Vern Buchanan

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

FINALLY...Congress OK’s $1.1 Billion for Zika

2016/09/29

WASHINGTON — Ending months of “disgraceful” inaction, Congress finally approved $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus, providing much-needed help to Florida and other states, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan said today.

“It's disgraceful that Congress took so long responding to this deadly health crisis,” Buchanan said. “This was a case of Washington dysfunction at its worst.”

Nonetheless, Buchanan said he was pleased the money will finally be available to confront the spread of the virus and find a vaccine.

The money is part of a government funding bill that now goes to the president’s desk.

With Buchanan’s strong support, the U.S. House passed the bill in a 342-85 vote. Earlier on Wednesday, the Senate passed the legislation in a 72-26 vote.

“It shouldn’t have taken this long, but I’m thankful Congress finally took action to stop Zika,” Buchanan said. “This funding will go a long way towards protecting vulnerable pregnant women and their newborns.”

Under the legislation, $933 million will go to the Department of Health and Human Services, including $394 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for mosquito control and surveillance. Also included is $397 million for the National Institutes of Health for vaccine and diagnostic development.

“Florida has been fighting Zika for months, and the number of infections continues to rise,” Buchanan said. “Federal action is needed to increase mosquito control efforts and speed the development of a vaccine. I’m hopeful the president will sign this bill quickly so Florida communities can start using these resources as soon as possible.”

Buchanan’s home state of Florida is ground zero for the Zika virus, and the sole state in the nation to have confirmed mosquito-to-human transmission of the disease. In all, 921 people have contracted the disease across the state, including 92 pregnant women.

As of Sept. 21, there were 3,358 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. Nationwide, 749 pregnant women are infected with Zika, according to the CDC.

Earlier this month, top government health officials warned Congress that money to combat Zika will run out by the end of September. “The cupboard is bare,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said. “Basically, we are out of money and we need Congress to act.”

And last week Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Washington Post the federal government was forced to take money from cancer research to pay for the development of a Zika vaccine.

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Buchanan Statement on the Passing of Shimon Peres

2016/09/28

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan released the following statement on the passing of former Israeli President Shimon Peres: 

“I had the honor of meeting Shimon Peres in Israel in 2007 and was impressed by his inspirational leadership. Peres’ relentless work to bring peace to the Middle East made him an admired figure across the world and earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. Today, the United States mourns the loss of the last of Israel’s founding leaders.”

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Buchanan Votes to Override Obama Veto of 9/11 Families Bill

2016/09/28

“Victims of Terrorism Deserve Justice, And Nothing Less”

WASHINGTON — With U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s strong support, Congress today voted overwhelmingly to override President Obama’s veto of legislation that allows American victims of terrorism to sue foreign countries involved in the attacks.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which Buchanan has co-sponsored and championed, was upheld following a 97-1 vote in the Senate and a 348-77 vote by the House. This marks the first veto override since President Obama took office.

“Congress sent a clear message today: victims of terrorism deserve justice, and nothing less,” Buchanan said. “As a strong advocate and supporter of this bill, I’m happy that these families will now be able to have their day in court.”


The bill ensures that American victims of terrorism, including the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11, can pursue civil claims against terrorists and those who aided and abetted them. Currently, victims of terrorism can only sue countries officially designated by the State Department as sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and Syria, but not Saudi Arabia.

Contrary to arguments made by the Obama administration, the legislation does not provide justification for foreign lawsuits against the United States and does not open the door to lawsuits against military officials or any other individuals, according to a former general counsel of the National Security Council.

“Make no mistake: if Americans are harmed, justice will be served,” Buchanan said. “After fifteen years of road blocks and unanswered questions, this bill gives the families of 9/11 victims a legal path to holding the terrorists accountable.”

Buchanan noted that this legislation restores a long-established principle of American law that foreign governments are not immune from their role in aiding acts of terrorism.


Critics have long suspected that Saudi Arabia’s government may have either directly or indirectly supported the deadly terrorist attacks. And while the kingdom has admitted that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, the country has not been formally implicated in the attacks to date.

Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell off American assets in retaliation if the legislation passes.

Florida’s 16th Congressional District has a tragic connection to the 9/11 attacks. President George W. Bush was reading to children in a Sarasota elementary school when he learned that a second airliner had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City. In addition, two 9/11 hijackers – Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi – took flight lessons in Venice, Florida beginning in the summer of 2000.


