Vern Buchanan

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Buchanan-Backed VA Accountability Bill Signed into Law

2017/06/23

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today that sweeping legislation to give the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to remove, suspend or reprimand any bad employee has been signed into law. The VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which Buchanan supported, passed the U.S. House last week.

“We are one step closer to fixing the VA,” Buchanan said. “This bipartisan overhaul will give the VA secretary the tools necessary to fire or discipline employees who do not meet the standards our veterans deserve.”

Specifically, the legislation would lower the burden of proof needed to fire VA employees and give the VA secretary increased flexibility to reduce a bad employee’s pension as well as recoup bonuses and relocation expenses.

The process for firing or demoting VA employees is so administratively complex and lengthy that punishment is often indefinitely delayed and rarely results in terminations. The new law also strengthens protections for whistleblowers and codifies into law the creation of a permanent “Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection” within the department. 

It has been three years since it was first revealed that VA employees across the country were falsifying waiting lists to conceal delays in veterans’ treatment. This horrific practice resulted in the deaths of thousands of veterans and the ensuing scandal forced the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.  

The VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act is supported by many of the nation’s largest veteran service organizations, including the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars, among others.

“The men and women who serve our country in uniform deserve all the care and respect a grateful nation can offer,” Buchanan said.

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Buchanan Announces Service Academy Appointments

2017/06/21

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today that eight local students he nominated have received appointments to the nation’s military service academies.

Each year, members of the U.S. Congress nominate students for admission to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. Applicants must meet strict qualifications and are interviewed and recommended by a non-partisan service academy board appointed by the Congressman. 

“Recommending exceptional students from the Suncoast to our country’s military service academies is one of my greatest privileges,” Buchanan said. “I’m honored to represent the 16th Congressional District, which year after year continues to produce courageous students willing to serve our country. I look forward to seeing these young men and women flourish in their college education and wish them the best as they begin their military careers.”

The U.S. military service academies are four year post-secondary institutions that combine educational excellence with military officer training. Students accepted to the academies receive a free four-year education in return for a commitment to serve five years in the active duty military after graduation.

Buchanan met with the local high school students at a ceremony in Sarasota on Monday night.

Buchanan meets with local high school students who received appointments to the nation’s military academies

The following students nominated by Buchanan received an academy appointment:

Kathryn Ann Kochevar, Pine View School, to the U.S. Military Academy

Songwen (Sharon) Liao, Sarasota Military Academy, to the U.S. Military Academy

John Coleman Madden, Sarasota High School, to the U.S. Military Academy

Jacob F. Ziadeh, Sarasota Military Academy, to the U.S. Military Academy

Sarah Michelle Weiss, Booker High School, to the U.S. Military Academy

Alexis Danielle Andros, Riverview High School, to the U.S. Air Force Academy

Richard Frederick Worthy, Pine View School, to the U.S. Air Force Academy

Isabella Faith Penkwitz, Pine View School, to the U.S. Naval Academy

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Buchanan Honors Exceptional Law Enforcement Officials

2017/06/20

Law Enforcement Officials “Deserve Our Gratitude and Respect”

BRADENTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan announced today the recipients of the sixth annual 16th Congressional District Law Enforcement Awards.


Buchanan and the award recipients at last night’s ceremony

The following 12 awards were presented last night during a special ceremony in Manatee County: 

  • Officer Jason Nuttall of the Bradenton Police Department received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
     
  • Captain John Walsh, Captain Debra Kaspar, Lieutenant Jon Varley, Community Affairs Director Kaitlyn Perez, Deputy Phillip Mockler, Detective Tim Speth and Investigator Lynn Thomson of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
     
  • Detective Richard Wilson of the Palmetto Police Department received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
     
  • Officer Alan Bores of the Holmes Beach Police Department received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
     
  • Detective Justin Warren of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
     
  • Sergeant Robert Armstrong of the Sarasota Police Department received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
     
  • Deputy Kevin Smetana of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
     
  • Master Sergeant George Taunton of The Florida Highway Patrol received the Career Service Award.
     
  • Troopers Caleb Kerr and Trooper Brett Fitzpatrick of the Florida Highway Patrol received the Preservation of Life Award.
     
  • Sergeant Patrick Roberts of the Florida Highway Patrol received the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award.
     
