Vern Buchanan

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Buchanan Scolds Lame Terrorist Screening Plan

2016/06/28

“To Win On Digital Battlefield, Mandatory Screening Required”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan today dismissed an Obama administration plan to ask foreigners for permission to screen their social media accounts, saying “no ISIS terrorist will voluntarily offer up incriminating evidence.”

“What terrorist is going to give our government permission to see their radical jihadist rants on social media?” Buchanan asked. “The only people who will share that information are those with nothing to hide.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposal would ask foreign travelers, including those using the visa waiver program, to voluntarily provide their social media information in an optional data field section on arrival and departure forms. 

“Voluntary disclosure won't keep anyone safe,” Buchanan said. “If we want to win on the digital battlefield, mandatory screening is required.”

The policy change was recommended by DHS last week and published in the Federal Register.

Buchanan is the author of federal legislation to require social media screening for any foreigner who wants to enter America. His Social Media Screening For Terrorists Act directs the secretary of Homeland Security to vet all public records, including Facebook and other forms of social media, before admitting foreign travelers and visa applicants into the country.

“Internet and social media sites are now a digital battlefield for terrorists,” Buchanan said. “My bill requires the examination of social media to ensure we aren’t opening our doors to terrorists. This proposal lacks teeth, and fails to make America safer.”

The bill has the support of the chairmen of the House Homeland Security, Intelligence, and Veterans’ Affairs committees.

Buchanan questioned how the administration is even proposing this optional form of disclosure with a straight face while admitting that it will “enhance the existing investigative process” and provide “greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections.”

Buchanan vehemently disagrees with their position, and said the government should be required to use all tools at its disposal to fight radical Islamic jihadists.

The Congressman pointed to chilling testimony from CIA Director John Brennan who delivered an alarming account of ISIS’s strength just days after the Orlando attack as cause to require social media screening.

ISIS has become notorious for using social media and the internet to recruit, communicate and fundraise.

In fact, a top counterterrorism adviser to the Obama administration recently stated that “They’re on Facebook. They’re on YouTube. There are something like 90,000 Twitter accounts associated with or sympathetic to ISIL, sometimes with 50,000 followers each.”

“Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach,” Brennan said. 

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Buchanan Rips Senate Refusal to Fund Zika

2016/06/28

Sen. Harry Reid Puts Politics Ahead of Public Health

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan today blasted Senate Democrats for refusing to fund efforts to control the Zika virus as the first case of a brain-damaged baby was reported in Florida.

“Senate Democrats are voting against Zika funds in order to protect Obamacare money earmarked for Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands,” Buchanan said. “This is the very definition of partisan lunacy. Senator Harry Reid has put politics ahead of public health.”

Reid called the $1.1 billion House-passed package to fund Zika prevention efforts – including for communities in Florida – a “disgrace.” He said that Senate Democrats had no choice but to oppose the bill, in part because it taps money intended to prop up Obamacare in U.S. territories such as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. 

However, weeks ago Senate Democrats unanimously supported a Zika funding bill that contained the same funding level and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden said at the time the bill “allows us to do the things we need to do in the immediate term.”

The Florida Department of Health today announced the first Zika-related case of microcephaly in a child born in Florida. The mother, a citizen of Haiti, had a travel-related case of Zika and came to Florida to deliver the baby.

“The Senate needs to put aside partisan politics and get the job done,” Buchanan said. “Summer’s here, Zika’s here, and that means people are at risk. It’s beyond frustrating that Washington can’t agree on funding to stop this public health crisis.”

The House of Representatives passed a new Zika funding proposal last week, leaving the Senate as the final obstacle to providing these much-needed resources. The Senate’s failure to pass Zika funding would mean that a joint House-Senate negotiation committee must reconvene and introduce a new compromise bill. Buchanan supported the House funding bill last week.