Buchanan has long pushed for justice for the victims of 9/11. He also co-sponsored the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act in the 113th Congress and has previously written to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., in support of the bill.

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Buchanan Praises $1.1 Billion Zika Agreement

2016/09/27

Florida Leads Nation in Zika Cases

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., today praised an agreement to include $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus in a must-pass government funding bill expected to be approved by Congress this week.

“Florida urgently needs additional money to help fight Zika and protect our citizens,” Buchanan said. “Funding should have been approved months ago but Washington was too busy engaged in ugly politics at the expense of public health.”

Under the agreement, $933 million will go to the Department of Health and Human Services, including $394 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for mosquito control and surveillance. Also included is $397 million for the National Institutes of Health for vaccine and diagnostic development.

“Our nation’s disease-fighters need this money to contain the virus and develop a vaccine,” Buchanan said.


While the final details of the funding bill are still being negotiated, there is a consensus on Zika funding provisions according to congressional leaders.

As of Sept. 21, there were 3,358 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. Nationwide, 749 pregnant women are infected with Zika, according to the CDC.

Buchanan’s home state of Florida is ground zero for the Zika virus, and the sole state in the nation to have confirmed mosquito-to-human transmission of the disease. In all, 894 people have contracted the disease across the state, including 90 pregnant women.


Earlier this month, top government health officials warned Congress that money to combat Zika will run out by the end of September. “The cupboard is bare,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said. “Basically, we are out of money and we need Congress to act.”

And last week Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Washington Post the federal government was forced to take money from cancer research to pay for the development of a Zika vaccine.
 

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Evidence Mounts on Need for Buchanan Plan to Screen Terrorists’ Social Media

2016/09/26

“It’s Right There In Front of Us and We Missed It”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan today called on Congress to swiftly pass his bill mandating the screening of foreigners’ social media following a report that U.S. officials did not check Ahmad Rahami’s social media accounts, which included links to radical jihadist videos.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the terror suspect in a series of blasts across New York and New Jersey last weekend, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011, according to an NBC News report. At the time, 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.

The explosion in New York City left 31 people injured.

“Terrorists are using the digital battlefield to their advantage, and we’re one step behind,” Buchanan said. “Rahami’s activity on these social media sites could have alerted authorities five years ago. The government cannot afford to overlook any foreigners’ social media as ISIS hopes to carry out more violence across the U.S.”

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.

The Congressman’s bill has the support of the chairmen of the House Homeland Security and Intelligence committees.

Rahami, Afghan-born, is said to have traveled to Syria in 2013 or 2014, in addition to visiting high-risk terror areas like Quetta, Pakistan. Not only did Rahami’s social media accounts include material produced by terror groups, but a journal found on Rahami includes writing praising Anwar al-Awlaki, a former top al-Qaeda leader, and referencing ISIS, the Boston Marathon bombings, the Fort Hood shooting and “Brother Osama Bin Laden,” according to press reports.

“It’s right there in front of us and we missed it,” Buchanan said. “Checking social media is standard practice for thousands of employers. We need to make sure the individuals entering the U.S. are not here to harm Americans.”

Buchanan was a strong opponent of the “lame” DHS proposal made public in June, which asks foreign travelers to voluntarily disclose their social media accounts on arrival and departure forms. The Congressman said the proposal would fail to make America safer as “the only people who will share that information are those with nothing to hide.”

Buchanan questioned why the administration proposed this weak, solely optional half-measure given that DHS argues that social media screening will “enhance the existing investigative process” and provide “greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections.”

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Buchanan Urges Veto Override of 9/11 Bill

2016/09/23

“Who Do We Care More About, the Saudi King or 9/11 Families?”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan today called on Congress to override President Obama’s expected veto of legislation that allows American victims of terrorism to sue foreign countries involved in the attacks.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which Buchanan has co-sponsored and championed, was unanimously approved by the U.S. House earlier this month and by the U.S. Senate in May.

The president is expected to veto the bill later today. A two-thirds vote in both chambers is required to override the veto and enact the legislation. If Congress achieves a two-thirds vote next week, it would be the first override of President Obama’s tenure.


“Who do we care more about, the Saudi king or the 9/11 families?” Buchanan said. “Congress should stand strong and support the families of 9/11 victims. It has been a painful 15 years for these families – they’ve waited long enough for justice.”

The bill ensures that American victims of terrorism, including the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11, can pursue civil claims against terrorists and those who aided and abetted them. Currently, victims of terrorism can only sue countries officially designated by the State Department as sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and Syria, but not Saudi Arabia.