  • Pastor Patrick Miller, Pastor Vincent Smith, Doctor Harriet Moore, Geoffry Gilot and Al-Muta Hawks, all affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota, received the Associate Service Award.
     
  • The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division received the Unit Citation Award.
     
  • Deputy Angel Buxeda and Deputy Grant Steube of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office received the Preservation of Life Award.

The Congressman established the awards to give special recognition to law enforcement officers, departments and units for exceptional achievement.

“On behalf of the people of Florida's 16th District, I applaud each of these outstanding law enforcement officials and offer my sincere appreciation for their selfless service and courage,” Buchanan said. “Every day, brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way to enforce the laws of our society and protect public safety. They deserve our gratitude and respect. These awards are a fitting tribute to our officers and a reminder of the important role they play in our communities.” 

Award winners were chosen by an independent panel comprised of current and retired law enforcement personnel representing a cross-section of the district’s law enforcement community.

Buchanan is a strong supporter of the law enforcement community. His Thin Blue Line Act, which toughens penalties on cop killers, recently passed the U.S. House. The bill is supported by a number of national and local law enforcement organizations and officials. Buchanan also hosts the annual 16th Congressional District Fire and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Awards. Buchanan established the awards to give special recognition to fire and rescue and EMS personnel who have provided distinguished service to his constituents. 

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Buchanan Backs Bill Targeting Killer Drug: Fentanyl

2017/06/19

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today he has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that will strengthen U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to intercept synthetic opioids like fentanyl from entering the country. Manatee and Sarasota counties had the highest and second-highest number of fentanyl-related deaths per capita in the state in 2015, according to the Florida Medical Examiners Commission. 

The INTERDICT Act will help stem the flow of fentanyl and other drugs by providing border agents with drug-detecting chemical screening devices at ports of entry and more personnel, including scientists, to detect drugs being sent into the U.S. from Mexico, China and other countries.

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug similar to heroin but 50 times more powerful. It is often manufactured in foreign countries like China and mailed into the United States.

“Fentanyl is a real and alarming threat to the Suncoast,” Buchanan said. “American border patrol agents are on the front lines and need the resources to block these deadly drugs from entering our country.”

A recent New York Times report showed that many users and dealers are turning to the “dark web” – a shadowy corner of the internet where buyers can purchase illegal goods anonymously. The Times noted that enough fentanyl to get almost 50,000 people high can fit in a standard-sized envelope. A man in South Carolina, for example, was recently accused of receiving enough fentanyl to kill 1.5 million adults in the mail. The fentanyl was ordered on the “dark web.”

The nation’s law enforcement community is also responding to increasing danger from the fentanyl outbreak. Earlier this month the Drug Enforcement Administration sent out an urgent alert to police, paramedics, firefighters and other first-responders warning them about the mortal risk of coming into contact with the dangerous drug.

The INTERDICT Act also authorizes $15 million in federal resources for new portable screening devices and the hiring of new scientists. 

A lethal dose of fentanyl can be as small as two or three grains of salt.


A lethal dose of heroin next to a lethal dose of fentanyl (Photo: New Hampshire State Police)

To cut down on drugs entering the U.S. through the mail, Buchanan is also a co-sponsor of the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act or STOP Act. The bipartisan bill requires more intensive screening at U.S. Postal Service facilities.

The Congressman has been an active leader in addressing the opioid crisis in Florida. He fought for federal anti-drug funds that were recently distributed to the Suncoast region. Earlier this spring, Buchanan also hosted a meeting of the area’s top hospital executives about the problem. 

Last year, Buchanan chaired a hearing examining the impact of addiction on kids. He also hosted a roundtable in Bradenton, Fla. with local police officers, medical professionals and stakeholders. Buchanan also chaired a meeting of the bipartisan 29-member Florida congressional delegation in Washington, DC where members heard testimony from anti-drug experts. In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration adopted Buchanan’s proposal to make it more difficult for abusers to obtain certain highly addictive narcotics. 

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Justice Dept. Commits to Review Madoff Victims Fund

2017/06/15

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department has committed to review a years-long delay in the distribution of $4 billion in aid to the victims of Bernie Madoff’s investment scandal. The move comes two weeks after Congressman Vern Buchanan urged the Attorney General to expedite payments for those defrauded by Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, under questioning this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Madoff’s victims should be reimbursed “as quickly as possible.”

