WASHINGTON – With his pick to run the VA ousted amid controversy, President Donald Trump is reviewing choices to run the agency and former Florida Rep. Jeff Miller is in the mix.
Miller, former chairman of the House VA committee, had been floated before but Trump kept on David Shulkin before sacking him in March. An unnamed White House official told the Washington Examiner Miller is now back under consideration.
Miller left the House in 2016, giving Washington Matt Gaetz, and is now a lobbyist. He could not be reached Friday.
Read a 2014 Tampa Bay Times profile of Miller:
Miller came to Washington in 2001 after winning a special election to replace Rep. Joe Scarborough, who went on to a career at MSNBC. Miller did not serve in the military but his 1st Congressional District is home to several military installations and 110,000 veterans — more than any other district in the country.
"I can't think of anyone in the House more capable," House Speaker John Boehner said when Miller was named chairman of the VA committee.
Miller has one of the most conservative voting records in the House. But he began in politics as a Democrat, working as an aide to Florida Agriculture Commissioner Doyle Conner. By the late 1990s, Miller was a Republican, reflecting a mass conversion of southern conservative Democrats, and was elected to the state Legislature.
He spent his early childhood in Largo, and went to high school in Levy County. At the University of Florida he studied journalism and landed the TV weatherman job. He has been a disc jockey, deputy sheriff and a real estate broker. On his office wall in Washington hang stuffed heads of animals he has hunted, below them a Red Ryder BB gun.
He's capable of the trite talk of a politician but the soft-spoken delivery and genial personality makes it more convincing. "I'm one of 435 people in Congress," Miller said, "and I just want to do the job I've been asked to do."