Buchanan has pushed for rapid and full emergency funding for the Zika response and has hosted multiple public health experts in meetings and public events in Florida and Washington to talk about the virus. He also wrote a letter to House and Senate leadership last month urging the Zika conferees provide the full amount of emergency funding requested by the Obama administration.

The Congressman was the first Republican in the U.S. House to support President Obama’s request for $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus. The emergency funding will expand education, prevention, and mosquito control programs, improve diagnostics and testing, speed the development of a vaccine and boost research into the complications of contracting the virus.

In a recent meeting of the Florida delegation chaired by Buchanan, Frieden called the Zika virus “unprecedented – never before have we seen a mosquito-borne illness linked to a devastating birth defect. It will take years to develop a vaccine.”

Florida leads the country in the number of reported Zika cases. As of Monday there were 223 cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. The CDC reported 820 cases across the country.

Buchanan also cited a chilling new report that warned more than 1 million pregnancies could be at risk from the Zika virus in states along the Gulf Coast.

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Supreme Court Blocks President’s Immigration Policy

2016/06/24

Executive Action Granted Amnesty to 5 Million Immigrants

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan applauded a Supreme Court decision this week that blocked President Obama’s executive action granting amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. The high court’s tie vote, 4-4, left intact a U.S. Appeals Court ruling that determined the president exceeded his authority in allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to remain and work in the United States.

Buchanan called the action “a victory for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

“No President – Republican or Democrat – has the authority to circumvent the Constitution and change immigration law without the approval of Congress,” Buchanan said. “The separation of powers makes clear that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed” – regardless of whether he supports them or not.”

President Obama issued an executive order in 2014 that allowed nearly 5 million illegal immigrants to apply for work permits and deportation relief as part of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. One month later 26 states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration for exceeding its constitutional authority.

Before issuing his executive action, President Obama stated 22 times he did not have the power to unilaterally change immigration law, even saying “I’m not a king.”

The Supreme Court seemed to agree with Obama’s statement on Feb. 14, 2013 when he said, “The problem is that I’m the president of the United States. I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed, and Congress, right now, has not changed what I consider to be a broken immigration system, and what that means is we have certain obligations to enforce the laws that are in place, even if we think in many cases the results may be tragic.”

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Key Buchanan Provision Included in Tax Reform Blueprint

2016/06/24

WASHINGTON – A provision authored by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, was included in a tax reform blueprint released today by House Republican leaders.

The tax reform outline lays out broad principles to follow when Congress drafts actual legislation to reform the tax code.

Those principles include reducing tax rates on certain small businesses by altering the manner in which their income is taxed. This approach is closely related to Buchanan’s Main Street Fairness Act, which would remove income earned by so-called passthroughs from the individual tax code and treat this income like business income earned by corporations. 

The Main Street Fairness Act would ensure that small businesses – which account for 94 percent of all businesses in America – never pay a higher tax rate than large corporations.

“It’s time that Washington stopped punishing small businesses and started helping them,” Buchanan said. “My bill will help small businesses by removing their income from the personal tax system, which has substantially higher rates that those faced by corporations. I’m pleased that the major tax reform outline released today adopts this approach.”

The Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee today released a blueprint for reforming the American tax code. It includes a section that would lower rates for many of the nation’s small businesses. The inclusion of this provision points to a strong future for Buchanan’s bill and the pro-small business principles that drove its introduction.

“This major tax reform proposal is an important first step towards finally achieving a pro-growth, job-creating tax code,” Buchanan said.

As the tax blueprint says, “the tax treatment of business income will build on concepts developed by Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida in his Main Street Fairness Act (H.R. 5076).”

The businesses that would be helped by Buchanan’s plan account for more than 68 million jobs.

A broad coalition of prominent business and tax reform groups have expressed their support for Buchanan's measure, including the National Association of Manufacturers, Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Retail Federation, Americans for Tax Reform, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida TaxWatch.