Since Congress sent the legislation to the president’s desk two weeks ago Republican and Democrat leaders in the U.S. Senate have said they may have enough support to meet a two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Tuesday he expects the Senate will successfully vote to override the president’s impending veto before Congress leaves for October recess. This would be the first veto override vote since President Obama took office in January 2009.

“Each of these families deserves their day in court,” Buchanan said. “Any further delay of this legislation is unconscionable.”


Buchanan noted that this legislation restores a long-established principle of American law that foreign governments are not immune from their role in aiding acts of terrorism.

Critics have long suspected that Saudi Arabia’s government may have either directly or indirectly supported the deadly terrorist attacks. And while the kingdom has admitted that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, the country has not been formally implicated in the attacks to date.

Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell off American assets in retaliation if the legislation passes.

Florida’s 16th Congressional District has a tragic connection to the 9/11 attacks. President George W. Bush was reading to children in a Sarasota elementary school when he learned that a second airliner had crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City. In addition, two 9/11 hijackers – Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi – took flight lessons in Venice, Florida beginning in the summer of 2000.


Buchanan has long pushed for justice for the victims of 9/11. He also co-sponsored the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act in the 113th Congress and has previously written to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., in support of the bill.

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BREAKING: House Passes Buchanan Bill to Help FL Orange Farmers

2016/09/21

Senate Must Swiftly Pass “Game-Changer” Legislation

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House has passed Congressman Vern Buchanan’s bipartisan legislation to aid Florida orange growers in their battle against the predatory citrus greening disease. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

Buchanan’s Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act will make it less costly for growers to replace trees damaged by citrus greening, an incurable bacterial disease that has infected 99 percent of Florida’s commercial citrus groves.

“Help for Florida orange farmers is a major step closer to arriving,” Buchanan said. “This bill will go a long way toward protecting the livelihoods of the 62,000 hardworking Floridians in our signature citrus industry. The story of American agriculture is one of resilience and hard work against tremendous odds. Citrus farmers are being hit hard and Congress needs to help them recover.”

The legislation provides tax incentives for farmers who cannot afford to replace trees affected by citrus greening. Under current law, growers are allowed an immediate deduction for the cost of replanting diseased 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. It also extends this incentive to purchasers of land with diseased trees.


Farm investors could include local credit unions and banks as well as private investors.

Every member of Florida’s 29-member congressional delegation in both the U.S. House and Senate supports Buchanan’s legislation. The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously last week.

Experts project a 26 percent decline in Florida’s signature orange crop for this upcoming season – the worst in over 50 years. The disease, also known as “yellow dragon disease,” arrived in Florida in 2005 and has since infected 99 percent of commercial citrus groves in the state – as well as 50 percent of the groves in Texas.

“The Senate now needs to act swiftly to get this bill to the president’s desk,” Buchanan said.


Buchanan has spoken with both U.S. Sens Bill Nelson, D-Fla. and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to move the bipartisan bill through the Senate chamber as quickly as possible. Buchanan is hopeful the Senate will take action as early as next week.

Greening has begun to march across the country, and has been found in California, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia. Once infected, trees must be uprooted and destroyed. Replacing citrus trees is costly, but farmers have no choice. They must replant in order to earn a living. Growers face an average replacement cost of almost $2,000 per acre.

Citrus greening has caused more than $4 billion in economic damage while eliminating 8,000 jobs, according to a study done four years ago by the University of Florida. Florida Citrus Mutual, a citrus trade association, estimates that those numbers have doubled in the past four years.

A number of local citrus growers and farm groups have expressed support for Buchanan’s legislation:

  • Mike Sparks, CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, said: “By some estimates our industry needs to put more than 20 million trees in the ground over the next 10 years to support existing infrastructure and get our production back to where it was before HLB. This legislation will help spur the desperately needed plantings. It’s a game changer and we offer a sincere thank you to Congressman Buchanan as well as other members of the Florida Congressional delegation for their support of this important bill. It is truly a bipartisan effort and reflects the fact that Florida’s elected officials understand the citrus’ vital economic role."
     
  • John Hoblick, president of the Florida Farm Bureau, said: “This will give our growers immediate relief to replant groves devastated by HLB, some of which may never even survive to produce fruit. We must give our citrus growers every possible tool to keep operating until a cure is found.”
     
