Vern Buchanan

Vern Buchanan


Rep. Buchanan Blasts FCC Takeover of Internet


WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL), a senior Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, made the following statement after the FCC’s vote today to allow unprecedented government regulation of the Internet. "Today's vote represents a dangerous and reckless disregard for free market principles.” said Buchanan.  "The last thing we need is a new government regulation that hinders the online freedoms enjoyed by millions of Americans." The FCC voted in a 3-2 decision to approve a 332-page plan authored by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to reclassify Internet service as a public utility similar to telephone service subjecting it to new government regulations.  Critics say the ruling could lead to slower service, less investment and more taxation. Buchanan noted that the FCC’s own mission statement on its website says the Commission is tasked with “promoting competition, innovation and investment in broadband services and facilities” FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who voted against the proposal, said in a recent interview “this is a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist.” Earlier this week, Buchanan urged leaders in the House and Senate from both parties to work together and hold immediate hearings with the goal of passing legislation that overturns the FCC's dangerous and reckless plan. BACKGROUND: Rep. Buchanan’s letter to FCC Chairman Wheeler earlier this month calling for him to withdraw the plan can be read HERE Rep. Buchanan’s statement calling for immediate Congressional intervention to stop the Wheeler plan can be read HERE #### Read More

Buchanan Committed to Preserving Disability Benefits


WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Congress needs to take action to preserve disability benefits for millions of Americans. Buchanan is a member of the Social Security Subcommittee, which held a hearing today on the impending insolvency of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): “I am committed to ensuring the financial stability of the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund,” Buchanan.  “For nearly 20,000 of my constituents in Southwest Florida, SSDI is an essential lifeline that helps pay for food and housing. I commend Chairman Johnson for holding this important hearing and for his leadership on this issue.”    Read More

Buchanan Meets with World Leaders in Asia


America’s Growth Depends on Access to Foreign Markets Buchanan Meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL), a senior member of the Trade Subcommittee, met with world leaders in Asia last week to help open American markets  in the Pacific region.  Buchanan visited with the prime ministers of  Japan, Singapore and Malaysia to discuss the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade deal between the U.S, Japan and 10 other countries that account for 40 percent of global economic output. "Increasing America’s access to foreign markets is critical to growing the U.S economy and creating jobs," Buchanan said, noting that trade is of enormous importance to Florida, the third largest state.  "After meeting with our regional allies in Asia, I am more committed than ever to reaching a fair agreement that is good for Florida and restores America's rightful standing as the world's global leader." The bipartisan trade mission was led by Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan and included meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and the President of Singapore, Tony Tan.   A U.S.-Japan agreement is viewed as critical to the success of TPP.  Currently, both countries are at an impasse over Japan’s refusal to open up access to its agricultural markets, specifically pork, beef, rice, diary, and sugar.  After meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Buchanan expressed optimism that the terms of a final agreement could be reached in the coming months. Members of the trade mission were also briefed by U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy on a range of regional and bilateral issues. A recent poll by the Business Roundtable revealed the vast majority – more than 80 percent of Americans – support the U.S. negotiating trade agreements to expand market access for goods and services around the globe.  Earlier this month, Buchanan urged President Obama to rally members of his own party to support Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation.  "Bipartisan trade agreements could serve as an excellent example of what Washington can accomplish when both parties come together to help create jobs and increase America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace," Buchanan said. Buchanan is the only Florida member to serve on the Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over international trade policy. ### Read More

