Vern Buchanan

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Buchanan Applauds Plan to Screen Social Media of Immigrants

2017/10/16

Congressman Authored Screening Bill in 2015 

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan, who sponsored legislation to screen social media accounts of all foreigners entering the United States, today commended a new administration policy matching his bill.

The Department of Homeland Security announced it will begin collecting social media data of all immigrants entering the United States this week (Oct. 18), mirroring legislation introduced by Buchanan in the last two sessions of Congress.

“Checking social media is standard practice for thousands of employers.” Buchanan said. “We need to make sure the individuals entering the U.S. are not here to harm Americans.”

Buchanan’s Social Media Screening for Terrorists Act, which he introduced in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings, directed 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.

Buchanan said that although his bill did not pass Congress, he was pleased to see the policy implemented by the Trump administration.

“Radical Islamic jihadists use the Internet and social media sites to communicate, fundraise, and recruit,” Buchanan said. “It’s time to fight fire with fire. To win on the digital battlefield, mandatory social media screening is required.”

Buchanan praised the administration’s decision, noting that “online radicalization is an acute threat to the United States.” 

The congressman pointed to Ahmad Khan Rahami, currently on trial for a series of bombings across New York and New Jersey last year, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011. At the time of Rahami’s naturalization, U.S. authorities did not check his social media accounts, but if they had, “they would have found multiple links to radical jihadi videos,” intelligence officials told NBC News.

Screening the social media accounts of visa applicants has received bipartisan support. In a 2015 letter, a number of congressional Democrats urged DHS to begin collecting social media data from visa applicants. “We believe these checks, focused on possible connections to terrorist activity, should be incorporated into DHS.’s vetting process for visa determinations, and that this policy should be implemented as soon as possible,” the group said in the letter.

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Buchanan Says Largest Social Security Bump in 6 Years “Long Overdue”

2017/10/13

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan, a senior member of the Social Security Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to today's announcement that seniors will receive a 2 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in their monthly benefit next year:

“The last six years have been very difficult for seniors who who live on fixed incomes,” Buchanan said, calling the increase “long overdue. Last year’s COLA was 0.3 percent and the year before it was 0 percent.”

Today's announcement that Social Security recipients will receive a 2 percent COLA in their 2018 benefits represents the largest increase since 2012. 

“Roughly half of all seniors rely on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their income,” Buchanan said. “Since first being elected to Congress, protecting Social Security has been one of my highest priorities. We must never lose sight that seniors have worked their entire lives so they can retire with the dignity and benefits they have earned.”

The Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security has jurisdiction over Social Security retirement, survivors and disability programs and oversees the operations of the Social Security Administration.

See the Social Security Administration’s announcement below:

Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits) The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

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Buchanan: Vets ID Cards Ready NEXT Month

2017/10/12

WASHINGTON – Veterans will be able to go online and order their new identification cards next month, Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today. Buchanan, whose Veterans Identification Card Act (H.R. 91) was signed into law in 2015, said official ID cards will be available to all veterans free of charge by visiting the Department of Veterans Affairs website (www.VA.gov).

“Every veteran – past, present, and future – will now be able to prove their military service without the added risk of identity theft,” Buchanan said, noting that millions of veterans are currently unable to document their service without carrying around official military records. 

“These ID cards will make life a little bit easier for our veterans and serve as a constant reminder that our brave men and women in uniform deserve all the care and respect a grateful nation can offer.”

When ordering online, veterans will need to upload a copy of a valid government issued ID (drivers license/passport), a copy of a recent photograph to be displayed on the card, and will need to provide service-related details. Once ordered, the Veteran ID Card will be printed and mailed directly to the veteran.  

Prior to Buchanan’s bill, the VA provided identification cards only to those who served at least 20 years in the Armed Forces or received care from the VA for a service-connected disability. Veterans who did not meet these qualifications had to carry around a paper DD-214 document to prove their military status. This form contains sensitive personal information including social security numbers and service details that put veterans at needless risk for identity theft if they lost or misplaced their documents.  

The new identification card will also provide employers looking to hire veterans with an easier way to verify an employee's military service.

Buchanan represents more than 88,000 veterans in Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough Counties. He served six years in the Michigan Air National Guard and four years on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

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Gov. Scott Meets with Fla. Congressional Delegation

2017/10/11

WASHINGTON – Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the bipartisan congressional delegation met today and discussed the need to maximize federal resources to help the state recover in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The meeting hosted by Reps. Vern Buchanan and Alcee Hastings, co-chairs of the 29-member delegation, focused on Florida's citrus industry which accounted for more than $760 million in agricultural losses.

“We need federal assistance to help our citrus industry,” Gov. Scott said. “They've lost pretty much their whole crop.”

Buchanan highlighted legislation he introduced in the U.S. House to help citrus growers rebuild by making it less costly for farmers to replace damaged trees. The measure (H.R. 112), which is co-sponsored by every member of the Florida congressional delegation in both the House and Senate, is expected to be considered on the House floor later this month.