Rosenstein added, “I can commit to you that I will look into that and figure out why it is taking so long.”

Buchanan said he was “pleased the Justice Department has agreed to review the matter. These victims, many of whom are from Sarasota and Southwest Florida, were cheated out of their life savings and are now being denied timely compensation from a fund that was specifically created to help them."

In a letter sent two weeks ago to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Buchanan said Madoff’s victims have not received a penny from the $4 billion victims fund created five years ago yet the firm responsible for distributing the money has been paid $39 million.

Florida is home to the second-largest number of Madoff victims after New York, where the investment company was based. As reported by the Miami Herald, according to Madoff’s client list, nearly one in five of his customers hailed from Florida.  

The compensation fund was created in December 2012 by the Justice Department to repay thousands of Madoff’s victims after the U.S. seized $2.4 billion from the estate of one of his biggest investors, the late Jeffry Picower. The fund grew by $1.7 billion following a 2014 forfeiture deal with Madoff’s bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., which was accused of turning a blind eye to the scam.

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Buchanan Co-Sponsors Bill to Make Hearing Aids Affordable

2017/06/13

“Seniors Struggle to Hear Everyday Conversations”

WASHINGTON – Noting that nearly 50 million Americans have hearing loss – a problem especially acute among seniors – Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today he has co-sponsored legislation to make hearing aids more affordable. 

The bill is supported by the AARP.

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act co-sponsored by Buchanan would drive down costs by allowing people with mild to moderate hearing loss to purchase aids without a doctor’s prescription. The bill could bring the cost of a pair of hearing aids down from several thousand dollars to only a few hundred dollars, according to the New York Times.

“Hearing aids reopen the world to seniors who struggle to hear everyday conversations with their family and friends,” Buchanan said. “It can lead to isolation and frustration. Expanding access to hearing aids will improve their quality of life.”

The bill will reduce costs by simplifying the hearing aid purchasing process. Currently, a formal medical evaluation is required before seniors can purchase hearing aids. In most cases, consumers can only buy hearing aids from audiologists — professionals trained in treating hearing problems — or licensed hearing aid sellers after the evaluation.

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act would remove these requirements so the hearing aids could be purchased in a simple, over-the-counter fashion.

Sadly, an estimated 86 percent of people who would benefit from hearing aids do not get them, primarily because of high cost, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Hearing aids are not covered by Medicare or most private insurance plans. Out-of-pocket costs for a pair of hearing aids average $5,400 according to Consumer Reports.

Buchanan represents the 4th-highest number of seniors 65 and older of any district in the country. He noted that more than 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss – more than diabetes, cancer or vision trouble, according to the Hearing Loss Association. And half of all seniors age 75 and older have hearing loss, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“Hearing loss is a major contributor to declining quality of life,” Buchanan said. “I want to make it as easy as possible for seniors to get the help that they need.”

The bill is supported by AARP, the Hearing Loss Association of America, and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. The bill was introduced following two scientific reports that recommended this approach: an October 2015 report by President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, followed by a National Academies of Science report in June 2016.


The National Academies of Science noted that “over-the-counter, wearable hearing devices could provide an additional easy-to-access and potentially less expensive option to meet the hearing needs of adults with mild or moderate hearing loss."

Buchanan, a senior member of the House committee that oversees Social Security and Medicare, is very active on senior protection and health issues.

He teamed up with Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., to introduce the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act, which would help crack down on scams targeting seniors. The bill directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a senior fraud group that would alert consumers about scams, maintain online resources and create an effective complaint system to ensure that reports of fraud are quickly forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The bill has been endorsed by the AARP.

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Buchanan Briefed on Anti-Terrorism Efforts in Africa, Europe

2017/06/05

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan is back in the United States today after a national security mission overseas that included meeting with the commander of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain to discuss counter-terrorism operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries.

While visiting fleet headquarters in Bahrain, the Congressman met with American troops, including Sarasota, Fla. sailor, Deborah Mack, a naval analyst. “Deborah and the other troops I met with are true patriots who leave family and friends for months on end to fight for our country,” Buchanan said. “It was a privilege to meet service members from Florida and witness firsthand their love of country.”