Buchanan: Congress Must Act to Protect Internet Freedom


“The Internet is Working Fine — If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It" WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today said Congress should take immediate action to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s imminent plan to regulate the Internet.  The FCC is expected to approve new regulations Thursday that would classify the Internet as a public utility similar to telephone companies, subjecting it to unprecedented government control. Buchanan urged leaders in the House and Senate from both parties to work together and hold immediate hearings with the goal of passing legislation that overturns the FCC's dangerous and reckless plan. "The Internet is working fine,” Buchanan said. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  The FCC proposal, cynically dubbed ‘network neutrality’ in classic Orwellian double-speak, was authored by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.   “As the FCC prepares to assert absolute government control of the Internet, Congress should do everything possible to stop this outrageous power grab.” Buchanan said. “The last thing we need are unelected bureaucrats destroying the concept of a free and fair Internet.” The Commission is expected to approve the plan by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting. Two commissioners who oppose the plan, the FCC's Ajit Pai and the FEC's Lee Goodman,  wrote in a joint op-ed yesterday that a free Internet has served the American people well. “Internet freedom works. It is difficult to imagine where we would be today had the government micromanaged the Internet for the past two decades as it does Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service. Neither of us wants to find out where the Internet will be two decades from now if the federal government tightens its regulatory grip. We don’t need to shift control of the Internet to bureaucracies in Washington. Let’s leave the power where it belongs — with the American people.” Earlier this month, Buchanan sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and President Obama urging the FCC to abandon this dangerous and misguided proposal.   Read More

Buchanan Co-Sponsors Bill to End Animal Torture


WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today announced today he has co-sponsored legislation to stop the torture of animals at research facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The bill follows a shocking New York Times report which revealed that a government facility in Nebraska is conducting horrific experiments on farm animals designed to boost meat production.   More than 6,500 sheep, pigs and other animals have died at this taxpayer-funded research center over the last 30 years, according to the report.  Such abuses, which included locking pigs in steam chambers until they died, were made possible by a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act of 1966.  The AWARE Act, H.R. 746, would close the loophole that excludes farm animals such as cows, sheep and pigs from existing animal cruelty protections. “Torturing animals is abhorrent and must not be allowed to continue because of a legal technicality.” Buchanan said. “This sickening enterprise must end.” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, and Matthew Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, have both publicly expressed support for the bill sponsored by Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer.  Buchanan was honored last month by the U.S. Humane Society for his record in Congress on behalf of animal welfare issues. You can read the NY Times article that exposed this grisly enterprise HERE.  Read More

Buchanan Lauds Passage of Bill to Promote Charitable Giving


WASHINGTON -- Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL), a senior Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, made the following statement about House passage of H.R. 644, the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act, a bill that makes permanent several tax provisions that encourage charitable giving: “Government should be doing all it can to encourage charitable giving, not discourage it,” Buchanan said. “This common-sense legislation will help bring clarity and predictability to the tax code so it is easier and less costly for Americans to give to those in need. I call upon the Senate to pass this bipartisan bill and for President Obama to sign it into law.”   The bill allows individuals to make tax-free charitable contributions directly from an IRA, makes it less costly for businesses to donate food, provides tax incentives for the donation of conservation easements, and simplifies certain tax rules for tax-exempt private foundations. Megarie van Sickel, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southwest Florida, said: “Thanks to the generosity of the American public, the Red Cross is able to support individuals and families after home fires and other disasters.” She noted that making the IRA provision permanent “will help our donors in Florida and across the nation plan their charitable giving throughout the year.” Sue Stewart, CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, also praised House passage of the bill saying “Donors are so very generous. And, when they make a significant and meaningful gift, it is most effective when the charity and the donor benefit without additional burden!” Read More

