Vern Buchanan

Vern Buchanan


Buchanan Calls for Full Funding to Eradicate Zika


Florida Ground Zero in Battle vs. Deadly Virus

WASHINGTON – Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan said today Washington needs to “put the health of Americans first and fully fund efforts to eradicate the Zika virus.”

Buchanan said he supports an additional $1.9 billion in funding requested by the government to contain and eradicate the virus. He based his decision on troubling new developments, including the first fatality on U.S. soil and new research revealing that Zika eats away at the fetal brain and destroys the ability to think. Researchers also say they have learned that up to 29 percent (not 1 percent as originally believed) of pregnant women infected with Zika showed fetal abnormalities. New evidence also shows that the disease can be sexually transmitted in addition to being carried by mosquitos.

“Zika’s shadow is spreading too quickly in Florida, which has one quarter of all the Zika cases in the United States,” Buchanan said. “The rest of the country should keep in mind that summer is coming and so are the mosquitoes. Congress needs to act quickly.”

The Centers for Disease Control has declared that its emergency operations center has been put on a “Level 1” status – its highest level of activation – as a result of the Zika outbreak. The CDC has only put its operations center at Level 1 three times in the past: during the Ebola outbreak in 2014; during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009; and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“There's a reason why the public has lost confidence in Washington – and this is the latest example,” Buchanan said. “Instead of working together to protect Americans, Washington has descended into another partisan fight, with both parties blaming each other for inaction on a growing and deadly health threat.”

Buchanan was one of the first in Congress to back using emergency federal funding to fight the virus.

Last month the Obama administration tapped existing funds to respond to the Zika virus outbreak, mirroring legislation Buchanan co-sponsored. In February, Buchanan announced his support for the Zika Response and Safety Act (H.R. 4446), which would have allowed government agencies to use Ebola funding previously appropriated by Congress to prevent further outbreaks of the Zika virus.

The Obama administration has asked Congress to approve about $1.9 billion in new federal spending to combat Zika, but partisan fighting has frozen action on the request.

The funding will be used to expand education, prevention, and mosquito control programs, improve diagnostics and testing, development of a vaccine and research into the complications of contracting the virus.

Read More

Buchanan: “What Took so Long?”


Martland’s Actions Warranted “Appreciation, Not Punishment”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, commenting on the Army’s decision to reinstate a decorated war hero, said the soldier never should have been dismissed in the first place.

“What took so long?” Buchanan asked, after a review board concluded that two-time Bronze Star recipient Sgt. Charles Martland could remain in the military. Martland had been dismissed last year for standing up to a child rapist while serving in Afghanistan. 

“While the Pentagon’s refusal to correct this injustice quickly was troubling, I’m glad that he will be able to continue serving our country in uniform,” Buchanan said. “Sgt. Martland’s actions to stop an Afghan rapist from abusing children in 2011 warranted appreciation, not punishment. We need to make sure this never happens again.”

As reported in the New York Times, in September 2011 Martland and his captain confronted Abdul Rahman, an American-backed Afghan police commander, “for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave.” The Times described a chilling Pentagon policy that told American soldiers to look the other way when Afghan allies sexually abused young boys, sometimes on military bases.

The Pentagon’s final decision arrives many months after Sgt. Martland was originally set to be discharged last November. However, after filing an appeal to remain in the military and continue serving his country, the U.S. Army delayed time and again, most recently granting itself a third extension, to May 1, 2016, to reach a final decision on his case. 

“The Pentagon finally took action and did the right thing,” Buchanan said. “Going forward, I hope the Department of Defense will learn from Martland’s case and avoid punishing those who stand up for American values at home and abroad.”

Buchanan led the push in Congress to reinstate the decorated war hero. In September 2015 he introduced a bipartisan resolution in the U.S. House (H.Res.451) calling for the immediate reinstatement of Martland. Buchanan’s legislation gained widespread support by more than 50 bipartisan members of Congress as well as several of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Concerned Veterans of America, and AMVETS.

Buchanan also previously wrote to the Army Secretary to reinstate Martland; to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to reverse the policy; and to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to launch a full investigation into how this policy came to be and which individuals were responsible for its implementation.