“Hurricane Irma upended communities and devastated the livelihoods of so many across our great state,” Buchanan said. “We cannot act quickly enough to provide the relief they need to rebuild and recover.”

The meeting included 23 members of the 27-member Florida House delegation and was also attended by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

The U.S. House will consider a disaster aid bill later this week which provides $36.5 billion in emergency funding for hurricane relief efforts. The measure includes $16 billion to replenish the nation's flood insurance program.

List of attendees: U.S. Reps. Hastings, Curbelo, Demings, Francis Rooney, Tom Rooney, Crist, Gaetz, Wilson, Lawson, Ross, Wasserman-Schultz, Dunn, Yoho, Posey, Frankel, Murphy, Mast, Diaz-Balart, Rutherford, Ros-Lehtinen, Bilirakis and Soto.

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TOMORROW: Gov. Scott to Meet with Fla. Congressional Delegation

2017/10/10

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan and Alcee Hastings, co-chairs of the Florida congressional delegation, today announced that Gov. Rick Scott will be in Washington tomorrow to update the bipartisan delegation on hurricane response efforts.  

“We look forward to receiving an update from the governor on the current state of play and what more needs to be done to help Floridians recover,” Buchanan and Hastings said in a joint statement. 

The meeting will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in room 2020 of the Rayburn House Office Building. It will be open to the press.

WHO:

•    Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla.

•    U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., co-chair of the Florida delegation.

•    U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., co-chair of the Florida delegation.

•    Republican and Democrat Members of the Florida delegation.

WHAT: Gov. Scott to Meet with Florida Congressional Delegation on Hurricane Response Efforts.



WHEN: 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017.



WHERE: 2020 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.

 

 

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Buchanan Statement in Support of Disaster Aid

2017/10/06

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today issued the following statement in support of the administration's request for emergency disaster relief funding to help the victims of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

“Floridians are hurting and this funding will help them get back on their feet,” Buchanan said. “I support bringing a relief package to the House floor as quickly as possible.”

The White House's request includes nearly $13 billion for disaster recovery and $15 billion to shore up the government-backed flood insurance program. 

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is on the verge of running out of money as it faces a high number of claims from storm victims. Without congressional action, the NFIP is expected to run out of cash the week of October 23. As of January, there were approximately 1.8 million flood insurance policyholders in Florida – accounting for nearly 40 percent of the nationwide total.

Buchanan is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and serves as the co-chair of the bipartisan Florida congressional delegation.

 

 

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Buchanan Honors Exceptional Fire and Rescue/EMS Personnel

2017/10/02

BRADENTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan has announced the winners of the 16th Congressional District Fire and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Awards. Buchanan established the awards to give special recognition to fire and rescue and EMS personnel who have provided distinguished service to his constituents. 

“We owe so much to our police, firefighters and EMS,” Buchanan said. “Our community is made safer and more prosperous because we have first responders watching our backs. When called upon, they often arrive at scenes of danger and trauma, to which they reliably bring strength and composure. These brave men and women spend hundreds of hours in training so that they are prepared when they get ‘the call.’ These stellar individuals exemplify what it means to serve a community.” 

Buchanan presented awards to the following winners, who were selected this year by an independent committee comprised of a cross section of current and retired fire and rescue personnel living in the district.

Manatee County Department of Public Safety’s Community Paramedicine Program: Unit Citation Award.

Training Officer Christopher Stark of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue: Dedication and Professionalism Award.

Chief Dennis Jones of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue: Career Service Award.

Division Chief-Fire Marshal Tammy Zurla of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue: Dedication and Professionalism Award.

The awards ceremony was held Friday evening in the Bradenton City Council Chambers.

 

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House Passes Hurricane Aid Package

2017/09/28

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan said legislation passed today by the U.S. House will provide much-needed assistance for Floridians and other storm-struck Americans.

“Immediate tax relief is crucial to help Florida residents rebuild and recover,” Buchanan said. “Passage of today's bill is a positive first step on what remains a long road ahead.”

The measure would provide hurricane victims with relief by allowing tax-free access to retirement funds, suspending limits on charitable giving to qualified hurricane relief charities and allowing more personal casualty losses to qualify for a tax deduction.

The Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Buchanan’s legislation to help citrus growers recover from crippling losses from Irma and citrus greening will be included in a hurricane relief package to be considered by Congress in October.

Buchanan also co-chaired a meeting Thursday morning of the bipartisan Florida delegation on hurricane cleanup efforts.

See background on the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act from the House Ways and Means Committee:

The bill makes the following changes:

Deduction for Personal Casualty Losses:

-          With respect to uncompensated losses arising in the disaster area, eliminates the current law requirements that personal casualty losses must exceed 10 percent of Adjusted Gross Income to qualify for deduction.

-          Eliminates the current law requirement that taxpayers must itemize deductions to access this tax relief.

Penalty-Free Access to Retirement Funds:

-          Provides an exception to the 10 percent early retirement plan withdrawal penalty for qualified hurricane relief distributions.

-          Allows for the re-contribution of retirement plan withdrawals for home purchases cancelled due to eligible disasters.