Buchanan tells FCC Chairman to Withdraw Plan to Regulate the Internet


WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, today urged the Federal Communications Commission to abandon its plan to regulate the Internet. In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Buchanan said the Internet should remain free of government control or regulation. Wheeler this week unveiled a 332-page proposal to regulate the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 — subjecting virtually all web operations to bureaucratic control. Wheeler intends to bring his proposal to a vote before the five-member Commission in the near future. This proposal is commonly referred to as "net neutrality," an idea supported by President Obama. Buchanan stressed that at a time when many Americans feel their freedoms are being threatened by government overreach, the last thing we need is a new government regulation that hinders access to a free and open Internet.  Buchanan also sent his letter to President Obama.   The text of the letter is below:   February 13, 2015   The Honorable Tom Wheeler Chairman  Federal Communications Commission 445 12th Street, SW Washington, DC 20554   Dear Chairman Wheeler, I strongly oppose your plan to regulate the Internet and urge you to withdraw this misguided and dangerous proposal. We do not need another layer of government regulation that threatens online freedoms enjoyed by Americans across the country. The Internet is a powerful resource used daily by millions of Americans to conduct business, access education, communicate with family and friends, and more.  Its rapid proliferation is the result of American innovation, free of government intrusion. Government regulation of the internet is all too common in countries like China, Iran and North Korea. That is not a model for America. Unfortunately, the FCC's plan to classify the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 moves us in that direction by subjecting virtually all web operationsto the heavy hand of bureaucrats.  Relying on laws drafted in the early 20th century and rejecting 20 years of innovation sets America down a very slippery slope.   Adding insult to injury, the Progressive Policy Institute estimates that treating the Internet like a phone service would trigger new taxes and fees up to $15 billion a year.  It is no wonder FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said your 332-page proposal "mimics ObamaCare" both in substance and process. As a Member of Congress, I have a responsibility to provide oversight of the FCC and ensure that its actions do not harm the very people it is supposed to serve.   America has always been a beacon of freedom, and we must continue to lead as a model for other nations in this digital age.  At a time when many Americans feel their freedoms are being threatened by government overreach, the last thing we need is a new government regulation that hinders access to a free and open Internet.   I urge you to abandon this dangerous proposal. Sincerely, /s/ Vern Buchanan Member of Congress CC: President Barack Obama, The White House, Washington D.C. 20500   Read More

Buchanan, Blumenauer Peddle Benefits of Cycling


Reps. Buchanan and Blumenauer co-chair Congressional Bike Caucus New Bike Caucus Co-Chairs for 114th Congress “Bike-Partisan” Group Has Over 100 House Members  WASHINGTON - Congressmen Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the new co-chairs of the Congressional Bike Caucus, announced today they will focus on safety, promoting the health benefits of biking and fostering the growth of bike trails across the country.  Buchanan, who rides 70 miles a week, replaces retired Congressman Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI). Blumenauer, also an avid biker, continues as the Democratic co-chair. The Caucus takes pride in being “affirmatively ‘bike-partisan’” and had over 100 Members, from both sides of the aisle, in the 113th Congress. “I am excited to join my friend and colleague, Congressman Blumenauer, in leading the Congressional Bike Caucus.” Buchanan said. “Bicycling is good for the economy, the environment and peoples' health.  Blumenauer said, “When I came to Congress in 1996, biking made it easy to bond with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.  The Bike Caucus is a way to leverage that bipartisanship to advance a national movement that is making America safer, healthier, and more economically secure.  I’m very excited to work with my friend Vern, and I am encouraged by the jolt of new energy he brings to this important effort.”    According to the Outdoor Industry Association, bicycling is a growing force in every state and a $10.5 billion industry, supporting three quarters of a million jobs. Patrick Lui, the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator for Sarasota County, FL, said “Sarasota County recognizes the importance of our intergovernmental coordination, partnerships and engagement of our community to advance the quality of biking and other multi modal opportunities. We are excited for the opportunities that the Caucus will bring on both a national and local level.” The launch of the Caucus comes as the Sunshine State gets ready for Florida Bicycle Month in March Buchanan noted that while pedestrian fatalities in Florida are at 20-year-low, the state currently has the fifth worst pedestrian safety record in the nation with over 500 fatalities per year. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune recently editorialized on the importance of promoting pedestrian and cyclist safety.  Read More

