time for me to turn this page in a very humbling chapter of my life and move on to something different. I just don’t know what that is at this point.”