Read More

U.S. House Expands Flood Insurance Options


Florida Accounts for 40% of Federal Flood Insurance Policies

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today supported bipartisan legislation to significantly broaden the availability of private flood insurance. The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act (H.R. 2901) will end the federal government’s near monopoly over flood insurance and ensure that private insurance is a viable option for homeowners in Florida and across the country. The legislation passed the U.S. House in a unanimous, bipartisan vote and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Specifically, this bill amends the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 by clarifying that mortgage lenders are allowed to accept non-governmental, private insurance options as a means of satisfying a federal mandate requiring coverage for high-risk homes and properties. Allowing private insurers to enter the government-dominated flood insurance market will help drive down costs and better meet the specific needs of consumers.

Currently, the federal government’s flood insurance program, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), is $23 billion in debt and has severe limitations as to what it can cover, leaving consumers few options to properly protect their homes and businesses from flood losses. For example, the NFIP only covers up to $250,000 for an individual’s home and fails to cover loss of most vehicles as well as financial losses caused by interruptions to a business.

There are approximately 1.8 million NFIP policyholders in Florida alone – accounting for nearly 40 percent of insurance policies nationwide.

“Floridians need access to affordable flood insurance so they can protect their families, homes and businesses – and recover quickly after the next disaster strikes,” Buchanan said. “This legislation allows hardworking Americans to choose flood insurance plans designed to meet their specific needs rather than government mandates.”  

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

Buchanan also noted that with an average elevation of just 100 feet above sea level, Florida is particularly prone to flooding. Even a few inches of precipitation can cause flooding in certain areas across the state and cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

“Consumers should have no shortage of options when it comes to planning for and safeguarding their homes, cars or businesses before a disaster strikes. It is imperative the Senate takes action on this bill immediately,” Buchanan said.

This legislation is endorsed by the National Association of Realtors, the American Bankers Association, the National Taxpayers Union and Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.

Buchanan is the co-chair of the Florida congressional delegation, which served as a major driving force to address skyrocketing increases in flood insurance premiums last Congress. Buchanan was also an original co-sponsor of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (H.R. 3370), which was signed into law by President Obama and provided immediate relief and long-term certainty for hundreds of thousands of policyholders across the country, including thousands of individuals in our own backyard of Sarasota and Manatee county.

Read More

Florida Delegation Gets Grim Facts on Heroin Crisis


Heroin Overdose Deaths in Florida Soar 900 percent in Past 5 years

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan today chaired a Florida congressional delegation meeting that focused on the spiraling death toll caused by heroin and opioid abuse throughout the state. Eleven members of Congress from both parties heard grim stories from anti-drug experts about the battle to control a raging epidemic that is destroying lives and families.

“One rainy day I walked out of my veterinarian’s office, looked toward the church next door and saw a dead body in the parking lot, a life lost due to heroin,” said Melissa Larkin-Skinner, chief clinical officer of Centerstone Behavioral Hospital and Outpatient Practice in Bradenton, Fl.

Buchanan said the hearing was very productive for the members, “We gained a better understanding of the scope and severity of the heroin crisis gripping Florida and other states” Buchanan said. “I’m hopeful our delegation will lead the way toward bipartisan action to address the crisis through prevention, treatment, education and interdiction.”

Florida delegation members listen to Frank C. Rabbito, senior vice president of WestCare Foundation during a public meeting on the heroin crisis.

Buchanan represents the epicenter of Florida’s heroin crisis, Manatee County, which had more heroin overdose deaths per capita than any other Florida county in 2014.

Buchanan was joined by Florida delegation co-chair U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-FL, and several other members, including Reps. John Mica, Gus Bilirakis, Ted Yoho, Alan Grayson, Carlos Curbelo, Posey, Curt Clawson and Ted Deutch.

Others appearing before the delegation included U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-WI, author of a sweeping anti-drug bill supported by Buchanan; Frank C. Rabbito, senior vice president of WestCare Foundation in Miami, Fl.; and a Miami resident currently in recovery from heroin addiction; and Larkin-Skinner.

Buchanan noted that Florida’s clout with the third-largest congressional delegation in the nation can help ensure that meaningful legislation is enacted by Congress this year. Nationally, 125 Americans die from drug overdoses each day.

The hearing comes days after the Florida Medical Examiners Commission released its interim 2015 drug mortality report, a harrowing study that details the severity of the state’s drug epidemic and its shocking death toll. According to the report, the number of heroin deaths in Florida in the first half of 2015 was 115 percent higher than during the same period a year earlier.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016 (H.R. 5046), legislation Buchanan has co-sponsored, shared with the Florida delegation members how his bill was unanimously approved by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday in a rare bipartisan vote, noting that “doesn’t happen often.” The legislation would establish a grant program for states and local governments to provide services relating to opioid abuse prevention and treatment activities.