Buchanan meets with Master Chief Deborah Mack, naval analyst from Sarasota


Buchanan shares a meal with Florida troops

Buchanan was part of a bipartisan congressional delegation that also met with military officials and government leaders in Germany and Kuwait to discuss intelligence cooperation, threats posed to NATO and efforts to eradicate ISIS. 

While at U.S. AFRICOM’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, Buchanan received a briefing regarding terrorist activity in Libya, Somalia and the entire African region. AFRICOM is one of six regional military headquarters for the Department of Defense and is responsible for military relationships with 54 African nations.


The delegation arrived a few days after the tragic terrorist attack in Manchester, England that killed 22 people and wounded 100 others. Officials believe the terrorist responsible, Salman Abedi, had visited Libya days before the bombing.

“Jihadists in North Africa continue to pose a serious threat to global peace,” Buchanan said. “As we saw with Manchester, Africa remains a hot spot for the recruitment and training of terrorists.”

Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, head of AFRICOM, discussed the current fight against ISIS, the rise of militant group al-Shabaab and how the refugee crisis is impacting the region. In May a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in Somalia as part of an operation targeting an al-Shabaab compound. The combat death marked the first American casualty in Somalia since 1993.  

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Buchanan: Hire Hurricane Fighters!

2017/06/02

Above-Normal Amount of Storms Predicted

WASHINGTON – As hurricane season officially begins with a prediction of an above-average number of storms, Congressman Vern Buchanan urged the Trump administration today to quickly fill two key positions that oversee hurricane response efforts. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the two agencies most directly involved in keeping Americans safe from hurricanes, are currently awaiting the appointment of new managers.

“These agencies are critical in keeping Floridians safe,” Buchanan said. “I’m a big proponent of hurricane preparedness and part of being prepared is having key personnel in place. The Trump administration needs to get their NOAA and FEMA chiefs on the job quickly because we don’t know when the next big storm is going to hit.”

Buchanan’s concern is founded in Florida’s vulnerability to storms. The Sunshine State is second only to California for overall risk of natural disasters, with 6.7 million homes listed in the “high or very high” risk categories, according to RealtyTrac, a housing data company. Florida also leads the country with the most homes at risk for hurricanes.

Buchanan also noted that a number of simple steps can make a big difference in surviving a natural disaster.

For basic preparation for a hurricane, FEMA recommends Americans know their local hurricane evacuation routes, make a family emergency communication plan, purchase a portable generator, secure loose rain gutters and downspouts, reinforce roofs, windows and doors and remove any damaged trees and limbs before rainfall.

The hurricane season spans six months, from June 1 through Nov. 30.

Florida Resources:

Federal Resources:

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Buchanan Demands Justice for Madoff Victims

2017/05/31

Zero Paid Out From $4 Billion Victims Fund

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan today called for the U.S. Justice Department to step in and speed up the distribution of $4 billion in aid to victims of Bernie Madoff’s investment scandal.

In a letter sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Buchanan said Madoff’s victims have not received a penny from the $4 billion victims fund created five years ago yet the firm responsible for distributing the money has been paid $39 million.

“These victims, many of whom are from Sarasota and Southwest Florida, are being victimized twice,” Buchanan said. “They were cheated out of their life savings and now they’re being denied timely compensation from a fund that was specifically set up to help them.”


A Miami Herald graphic from a 2009 report on Madoff’s victims from Florida.

The Congressman, noting it has been more than eight years since Madoff’s arrest, said “it is a disgrace that the process of reimbursement has yet to begin.” The Madoff Ponzi scheme is considered the largest financial fraud in U.S. history, cheating thousands of investors, some of them lost their life savings. 

“It is outrageous that victims languish while government-sanctioned administrators collect millions in fees,” Buchanan wrote in his letter. “I urge you to do all you can to expedite payment to these victims. Money should be flowing to victims, not bureaucrats’ wallets.”

Victims of Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme include residents in Buchanan’s congressional district, which comprises Manatee County and parts of Sarasota and Hillsborough counties according to press reports.

“Given Florida’s large number of victims, I want to know why this process is taking so long, and what steps your department will take to ensure the firm moves immediately to distribute repayments,” Buchanan wrote to Sessions.