The Main Street Fairness Act will establish that businesses that file taxes as passthrough income, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and S corporations, will never pay a higher rate than a corporation. Under current law, corporations pay a maximum tax rate of 35 percent, while small business owners pay up to 39.6 percent under the individual income tax code on top of additional taxes on earnings and investments. These small businesses pay more than 50 percent of their income in taxes in some states; in Florida, they face an effective tax rate of 42.6 percent according to the Tax Foundation.

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SHOCK REPORT: Medicare and Social Security Face Grim Outlook

2016/06/22

Buchanan Calls for Bipartisan Action to Save Vital Programs for Seniors

WASHINGTON — Rep. Vern Buchanan, citing a new government report warning that Medicare and Social Security will run out of money within the next 20 years, said bipartisan solutions must be found to save these popular and vital programs.

The government's trustees for Medicare and Social Security presented their outlook for the programs as part of an annual review released Wednesday.

Buchanan discussed the solvency issue with the CEO of AARP in his Washington office Wednesday morning. He and Jo Ann Jenkins agreed that the sooner Congress and the president act to strengthen the programs, the better.

“Social Security and Medicare are two of the government’s most successful programs in history and need to be preserved for current and future seniors,” Buchanan said. “It will take bipartisan agreement by both parties to reach a meaningful solution.”

Medicare’s main trust fund will run dry by 2028, two years earlier than previous estimates, according to the trustee’s report. The Social Security trust fund will run dry by 2034, the same as expected last year.

With more than 217,000 individuals receiving retirement and disability payments, Florida’s 16th District is home to the second-highest number of Social Security beneficiaries in the country – and there are also nearly 220,000 Medicare recipients in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

“Every year, the fundamental programs that protect our seniors slide closer to insolvency,” Buchanan said. “Fixing these programs should be a top priority and this report shows why action is needed sooner rather than later.”

The report also outlines a projection that health care costs are going to rise at an accelerating rate of 5.4 percent annually over the next 5 years, up from a 2.4 percent annual growth rate over the five years prior.

More than 49 million Americans collected Social Security retirement benefits last year, 10.8 million received disability benefits and 55.3 million were covered under Medicare, according to press reports.

Congressman Buchanan will attend a hearing of the Social Security Subcommittee on the release of the report today at 2PM. He is a member of the subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the Social Security program.

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Bipartisan Buchanan Bill to Help Children Passes House

2016/06/22

Bill Endorsed by Children’s Defense Fund and Child Welfare League

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan’s bill to help children stay at home with their families instead of being placed in group homes or foster care has been approved by the U.S. House.

The Family First Prevention Services Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Buchanan, passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Experts have cautioned that children raised in foster care face increased risks of substance abuse, homelessness and teen pregnancy. Every year, an estimated 265,000 children – from infants to age 18 – are removed from their homes by state child welfare officials and placed in either foster care or group homes. In Florida, that figure was almost 16,000 in 2014.

“My bill makes sure that children are protected and families are not split up unnecessarily,” Buchanan said. “Our current system creates a perverse incentive to place children in foster care. Breaking up families should be a last resort.”

The bill will:

  • Fund a program to address child abuse and child neglect due to substance abuse.
  • Reduce wait times for children in fragile transition periods by helping states update antiquated child placement systems.
  • Offer help to grandparents who are asked to care for their grandchildren.
  • Provide parent training and family therapy to keep kids at home and out of the child welfare system.

The bill is co-sponsored by Ways and Means’ ranking Democrat, Sander Levin (D-Mich.), and Reps. Charles Boustany (R-La.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Robert Dold (R-Ill.), John Larson (D-Conn.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.).

U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

The bill is also supported by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, who said, “The Family First Prevention Services Act will help more children grow up in a safe home, surrounded by a stable family. I applaud Chairman Buchanan and Senators Hatch and Wyden for introducing this important legislation. I look forward to advancing this legislation so we can strengthen America's families and deliver positive outcomes for children.”
 

A number of child welfare groups have supported the bill because it:

  •  “Not only recognizes the unique needs of children and families in adversity, but also makes great strides to meet them in a way that pediatricians can stand behind: through evidence-based, prevention-focused approaches.” – American Academy of Pediatrics.
     