Frank C. Rabbito also shared with the members how fentanyl plays a “critical role in the escalation of heroin deaths.” He noted that in 2014, there were 138 heroin-related deaths in the Suncoast region alone.

In closing, the Congressman said he was encouraged that House leadership has scheduled votes on a package of opioid bills during the week of May 9.

“Americans are struggling to combat this epidemic,” Buchanan said. “Passage of Rep. Sensenbrenner’s legislation will provide critical federal resources to support our loved ones on a path to recovery.”

Read More

Buchanan Introduces Small Biz Tax Cut Bill


WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today introduced the Main Street Fairness Act to ensure that small businesses – which account for 94 percent of all businesses in America – never pay a higher tax rate than large corporations.

“Local mom and pop stores and medium-sized businesses should not be burdened with a higher tax rate than multinational corporations with billions of dollars in earnings,” said Buchanan, a senior member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. “America has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world – and small businesses face even higher rates.”

Buchanan’s bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany, R-LA, chairman of the Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee. “This act simplifies the code for small businesses and gives them the confidence they need to invest and provide more jobs for American families. I am proud to be an original sponsor of this legislation,” Boustany said.

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 expressed their support for the 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.

Buchanan’s bill would not add to the debt, according to Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the state’s premier, non-partisan taxpayer watchdog for more than 35 years. “Congressman Buchanan’s Main Street Fairness Act should lead to greater national economic growth and result in more tax revenue for the government, not less, in the long term,” Calabro said.

Buchanan said it was essential that small businesses do not get left behind as Congress considers major tax reform proposals. “The goal of tax reform should be to boost the economy and create more American jobs,” said Buchanan. “Even President Obama has called for reducing our corporate tax rate, but merely reducing the tax burden on corporations does nothing for more than 90% of American businesses.”

A number of prominent business and pro-growth groups have expressed their support for the measure.

National Association of Manufacturers: Carolyn Lee, senior director for tax policy, said that the bill is “a viable plan for reducing taxes on passthrough businesses that can be part of a larger tax reform effort.”  Lee also noted that Buchanan’s bill presents “potential solutions to difficult questions in the tax reform discussion.”

Associated Builders and Contractors: Liam Donovan, director of legislative and political affairs, said “Congressman Buchanan’s Main Street Fairness Act makes crucial strides by restoring rate parity between small business and the Fortune 500. With contractors already facing the highest effective tax burden of any industry, construction can ill afford a perpetual fiscal handicap on 94 percent of firms employing more than 60 percent of its workforce.”

Americans for Tax Reform: Grover Norquist, president, said “This important change helps ensure that businesses are on a level playing field for decades to come. A key goal of tax reform should be taxing businesses equally, not discriminating based on arbitrary laws, and Congressman Buchanan’s legislation ensures this becomes reality. Members of Congress should have no hesitation supporting and co-sponsoring this pro-taxpayer, pro-small business legislation.”

See Americans for Tax Reform’s full blog post on the Main Street Fairness Act here.

National Retail Federation: David French, senior vice president of government relations, said As Congress addresses the corporate tax rate issue, it is essential that they recognize that the majority of American businesses, including retail businesses, report through the individual side of the tax code and that a tax reform solution must provide a level playing field for these smaller businesses. We believe that your bill, the “Main Street Fairness Act” takes an important first step in examining a fair solution for small businesses in the context of overall tax reform.”

Florida Chamber of Commerce: David A. Hart, executive vice president, said “This important legislation ensures these job creators are extended the tax relief necessary to remain competitive.”

Congressman Buchanan has a strong track record of creating jobs in the private sector. For over 40 years, Buchanan has operated a number of businesses in multiple states and has employed thousands of people.

Buchanan also has particular experience with the challenges passthrough businesses face. He chaired a Ways and Means small business/passthrough tax reform working group during the 113th Congress under then-Chairman Dave Camp.

Read More

Buchanan Co-Chairs FL Delegation Public Meeting on Heroin Crisis


House Sponsor of Sweeping Reform Bill to Appear

WASHINGTON — The co-chairs of Florida’s congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, and U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-FL, today announced that they will hold a bipartisan delegation meeting on the heroin crisis in Florida on Thursday, April 28 at 8:30 a.m. in Room B-318 of Rayburn House Office Building, in Washington, DC.