Florida is home to the second-largest number of Madoff victims after New York, where the investment company was based. As reported by the Miami Herald, according to Madoff’s client list, nearly one in five of his customers hailed from Florida. 

The compensation fund was created in December 2012 by the Justice Department to repay thousands of Madoff’s victims after the U.S. seized $2.4 billion from the estate of one of his biggest investors, the late Jeffry Picower. The fund grew by $1.7 billion following a 2014 forfeiture deal with Madoff’s bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., which was accused of turning a blind eye to the scam.

Madoff pleaded guilty to fraud charges in 2009 and is currently serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina.

Text of the letter can be found below.

May 31, 2017

The Honorable Jeff Sessions
Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Attorney General Sessions:

Despite the government’s recovery of billions of dollars from Bernie Madoff, victims of his Ponzi scheme have yet to receive a single dollar, while tens of millions of dollars have been spent on administrative costs. I urge you to correct this injustice immediately.

It has been more than eight years since Mr. Madoff’s arrest. His massive, multi-decade fraud ruined the lives of thousands of investors, many of whom lost their lifetime and retirement savings. To date, the Justice Department has recovered more than $4 billion for Mr. Madoff’s victims, and established a fund to distribute this money in 2012. 

Not a single dollar has been paid to these victims. Yet, the firm hired to oversee the fund has receive more than $38 million in payments. It is outrageous that victims languish in hardship while government-sanctioned administrators collect millions in fees.

For seniors, Mr. Madoff’s crimes were particularly damaging. Rather than enjoying the comfortable retirement for which they spent decades saving, these victims have been forced to struggle in their golden years. Residents in my home state and congressional district were greatly impacted by this colossal swindle. As reported by the Miami Herald, according to Madoff’s client list, nearly one in five of his customers hailed from Florida. 

These victims, many of whom are from Sarasota and Southwest Florida, are being victimized twice. They were cheated out of their life savings and now they’re being denied timely compensation from a fund that was specifically set up to help them. It is a disgrace that the process of reimbursement has yet to begin.

Shortly before Mr. Madoff pleaded guilty to his crimes, newspapers in the area I represent published local victims’ stories. One man who had transferred all his retirement money to Madoff said “I’m 64 and I’m barely holding on. I’m still paying my bills but I don’t know how much longer I will be able to do that.”

Another local victim said that his “whole family was affected,” including his 86-year-old mother who was forced to sell the home she had lived in since 1958. 

It has been said that justice delayed is justice denied. That is particularly true for seniors that were victimized by Mr. Madoff.

Given Florida’s large number of victims, I want to know why this process is taking so long, and what steps your department will take to ensure the firm moves immediately to distribute repayments.

I urge you to do all you can to expedite payment to these victims. Money should be flowing to victims, not bureaucratic overhead.

Sincerely,

 

Vern Buchanan
Member of Congress

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Buchanan Urges Trump to Keep U.S. in Climate Accord

2017/05/30

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan today urged President Trump to keep the United States at the table and remain in the Paris Climate Accord.

“I strongly encourage the president to remain in the Paris climate accord,” Buchanan said. “Climate change is a serious issue, especially for a state like Florida that has two coastlines vulnerable to rising waters. Only Syria and Nicaragua are not part of the 197-country agreement, which lays out voluntary goals for reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Our withdrawal would send the wrong message to the world. Protecting the environment and growing the economy are not mutually exclusive. We should be doing everything we can to accomplish both.”

The president has said he will make a final decision this week on whether to keep the U.S. in the Paris accord.

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ABC 7: Buchanan Proposes Pandemic Response Fund

2017-04-13 15:04:24


Bay News 9: Buchanan Fights Social Security Fraud

2017-02-09 16:27:36


ABC 7: Rep. Buchanan Holds Anti-Heroin Roundtable

2016-03-10 17:57:59


ABC 7: Rep. Buchanan Acts To Combat Heroin Crisis

2016-02-27 15:13:23


Cox TV: Buchanan Introduces Plan To End Public Housing Scams

2016-02-03 17:36:48


WWSB-TV: Rep. Buchanan visits businesses in St. Armands Circle

2016-01-25 16:15:15


WWSB-TV: New Law To Protect Americans From Identity Fraud

2016-01-22 17:30:07


No Syrian Refugees!