  • “Takes historic and long overdue steps to direct federal child welfare dollars to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families […] takes important steps to ensure children who need foster care will be placed in the least-restrictive most family-like setting appropriate to their needs, and gives special attention to children whose emotional or other special needs require residential treatment.” – Children’s Defense Fund.
     
  • “Promotes a number of policy priorities our state and local members have identified as key to improving child and family well-being … We appreciate your bipartisan, bicameral effort to address child welfare reform, and specifically, the longstanding policy priority to expand Title IV-E for prevention so that children and parents/caregivers have access to services and interventions that maintain family stability.” – American Public Human Services Association and National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.
     
  • “Expand[s] the availability of such services and reflects the reality that many families, including adoptive families, need targeted, effective services to meet their children’s needs and prevent foster care entry.” – North American Council on Adoptable Children.
     
  • “Offers the important possibility of allowing funds to provide vital mental health, substance use and in-home services that could help children stay with their own families.” – Child Welfare League of America.
     
  • “Offer[s] relatives the support they need to keep children out of foster care and help them thrive.” – Generations United.
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Buchanan Calls For Immediate Vote On Zika Funding

2016/06/20

“The Time For Inaction is Over”

 SARASOTA – Saying “the time for inaction is over,” U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan today called for swift passage of a Zika funding bill before Congress adjourns Friday for a 10-day recess.

“Today is the first day of summer, which means mosquito season is here and that means the Zika virus is here,” Buchanan said. “People's lives are at stake – the time for inaction is over.”

A joint House-Senate committee has been working on compromise legislation to resolve the funding discrepancy between the two chambers. Buchanan said Congress will have ignored one of the primary responsibilities of government – public safety – if it adjourns Friday without addressing the issue.

Florida leads the country in the number of reported Zika cases. As of Friday there were 195 cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. The CDC reported 756 travel-related cases across the country.


“We need to listen to the health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and give them the resources they need to control the devastating health impact of this disease,” Buchanan said.

Last week the CDC reported that at least three babies with birth defects likely related to the Zika virus were born in the U.S. mainland, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Buchanan was the first Republican in the U.S. House to support President Obama’s request for $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus. The emergency funding will expand education, prevention, and mosquito control programs, improve diagnostics and testing, speed the development of a vaccine and boost research into the complications of contracting the virus.


The Zika virus can cause a birth defect called microcephaly, which leaves infants with abnormally small heads and severe brain damage. The CDC is monitoring over 420 pregnant women with confirmed or suspected Zika virus infections in the United States and its territories.

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Buchanan-Backed Bill on Mental Health Advances

2016/06/17

Historic Legislation Delivers Treatment Before Tragedy Hits  

WASHINGTON — Noting that 23 million Americans live with a severe form of mental illness, Congressman Vern Buchanan today applauded a key U.S. House committee for passing landmark legislation that will reform the nation’s broken, outdated mental health system. Buchanan is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan bill authored by Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa.

The last major push for mental health reform occurred more than 50 years ago, when President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act of 1963.

“Mental illness is a disease and touches nearly all families,” said Buchanan. “Our current mental health system leaves too many Americans untreated, incarcerated or worse. This bill is a great first step in aiding those who have fallen through the cracks.”


Specifically, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act helps deliver treatment to individuals with mental illness before tragedy strikes. The legislation authorizes grants focused on suicide prevention and early intervention programs, boosting the number of psychiatrists and psychologists, and crisis intervention training for law enforcement and first-responders.

The legislation also requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue a regulation to clarify the HIPAA privacy rules, a common frustration for caregivers and family members that prohibits them from knowing critical information such as their loved ones’ medication or treatment plan.


Another critical component to the measure is closing the gap in mental health care for underserved and rural populations. This bill advances tele-psychiatry to link primary care doctors with psychiatrists in areas where patients do not have access to mental health professionals. Additionally, it authorizes the Minority Fellowship Program, which provides specialized training for mental health professionals interested in serving minority communities.