  • Mark Wheeler, a citrus grower in Manatee County, Florida, said: “I want to farm. That’s what my family does but I need some protection from the tremendous production risk posed by HLB. The Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act will provide a significant incentive to put more trees in the ground by counterbalancing my upfront costs and when it becomes law I plan to take advantage of the benefits and I know other growers will too.”
     
  • John Hoblick, president of the Florida Farm Bureau, said: “This will give our growers immediate relief to replant groves devastated by HLB, some of which may never even survive to produce fruit. We must give our citrus growers every possible tool to keep operating until a cure is found.”
     
  • Kyle Story, a citrus grower in Lake Wales, Florida, said: “I am a fourth generation grower and there is not a day that passes where I do not wonder about the future of the Florida citrus industry. In order to pass the business on to my one year old son Merritt – the fifth generation – we are going to have to get more trees in the ground and that’s exactly what growers across Florida will do if the tax legislation is passed. I know a lot of people whose children are going to law school, business school or medical school to get away from citrus. I do not want my son to become a lawyer, I want him to become a citrus grower and I’m worried he won’t get that chance.”
     
  • Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said: “The temporary tax code change will provide the incentive growers need to increase the planting of new groves and help return citrus production to thousands of acres.”
     
  • Carol Freysinger, executive director of the Juice Products Association, said: “We applaud Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan’s efforts to combat the significant effects of HLB, better known as citrus greening, by introducing legislation that gives citrus growers incentives to replant, cultivate, and maintain their groves impacted by citrus greening.” 

Buchanan helped lead efforts to secure $125 million to combat citrus greening as part of a five-year farm bill that President Obama signed into law in 2014. The legislation also provided for $125 million in discretionary funding that needs to be allocated through the yearly appropriations process.

Buchanan is the only member of Congress from Florida on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Buchanan is also co-chairman of Florida delegation and the Congressional Citrus Caucus. 

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House Expected to Pass Buchanan Bill to Save FL Oranges

2016/09/20

“Yellow Dragon Disease” Decimates Orange Crop

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House is expected to pass Congressman Vern Buchanan’s bipartisan legislation to aid Florida orange growers in their battle against the ferocious citrus greening disease.

The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously last week.

Buchanan’s Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act will make it less costly for growers to replace trees damaged by citrus greening, an incurable bacterial disease that has infected 99 percent of Florida’s commercial citrus groves. The legislation will be considered on the House floor later this evening.

“Florida orange farmers have been trying to survive a brutal outbreak of an unforgiving disease, so Congress must do all we can to protect the industry’s jobs,” Buchanan said. “Passing this bill will go a long way toward protecting the livelihoods of the 62,000 hardworking Floridians who form the backbone of the Sunshine State’s iconic citrus industry.”

The legislation provides tax incentives for farmers who cannot afford to replace trees affected by citrus greening. Under current law, growers are allowed an immediate deduction for the cost of replanting diseased 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. It also extends this incentive to purchasers of land with diseased trees.

Every member of Florida’s 29-member congressional delegation in both the U.S. House and Senate supports Buchanan’s legislation.

Experts project a 26 percent decline in Florida’s signature orange crop for this upcoming season – the worst in over 50 years. The disease, also known as “yellow dragon disease,” arrived in Florida in 2005 and has since infected 99 percent of commercial citrus groves in the state – as well as 50 percent of the groves in Texas.

“We need to help the citrus industry get up off the carpet,” Buchanan said. “They’re part of the fabric of American life and Congress should take every opportunity to support their efforts.”

Greening has begun to march across the country, and has been found in California, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia. Once infected, trees must be uprooted and destroyed. Replacing citrus trees is costly, but farmers have no choice. They must replant in order to earn a living. Growers face an average replacement cost of almost $2,000 per acre.

Citrus greening has caused more than $4 billion in economic damage while eliminating 8,000 jobs, according to a study done four years ago by the University of Florida. Florida Citrus Mutual, a citrus trade association, estimates that those numbers have doubled in the past four years.

A number of local citrus growers and farm groups have expressed support for Buchanan’s legislation:

  • John Hoblick, president of the Florida Farm Bureau, said: “This will give our growers immediate relief to replant groves devastated by HLB, some of which may never even survive to produce fruit. We must give our citrus growers every possible tool to keep operating until a cure is found.”
     