Buchanan Hails NEW Funding to Combat Citrus Greening


USDA announces $30 million to fight deadly disease WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, Co-Chair of the Congressional Citrus Caucus, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an additional $30 million to combat citrus greening, the deadly bacterial disease crippling one of Florida's most iconic industries. "Finding a cure for citrus greening is essential to maintaining a strong economy and protecting jobs right here in Southwest Florida,” said Buchanan, noting that greening has already spread to all 32 citrus-growing counties across the state.  “These funds represent a crucial step forward in our fight to eliminate this pervasive disease." Buchanan helped lead efforts last year to secure an unprecedented $125 million to combat citrus greening as part of the five-year farm bill (H.R. 2642) that President Obama later signed into law. The legislation also authorizes the disbursement of up to $125 million over five years to combat this disease. According to the most recent report from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, citrus greening has had a devastating impact on Florida’s economy over the past eight seasons resulting in:   ·         a loss of $7.8 billion in industry output or an average $975 million loss per year. ·         a loss of 7,513 jobs (full-time and part-time). According to Florida Citrus Mutual:    The total impact of citrus to Florida’s economy is approximately $9 billion a year.    The citrus industry, directly and indirectly, generates roughly 76,000 full time and part time jobs. ​[[{"fid":"295","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Florida Department of Agriculture Graphic ","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Florida Department of Agriculture Graphic"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Florida Department of Agriculture Graphic ","title":"Florida Department of Agriculture Graphic","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Read More

Buchanan Urges President Obama to Clarify ISIS Strategy


Islamic Extremism Poses Growing Threat to America “Confusion”….. Says Former Defense Intelligence Agency Director WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today called for President Obama to lay out a clear and comprehensive strategy to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), the terrorist group responsible for the mass slaughter of innocents across the globe. Buchanan's statement comes just days before the President is expected to ask Congress to formally approve an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS. “Now is the time for the President to articulate an overarching strategy to defeat ISIS and explain how he intends to build a greater international effort that does not rely on American combat troops,” Buchanan said. “The leadership vacuum in the White House must be replaced by a clear and coherent vision." According to reports, ISIS has almost doubled the land it controls in Syria since the US-led coalition began airstrikes against the extremist group in the summer.  Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, warned of the group's evolution in North Africa.  "With affiliates in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, the group is beginning to assemble a growing international footprint that includes ungoverned and under governed areas,” Stewart testified before the House Armed Services Committee. Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA under President Obama, made it clear on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the Islamic State presents a growing threat to America.  "Does ISIS pose a threat to the United States — absolutely." The White House displayed alarming disregard for that threat when National Security Advisor Susan Rice said last week,  “Too often, what’s missing here in Washington is a sense of perspective." Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, used one word to describe the administration's strategy: "confusion." "I feel like when we say ‘ready, break,’ every player on the team is going off into other stadiums, playing different sports,” Flynn said on Fox News Sunday. Veteran journalist Bob Woodward echoed Flynn's sentiments, saying "there is no strategy.  They have not sat down and said this is where we want to go and this is how we want to do it.  People from the White House are micromanaging the tactical situation on a daily and weekly basis. That’s not their job."  A just-released U.N. report detailing acts of ISIS brutality described "several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive." Buchanan stressed that the only way to defeat ISIS is through an international effort that relies on Middle Eastern nations providing the ground forces necessary to defeat ISIS.  "That coalition should include other Arab nations that have much to lose if ISIS continues its murderous rampage in pursuit of an Islamic Caliphate," Buchanan said. [[{"fid":"293","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"WSJ Graphic: ISIS Rising Threat ","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"WSJ Graphic: ISIS Rising Threat"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"WSJ Graphic: ISIS Rising Threat ","title":"WSJ Graphic: ISIS Rising Threat","style":"text-align: -webkit-center;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Read More

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Contact Information

2104 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5015
Fax 202-226-0828

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


Ted Yoho


Ander Crenshaw


Ron DeSantis


John Mica


Bill Posey


Daniel Webster


Rich Nugent


Gus Bilirakis


David Jolly


Dennis Ross


Tom Rooney


Curt Clawson


Mario Diaz-Balart


Carlos Curbelo


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen


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