Buchanan represents Manatee County, the epicenter of Florida’s heroin crisis. Manatee County had more heroin overdose deaths per capita than any other Florida county in 2014.

“Countless families in Florida and across the country have borne witness to the tragic consequences of drug addiction and opiate abuse,” Buchanan said. “The growing heroin crisis requires a serious and comprehensive approach by Congress. I look forward to discussing thoughtful solutions with my colleagues and experts on Thursday.”

Buchanan’s announcement of the meeting comes one day after the Florida Medical Examiners Commission released its interim 2015 drug mortality report, a harrowing study that details the severity of the state’s drug epidemic and its shocking death toll. According to the report, the number of heroin deaths in Florida in the first half of 2015 was 115 percent higher than during the same period a year earlier, as reported by the Bradenton Herald.

Nationally, 125 Americans die from drug overdoses each day.


  • U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL.
  • U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-FL.
  • Florida’s bipartisan congressional delegation.
  • Panelist U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-WI, author of a sweeping anti-drug bill.
  • Panelist Melissa Larkin-Skinner, Chief Clinical Officer of Centerstone Behavioral Hospital and Outpatient Practice, located in Bradenton, Fl. Centerstone provides inpatient and outpatient mental health and addiction treatment to more than 15,000 Floridians a year, including 4,200 children and teens.
  • Panelist Frank C. Rabbito, Senior Vice President of WestCare Foundation, located in Miami, FL. WestCare Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that provides a broad continuum of behavioral and mental health services in 17 states and 2 territories.
  • The program will also include brief remarks from a Miami resident currently in recovery from heroin addiction. The Miami resident is a former client of the WestCare/Village South Treatment Program in Miami, Fl.

WHAT: Bipartisan Florida Delegation Meeting on the Heroin Crisis in Florida.

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

WHERE: Room B-318, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.

Read More

Buchanan Announces Congressional Art Competition Winners


First Place Winner Is From Sarasota High School

SARASOTA – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, FL-16, has announced the winners of the 2016 High School Congressional Arts Competition, a 16th district-wide showcase for young artists. The first-place winner of the annual competition was Kali Karcher of Sarasota High School. 

Buchanan and Ringling Museum Deputy Director Jennifer Price presented the awards at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. 

“I’m impressed by the exceptional talent of every high schooler who submitted artwork for this year’s competition. It’s clear that students from the 16th congressional district have an endless amount of creativity and skill,” Buchanan said. “Kali’s art will be placed on display in the U.S. Capitol and Madison’s will be displayed in my Washington, D.C. office.”

Ringling Museum Assistant Curator of Exhibitions Chris Jones, Curator of Contemporary Art Matthew McLendon and Curatorial Research Fellow Lauren von Bechmann judged the entries from Sarasota and Manatee County. This year there were 45 submissions in the contest – a record high. The winning entry, Karcher’s “Three Sisters of Fort Hancock,” will be showcased for one year in the highly traveled corridor between the U.S. Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building. 

The Sarasota High School student will receive roundtrip airfare to Washington to attend the Congressional Reception on Thursday, June 23, as well as an opportunity to receive a $5,000 scholarship.

New this year for the 16th congressional district’s contest was a separate recognition – the “Facebook Fan Favorite” Award – awarded to the student whose artwork won the highest number of likes and shares combined on the Congressman’s Facebook page. Madison Schmitz of Sarasota High School was this year’s Facebook Fan Favorite winner with her piece "Amber K."

The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide high school visual art competition. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 students have participated.

The full list of winners include: 

• First Place: Kali Karcher, “Three Sisters of Fort Hancock,” Sarasota High School in Sarasota.

• Second Place: Raegan Turner, “The Show Must Go On,” Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton.

• Third Place: Elizabeth King, “Stressed,” Pine View School in Osprey.

• The “Facebook Fan Favorite” Award: Madison Schmitz, “Amber K,” Sarasota High School in Sarasota.

The second and third place winners’ art work, as well as the honorable mentions’ submissions, will remain on display in the Johnson-Blalock Education Center at the Ringling Museum until the fall of 2016.


Read More

TONIGHT: Buchanan to Announce Congressional Art Contest Winners


SARASOTA – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, FL-16, will announce the winners of the 16th Congressional District’s Congressional Art Competition on Monday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL. 

This year 45 high school students – a record number – participated in the annual contest.

Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the members of the U.S. House to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in each congressional district.

The First Place winner will receive roundtrip airfare to Washington to attend the Congressional Reception on Thursday, June 23, as well as an opportunity to receive a $5,000 scholarship. The winning artwork will be displayed in the corridor tunnel leading to the U.S. Capitol Building for one year.

New this year is a separate category – the “Fan Favorite” Award – which will go to the student whose artwork wins the highest number of likes and shares combined on the Congressman’s Facebook page by April 25 at noon.

WHO: U.S. Rep. Buchanan, FL-16

WHAT: Ceremony Announcing 2016 Congressional Arts Competition Winners

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2016

WHERE: Johnson-Blalock Education Center, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

Read More

Buchanan Recognizes Earth Day


“No Drilling Off the Gulf Coast” 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today recognized the 46th annual Earth Day, saying Florida’s Gulf Coast must remain off limits to oil drilling.

“A clean and healthy ocean is vital to sustaining Florida’s thriving economy and attracting millions of tourists and new residents each year,” Buchanan said. “Everyone should be focused on protecting the environment.”

Since arriving in Congress in 2007, Buchanan has championed several measures that would guard the Sunshine state’s waterways and beaches. A longtime opponent of offshore drilling near Florida’s pristine coastline, Buchanan is a co-sponsor of the Preserving Florida’s Coastal Communities Act (H.R. 2630), which would prohibit drilling within 125 miles of Florida’s shores in the Gulf of Mexico until 2027. Under current law, such drilling is prohibited until 2022.

“Florida is truly one of Earth’s crown jewels and we are all lucky to call the Gulf Coast home. We should all take a moment to appreciate the pristine beauty of Southwest Florida, including the beaches, wetlands and forests,” Buchanan said. “Like many in our community, I think that we should take every effort to preserve these natural gifts for the next generation – and my record in Congress reflects that.”

To protect native coral and preserve healthy seas, Buchanan introduced the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act (H.R. 2553), bipartisan legislation that promotes further research into the potentially devastating effects of ocean acidification. 

Additionally, Buchanan has also fought to protect iconic Florida animals, such as the manatee and panther. Earlier this month he was awarded the prestigious Legislator of the Year award from The Humane Society of the United States for his leadership on fighting animal cruelty and protecting endangered species.

Buchanan also recently co-sponsored bipartisan legislation (H.R. 4667) that would direct the federal government to expedite necessary repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike, which has been rated as “critically near failure” by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If this structure were to collapse, it would flood populated areas as well as the delicate wetlands ecosystem of the Everglades with waters from Lake Okeechobee. 

Read More

Buchanan Honors Local Law Enforcement Officials


Law Enforcement Officials “Deserve Our Gratitude and Respect”

SARASOTA – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, FL-16, today announced the recipients of the fifth annual 16th Congressional District Law Enforcement Awards.

The following 13 awards were presented during a special ceremony in Sarasota: 

  • Deputy Billie Wilson of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award
  • Officer Kenneth Simunovic of the Bradenton Police Department: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award
  • Officer Tim Matthews of the Palmetto Police Department: Dedication and Professionalism Award
  • Officer Michael Walker of the Holmes Beach Police Department: Dedication and Professionalism Award
  • Sergeant Demetri Konstantopoulos of the Sarasota Police Department: Dedication and Professionalism Award
  • Sergeant Donald Kennard of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office: Dedication and Professionalism Award
  • Detective Jason Friday of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office: Dedication and Professionalism Award
  • Lieutenant Johnny Yong of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office: Career Service Award
  • Sergeant Matt Kintigh of the North Port Police Department: Career Service Award
  • Trooper Barbara Ehrhart of the Florida Highway Patrol: Career Service Award
  • Captain Kevin Stiff, Lieutenant Lori Jaress, Sergeant Michael “Richie” Schwieterman, Officers David Dubendorf, Matthew Kimball, Matthew Grochowski, Jonathan Misiewicz along with Case Managers Sherree Brown, Calvin Collins and Joseph Polzak of the Sarasota Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team: Unit Citation Award
  • Officer John Parisi of the North Port Police Department: Preservation of Life Award
  • Pastor Jim Minor and Executive Director Erin Minor of the Harvest House in Sarasota: Associate Service Award

Buchanan stands with the recipients of the fifth annual 16th Congressional District Law Enforcement Awards.

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

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

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

Read More

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

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

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


Recent Videos