2015-11-17 17:35:33


Buchanan Applauds Sarasota Memorial’s 90th Year of Service to the Community

2015-11-03 20:46:52


ABC-7 on Buchanan Presentation of Congressional Fire and Rescue and EMS Awards

2015-10-06 15:21:10


ABC-7 on Buchanan's Talk to Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

2015-09-14 23:21:30


Bay News 9 on Sarasota Iran Nuclear Deal Town Hall

2015-07-27 13:55:34


President Obama Signs Buchanan Veterans ID Card Act into Law

2015-07-21 15:31:22


ABC-7 on Buchanan's Veterans ID Card

2015-07-08 17:22:06


Buchanan Vets ID Card to Become Law

2015-07-07 19:17:46


Pastor Bezet of Sarasota-Manatee Bayside Community Church Delivers Morning Prayer before Congress

2015-06-25 15:32:15


Buchanan: Balancing the Budget is an Urgent Priority

2015-06-17 21:43:25


Buchanan Speaks on Veterans ID Card Act

2015-05-18 21:03:41


Rep. Buchanan Named to House Budget Committee

2015-03-18 16:40:43


Buchanan Hosts Venice Listening Session on Jobs and the Economy

2015-02-09 16:57:18


Contact Information

2104 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5015
Fax 202-226-0828
buchanan.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Ways and Means

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is the only Florida member of Congress to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, international trade, health care and Social Security.

A self-made businessman, Buchanan understands that America’s economic strength flows from its entrepreneurial spirit and pro-growth, free-market policies. Buchanan has worked tirelessly to enact tax incentives to help small businesses, end burdensome regulations, and limit frivolous lawsuits.

In his fourth term, Buchanan is an outspoken advocate of reforming the U.S. tax code to make it simpler and fairer. He serves on the Trade and Health subcommittees on Ways and Means.

As a member of the Trade Subcommittee, Buchanan recognizes that international competitiveness is key to revitalizing the economy. He will seek to move three free trade agreements through the Congress and conduct oversight on U.S. trade relations with the European Union, China, India, among others.

Buchanan is also a member of the Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare and employer-provided health insurance benefits. With 190,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Florida’s 16thDistrict, Buchanan is committed to preserving Medicare’s long-term solvency for senior citizens, as well as bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans.

And as the Chairman of the Friends of Panama Caucus, Buchanan will continue his efforts to help Port Manatee grow and capitalize on the upcoming expansion of the Panama Canal.

A strong fiscal conservative, the Congressman’s signature bill is the Buchanan Balanced Budget Amendment Act. He also introduced legislation to stop automatic pay raises for Members of Congress until the budget is balanced.

Congressman Buchanan’s previous committee assignments include the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and the House Small Business Committee, where he also served as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Finance and Tax.

Vern Buchanan grew up with five siblings in a blue collar household in a small town near Detroit, Michigan. He served six years in the Air National Guard and worked his way through college.

The self-made businessman is a respected leader in Florida’s business community. He chaired both the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Board of the U.S. Chamber, and in 2005 he was inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame.

In addition, Congressman Buchanan is a dedicated philanthropist, committing himself to diverse community causes, including the Boys and Girls Club, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Walk to Cure Juvenile Diabetes, the American Heart Walk, the Mote Marine Laboratory, and the Ringling Museum of Art.

A husband and father, Congressman Buchanan lives in Longboat Key, Florida with his wife of more than 30 years. Mr. and Mrs. Buchanan have two grown sons, James and Matt.


Serving With

Matt Gaetz

FLORIDA's 1st DISTRICT

Neal Dunn

FLORIDA's 2nd DISTRICT

Ted Yoho

FLORIDA's 3rd DISTRICT

John Rutherford

FLORIDA's 4th DISTRICT

Ron DeSantis

FLORIDA's 6th DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Daniel Webster

FLORIDA's 10th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Tom Rooney

FLORIDA's 17th DISTRICT

Brian Mast

FLORIDA's 18th DISTRICT

Francis Rooney

FLORIDA's 19th DISTRICT

Mario Diaz-Balart

FLORIDA's 25th DISTRICT

Carlos Curbelo

FLORIDA's 26th DISTRICT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

FLORIDA's 27th DISTRICT

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