  • Kyle Story, a citrus grower in Lake Wales, Florida, said: “I am a fourth generation grower and there is not a day that passes where I do not wonder about the future of the Florida citrus industry. In order to pass the business on to my one year old son Merritt – the fifth generation – we are going to have to get more trees in the ground and that’s exactly what growers across Florida will do if the tax legislation is passed. I know a lot of people whose children are going to law school, business school or medical school to get away from citrus. I do not want my son to become a lawyer, I want him to become a citrus grower and I’m worried he won’t get that chance.
     
  • Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said: “The temporary tax code change will provide the incentive growers need to increase the planting of new groves and help return citrus production to thousands of acres."
     
  • Carol Freysinger, executive director of the Juice Products Association, said: “We applaud Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan’s efforts to combat the significant effects of HLB, better known as citrus greening, by introducing legislation that gives citrus growers incentives to replant, cultivate, and maintain their groves impacted by citrus greening.” 

Buchanan helped lead efforts to secure $125 million to combat citrus greening as part of a five-year farm bill that President Obama signed into law in 2014. The legislation also provided for $125 million in discretionary funding that needs to be allocated through the yearly appropriations process.

Buchanan is the only member of Congress from Florida on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Buchanan is also co-chairman of Florida delegation and the Congressional Citrus Caucus. 

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Buchanan Announces Congressional Fire and Rescue/EMS Awardees

2016/09/19

Congressman’s Annual Awards Recognize Exemplary First Responders

SARASOTA – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan announced today the 2016 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. 

The awards ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2016 in the Sarasota County Administration Building Commissioner’s Chambers at 1660 Ringling Blvd. in Sarasota, Florida.

“We owe so much to our police, firefighters, and EMS. Our community is made safer, quieter, and more prosperous because we have first responders watching our backs,” Buchanan said. “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 will present 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.

Firefighter Christopher Carver of the North River Fire District will receive the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award.

Battalion Chief Scott Blanchard of the City of Venice Fire Department will receive the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award.

Engineer Mathew Redmond of the North River Fire District will receive the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award.

Lieutenant David Hawes of the City of North Port Fire Rescue District will receive the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award.

Chief Brian Gorski of the Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue District will receive the Career Service Award.

WHO: Congressman Vern Buchanan.

WHAT: 16th Congressional District Fire and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Awards.

WHEN:  5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.

WHERE: Sarasota County Administration Building Commissioner’s Chambers at 1660 Ringling Blvd. in Sarasota.

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Buchanan: “Crunch Time for Zika & Heroin Funding”

2016/09/19

Public Safety at Risk

WASHINGTON — With Congress preparing to adjourn until November, Congressman Vern Buchanan today called for immediate action on funding efforts to combat the Zika virus as well as the heroin crisis.

“This is crunch time for Zika and heroin funding,” Buchanan said. “Lives are at stake if Congress fails to act on both of these critical issues.” Congress is expected to adjourn as early as the end of this week.

Buchanan urged leaders in the House and Senate to include meaningful resources to combat the Zika virus and the nation’s drug epidemic in a must-pass government funding bill.

“Congress has a duty to protect the public’s health,” Buchanan said. “Both Zika and drug abuse are spreading and pose a grave threat to Americans. These issues demand immediate federal action.”

Buchanan’s call to action arrives as top government health officials continue to warn Congress that money to combat Zika will run out by the end of the month. As of Sept. 14, there were 3,176 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S.

Nationwide, 731 pregnant women are infected with Zika, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and prevention (CDC).

Florida is ground zero for the Zika virus, and the sole state in the nation to have confirmed local transmission of the disease. The state’s health department reported 79 locally transmitted cases as of Friday. In all, 835 people have contracted the disease across the state, including 86 pregnant women.

“Zika has established a foothold in Florida, and we must give our disease-fighters the resources they need to combat the virus,” Buchanan said. “We are now past the 11th hour.”  

The Congressman also urged House and Senate leadership to include in the continuing resolution additional funding to curb the country’s deadly heroin epidemic. Across the nation heroin-related deaths nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, according to the CDC.

Buchanan represents Manatee County, the epicenter of the heroin crisis in Florida. Manatee County recorded more heroin-related deaths per capita than any of the other 66 Florida counties in 2014.

“Communities across the country are shouldering an incredible burden,” Buchanan said. “The heroin crisis in Southwest Florida is so devastating and families, law enforcement and first-responders are all feeling the impact. More federal resources need to be directed to communities like mine in order for us to adequately fight back against this scourge of killer drugs.”

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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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