-          Provides flexibility for loans from retirement plans for qualified hurricane relief.

Encouraging Charitable Giving:

-          Temporarily suspends limitations on the deduction for charitable contributions associated with qualified hurricane relief made before December 31, 2017.

Disaster-Related Employment Relief:

-          Provides a tax credit for 40 percent of wages (up to $6,000 per employee) paid by a disaster-affected employer to an employee from a core disaster area.

Special Rule for Determining 2017 Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit:

-          For 2017, allows taxpayers to refer to earned income from the immediately preceding year for purposes of determining the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

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Buchanan Citrus Aid Bill to be in Next Hurricane Relief Package

2017/09/27

Hurricane Wiped Out 70% of State’s Orange Crop

WASHINGTON – A key House leader said Rep. Vern Buchanan’s legislation to help citrus growers recover from crippling losses will be included in a hurricane relief package to be considered by Congress in October, Buchanan announced today.

Buchanan said Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, assured him the Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act (H.R. 112) would be part of an aid package next month. “The chairman is very aware of the crisis facing orange growers in Florida, Texas, California and other states,” Buchanan said. “I’m pleased at his dedication and commitment to help the thousands of farmers who are struggling with crops destroyed by the hurricanes.”

Buchanan’s bipartisan measure is co-sponsored by every member of Florida's 29-member congressional delegation in both the U.S. House and Senate. 

“Florida farmers are hurting and they need our help,” said Buchanan. “This bill will go a long way toward protecting the livelihoods of so many who have seen their world turned upside down by Irma.”

Congress already has passed one $15 billion hurricane aid bill and is expected to pass another tomorrow helping families and individuals recover through temporary tax relief. Buchanan’s measure will be added to a third aid bill next month.

Buchanan’s citrus bill would make it less costly for growers to replace trees damaged by Hurricane Irma or citrus greening. The bill provides tax incentives for farmers who cannot afford to replace damaged trees.

Under current law, growers are allowed an immediate deduction for the cost of replanting trees, but the farmer must bear the full cost. Buchanan’s proposal would allow struggling farmers to use this deduction even if they bring in investors to raise capital for replanting costs, as long as the grower continues to own a major stake in the grove.

The bill has been endorsed by the Bradenton Heraldthe Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Lakeland LedgerSun Newspapers, the Panama City News Herald and the Ocala Star-Ledger. The Ledger called Buchanan's legislation a “must pass” while the Bradenton Herald said it was a “no-brainer.”

Experts estimate a 50 to 70 percent crop loss in Florida from Hurricane Irma. Citrus growers are experiencing up to 90 percent losses in some places.

Buchanan is a senior member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax legislation. He is also co-chairman of the bipartisan Florida congressional delegation.

 

 

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Buchanan’s Citrus Aid Bill a “Must Pass” After Irma

2017/09/25

FL’s 29-Member Congressional Delegation Backs Bill 

WASHINGTON – After Hurricane Irma wiped out as much as 70 percent of Florida's orange crop, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan today called for immediate action in Congress to help struggling citrus farmers recover. 

“Florida farmers are facing an emergency,” Buchanan said. “Between Irma and the devastating citrus greening disease, we can't wait any longer to provide citrus growers with the relief they need.”

Prior to Hurricane Irma, the Florida citrus industry had already experienced a 75 percent drop in production due to citrus greening, an incurable bacterial disease that has infected nearly all of Florida’s commercial citrus groves.

According to Michael Sparks, executive director of Florida Citrus Mutual, Hurricane Irma had a catastrophic effect on Florida citrus. Sparks estimated that nearly every grove in the state has been damaged to some degree by the storm.

Buchanan’s Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act would make it less costly for growers to replace trees damaged by Hurricane Irma or citrus greening. The bill provides tax incentives for farmers who cannot afford to replace damaged trees.

Under current law, growers are allowed an immediate deduction for the cost of replanting trees, but the farmer must bear the full cost. Buchanan’s proposal would allow struggling farmers to use this deduction even if they bring in investors to raise capital for replanting costs, as long as the grower continues to own a major stake in the grove.

“This bill will go a long way toward protecting the livelihoods of the 62,000 hardworking Floridians in our signature citrus industry,” Buchanan said.

Every member of Florida’s 29-member congressional delegation in both the U.S. House and Senate has co-sponsored Buchanan’s legislation, which passed the House by a 400-20 vote in 2016 but did not pass the Senate before Congress adjourned. 

The bill has been endorsed by the Bradenton Heraldthe Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Lakeland LedgerSun Newspapers, the Panama City News Herald and the Ocala Star-Ledger. The Ledger called Buchanan's legislation a “must pass” while the Bradenton Herald said it was a “no-brainer.”

Experts estimate a 50 to 70 percent crop loss in south Florida from Hurricane Irma. Florida growers are seeing up to 90 percent losses in some places.

Shannon Stepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, said “before Hurricane Irma, there was a good chance we would have more than 75 million boxes of oranges on the trees this season; we now have much less.”

Buchanan is a senior member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax legislation.

 

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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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