The bill drives evidence-based care and ensures federal dollars are spent effectively by creating a new assistant secretary in HHS responsible for overseeing mental health and substance abuse programs. A 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed a lack of coordination among the eight agencies and 112 federal programs tasked with supporting individuals with serious mental illness. The report also found shortcomings in the evaluation of the federal programs.

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the measure in a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 53-0. House leaders have yet to schedule a vote on the legislation, but have hinted at bringing it to the floor this fall, according to press reports.

Buchanan said Congress should immediately bring this bill to vote before August recess. “Congress can be a leading voice in bringing mental illness out of the shadows by getting this bill enacted into law.”


The bill boasts 197 co-sponsors and endorsements from nearly all of the nation’s leading advocacy groups, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the American Psychological Association, and American Psychiatric Association. 

The Congressman has been a leading advocate in urging reforms to the federal mental health system for several years. Buchanan previously co-sponsored similar legislation in the 113th Congress. In 2014 Buchanan held a mental health town hall in Sarasota, Fla. with Murphy, the sole practicing psychologist in Congress.

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Buchanan Bill to Keep Families Together Passes Key House Panel

2016/06/16

Bill Endorsed by Children’s Defense Fund and Child Welfare League

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan’s bill to help children stay at home with their families instead of being placed in group homes was approved Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Family First Prevention Services Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Buchanan earlier this week, passed the committee unanimously. Experts have cautioned that children raised in foster care face increased risks of substance abuse, homelessness and teen pregnancy. Every year, an estimated 265,000 children – from infants to age 18 – are removed from their homes by state child welfare officials and placed in either foster care or group homes. In Florida that figure is an estimated 16,000. 

“My bill makes sure that children are protected and families are not split up unnecessarily,” Buchanan said. “Our current system creates a perverse incentive to place children in foster care. Breaking up families should be a last resort.”

The bill will:

  • Fund a program to address child abuse and child neglect due to substance abuse.
  • Reduce wait times for children in fragile transition periods by helping states update antiquated child placement systems.
  • Offer help to grandparents who are asked to care for their grandchildren.
  • Provide parent training and family therapy to keep kids at home and out of the child welfare system.

The bill is co-sponsored by Ways and Means’ ranking Democrat, Sander Levin (D-Mich.), and Reps. Charles Boustany (R-La.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Mike Kelly (R-Penn.), Robert Dold (R-Ill.), John Larson (D-Conn.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.).

U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

The bill is also supported by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, who said, “The Family First Prevention Services Act will help more children grow up in a safe home, surrounded by a stable family. I applaud Chairman Buchanan and Senators Hatch and Wyden for introducing this important legislation. I look forward to advancing this legislation so we can strengthen America's families and deliver positive outcomes for children.”

A number of child welfare groups have supported the bill because it:

  • “Not only recognizes the unique needs of children and families in adversity, but also makes great strides to meet them in a way that pediatricians can stand behind: through evidence-based, prevention-focused approaches.” – American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • “Takes historic and long overdue steps to direct federal child welfare dollars to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families […] takes important steps to ensure children who need foster care will be placed in the least-restrictive most family-like setting appropriate to their needs, and gives special attention to children whose emotional or other special needs require residential treatment.” – Children’s Defense Fund.
  • “Promotes a number of policy priorities our state and local members have identified as key to improving child and family well-being … We appreciate your bipartisan, bicameral effort to address child welfare reform, and specifically, the longstanding policy priority to expand Title IV-E for prevention so that children and parents/caregivers have access to services and interventions that maintain family stability.” – American Public Human Services Association and National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.
  • “Expand[s] the availability of such services and reflects the reality that many families, including adoptive families, need targeted, effective services to meet their children’s needs and prevent foster care entry.” – North American Council on Adoptable Children.
  • “Offers the important possibility of allowing funds to provide vital mental health, substance use and in-home services that could help children stay with their own families.” – Child Welfare League of America.
     
