|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Illinois's 15th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2021
|Preceded by||John Shimkus|
Mary E. Meyer
August 27, 1959
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||Eastern Illinois University (BS)|
Mary E. Miller (née Meyer; born August 27, 1959) is a farmer and politician who is the U.S. representative from Illinois's 15th congressional district. Her term began on January 3, 2021, and she serves on the House Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Education & Labor. Miller is a member of the Freedom Caucus and has been described as being on the "far right" of the Republican Party.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Annette (Jesh) and Harvey Meyer, Miller graduated from Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business management and did some graduate coursework in education at Eastern Illinois University, but did not complete a graduate degree.
Miller announced her candidacy to represent Illinois's 15th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in the 2020 elections to succeed retiring incumbent John Shimkus. She won the Republican Party nomination, the real contest in Illinois's most Republican district, and won the general election with over 70% of the vote. She is the first Republican woman elected to represent Illinois in Congress since Judy Biggert left office in 2013. Miller focused her campaign on providing support to farming and bringing manufacturing back to Illinois.
Miller sided with President Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 presidential election was compromised by voter fraud, calling it "tainted".
In May 2022, the Washington Examiner criticized Miller for employing Bradley Graven, "a man convicted of soliciting sex with a minor, to assist with her re-election campaign." Graven was also seen driving Miller around, raised money for her campaign, and was reportedly responsible for collecting over half the signatures needed to qualify her for the ballot.
After the 2020 redrawing of the Illinois electoral map, Miller won the June 2022 Republican primary by approximately 14 points against fellow incumbent Rodney Davis, whose more moderate views became a liability in the newly-redrawn 15th district. Miller had also been endorsed by Donald Trump; Davis had supported the ultimately unsuccessful formation of a January 6 commission in May 2021.
On January 6, 2021, when Congress met to formally count the votes of the Electoral College and certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, Miller was one of the members of the House of Representatives who objected to the votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Miller is a member of the Freedom Caucus and has been described as being on the "far right" of the Republican Party.
On March 2, 2021, Miller introduced the Safety and Opportunity for Girls Act, which would ban transgender girls in schools from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Miller criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Equality Act and same-sex marriage, saying, "She doesn't represent the American people, and Americans need to wake up and realize that the Left does not represent the traditional values of the American people."
Miller voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify Obergefell v. Hodges. She wrote in a post, "This attacks the traditional family. All of these initiatives are deeply unpopular with the American people, and I will always vote NO against the radical agenda of the Left."
Miller has accused President Joe Biden of having a plan to "flood our country with terrorists, fentanyl, child traffickers, and MS-13 gang members", and also said that "under President Biden's leadership the left has weaponized the federal government to go after the American people. We face an unprecedented assault on the American way of life by the radical left."
In June 2021, Miller was one of 21 House Republicans to vote against a resolution to give the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
In February 2022, Miller co-sponsored the Secure America's Borders First Act, which would prohibit the expenditure or obligation of military and security assistance to Kyiv over the U.S. border with Mexico.
Miller voted against H.R. 7691, the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022, which would provide $40 billion in emergency aid to the Ukrainian government.
Miller was one of 18 Republicans to vote against Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
In June 2021, Miller was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the AUMF against Iraq.
Miller was one of 15 representatives to vote against H.R. 567: Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act of 2021, which would establish an interagency program to assist countries in North and West Africa to improve immediate and long-term capabilities to counter terrorist threats, and for other purposes.
On March 19, 2021, Miller was one of 14 House Republicans to vote against a measure condemning the Myanmar coup d'état that overwhelmingly passed, for reasons reported to be unclear.
On June 25, 2022, the day after the Supreme Court of the United States issued Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Miller spoke at a rally with Donald Trump and called the decision a "historic victory for white life". Later that night, her spokesman said that Miller had misread her notes and should have said "right to life".
Miller sponsored Representative Brian Babin's bill, H.R.140 - Birthright Citizenship Act of 2021, which would eliminate birthright citizenship.
Miller sponsored H.R. 6202, the American Tech Workforce Act of 2021, introduced by Representative Jim Banks. The legislation would establish a wage floor for the high-skill H-1B visa program, thereby significantly reducing employer dependence on the program. The bill would also eliminate the Optional Practical Training program that allows foreign graduates to stay and work in the United States.
Miller has called for the return of the role of God in public schools. She has also expressed support for Christian nationalism.
Miller introduced and sponsored H.R.1980 - Working Families Flexibility Act of 2021. This bill would cap the accrual of any non-union employee, per year, to 160 hours of compensated time off in lieu of overtime pay (the equivalent of 20 days if working 8 hours a day, or 4 weeks if calculated by a 40-hour work week) and prohibits the interference of employers with regard to forcing an employee to take the compensated time off.
Miller sponsored H.R.6579 - Teamwork for Employees and Managers Act of 2022, which would require companies to put workers on the board. This has been described as "company unions".
Miller expressed support for then-President Donald Trump's protectionist trade policies, expressing the feeling that farmers were taken advantage of in past trade deals such as NAFTA.
In 2022, Miller was one of 39 Republicans to vote for the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022, an antitrust package that would crack down on corporations for anti-competitive behavior.
On January 5, 2021, two days into her House term, Miller issued a prepared speech to the conservative group Moms for America. She quoted Adolf Hitler, saying: "Each generation has the responsibility to teach and train the next generation. You know, if we win a few elections, we're still going to be losing unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing: he said, 'Whoever has the youth has the future.'"
A number of groups and politicians condemned the comment, criticized Miller, and urged the Republican party to do likewise. Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider called her language "wrong and disgusting" and urged Miller "to apologize". Public statements were issued by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), World Jewish Congress, and multiple lawmakers, including Adam Kinzinger and Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker. U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, and the Illinois legislative Jewish caucus called for Miller's resignation. On January 14, Schakowsky said that she would introduce a measure to censure Miller. ADL Midwest regional director David Goldenberg shared with Miller's office a list of 12 anti-Semitic incidents and 17 instances of white supremacist propaganda in the 15th district in 2019 and 2020 in an effort to make Miller aware of "what was going on in and around her district", he said, including information about extremist activity.
On January 7, Miller's office tweeted that her remarks had been intended to compare alleged youth indoctrination efforts by "left-wing radicals" to those of Hitler, while nonetheless encouraging Republicans to aggressively appeal to the youth as a means to collective power. On January 8, Miller apologized for having quoted Hitler in the message, but accused critics of twisting her words.
Miller is married to fellow Republican politician Chris Miller. They own a farm in Oakland, near Charleston, where they grow grain and raise cattle. They have seven children and 17 grandchildren. The Millers are members of Oakland Christian Church.
Miller was endorsed by Trump and has backed his false claims of a stolen election.