  • “Offer[s] relatives the support they need to keep children out of foster care and help them thrive.” – Generations United.
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CDC Chief Warns FL Delegation of Looming Zika Threat

2016/06/15

“We Can’t Protect Women and Children”

WASHINGTON — The nation’s top disease fighter told the Florida congressional delegation today that his agency lacks adequate funding to deal with the Zika virus and that a vaccine “will take years to develop.” Twelve members of Congress from both parties attended the meeting, which was chaired by Rep. Vern Buchanan.


Buchanan (third from right) listens to health experts discuss Zika virus.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the Zika virus “unprecedented – never before have we seen a mosquito-borne illness linked to a devastating birth defect. It will take years to develop a vaccine.”

Frieden warned the delegation of the dire consequences of failing to quickly approve adequate funding to fight the disease. “We can’t protect women and children,” he said. “This is a much harder to kill mosquito than normal. This is the cockroach of mosquitoes. It lives indoors and outdoors, bites both day and night, and bites four or five at a time. It’s very difficult to control.”

Buchanan urged his colleagues to follow the advice of the health experts: “We must act quickly to stop the spread of Zika,” he said. “Today we heard from a variety of experts about the grave threat Floridians face. I’m confident our delegation will be instrumental in encouraging Congress to put aside partisanship and give disease-fighters the resources they need to protect women and newborns.”

Florida leads the country in the number of reported Zika cases. As of Tuesday there were 183 cases, according to the Florida Department of Health. The CDC reported 691 travel-related cases across the country.

Sarasota-based Dr. Vilma Vega, an infectious disease specialist, said the number of cases could quickly surge if no action is taken.

“No county in Florida is impervious to the Zika threat,” Vega said. “The number of cases we have seen thus far is only the beginning. This virus could spread exponentially across the state of Florida in the months ahead. We must prepare and plan for the worst.”

The Congressman was joined by Florida delegation co-chair U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., and several other members, including Reps. John Mica, Gus Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, David Jolly, Patrick Murphy, Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kathy Castor, and Gwen Graham. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was also present.

Buchanan was the first Republican in the U.S. House to support President Obama’s request for $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus. The emergency funding will expand education, prevention, and mosquito control programs, improve diagnostics and testing, speed the development of a vaccine and boost research into the complications of contracting the virus.


Buchanan (second from right) chairs the bipartisan meeting.

Congressional leaders in the House and Senate are currently negotiating an emergency funding package to contain and eradicate the deadly disease.

“We have a limited knowledge base to fight the invasion of Zika,” said Dr. Mario Stevenson, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Miami. “We need to build that knowledge base.”

Mr. T. Wayne Gayle, executive director of Lee County Mosquito and Hyacinth Control Districts, noted that mosquito control efforts vary by county, and that not all can “respond equally to a mosquito-borne disease threat because of differing capabilities and funding levels.”

Congressman Buchanan concluded the meeting by expressing his encouragement that members have started to cross the aisle to help find a compromise. 

“We need to outpace the virus,” Buchanan said. “It’s no longer a question of whether people will be infected, but when and how many.”

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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


Buchanan Questions Treasury Secretary on Obama Economic Plan

2015-02-03 16:57:28


Buchanan Hosts Sarastota Town Hall on Jobs and the Economy

2015-01-26 20:19:21


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

Jeff Miller

FLORIDA's 1st DISTRICT

Ted Yoho

FLORIDA's 3rd DISTRICT

Ander Crenshaw

FLORIDA's 4th DISTRICT

Ron DeSantis

FLORIDA's 6th DISTRICT

John Mica

FLORIDA's 7th DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Daniel Webster

FLORIDA's 10th DISTRICT

Rich Nugent

FLORIDA's 11th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

David Jolly

FLORIDA's 13th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Tom Rooney

FLORIDA's 17th DISTRICT

Curt Clawson

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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