On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. House Ways and Means and the Budget Committee, unveiled his priorities for the new year. These included national security, lowering taxes, cutting down on regulations and “strengthening Social Security and Medicare” to “help current and future seniors live with dignity and independence.”
“We stand at a critical crossroad that will shape our nation for decades to come,” Buchanan said, adding, “I’m optimistic we will embrace this challenge and take the steps necessary to fortify the economy, restore the American dream and safeguard our people against the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.”
Noting that he was starting his sixth term on the Ways and Means Committee, Buchanan said he would use that perch to lower taxes on individuals and small businesses, pointing to corporations paying less in taxes than small businesses in the Sunshine State. Buchanan also said he would use his spot on that committee to ensure Medicare and Social Security funds are preserved.
“Medicare and Social Security are two of the most successful government programs and I’m committed to preserving them,” Buchanan said. “So many people depend on these programs. Medicare beneficiaries make up 17 percent of the U.S. population – and roughly 220,000 Americans rely on Medicare in just Sarasota and Manatee counties alone.”
Buchanan said he would bring back his “Main Street Fairness Act" proposal in January “which ensures that small businesses – which employ more than 3 million Floridians – never pay a higher tax rate than large corporations.” He also promised to introduce the “Retirement Security for American Workers Act” next month. That proposal “makes it less costly for small businesses to offer retirement benefits, and could help the more than 76 million Americans who work for companies that do not offer the opportunity to save for a secure retirement.”
Turning to national security, Buchanan said he would bring back his proposal to ensure the U.S. Department of Homeland Security vets the social media of all foreign tourists and visa applicants.
“I'm very concerned about ineffective screening of foreigners trying to enter the country,” Buchanan said. “Other countries with loose border security are seeing attacks by radical Islamic terrorists and we need to do everything we can to keep another tragedy from happening on our soil.”
Turning to other matters, Buchanan said he would continue his fight to give tax incentives for farmers impacted by citrus greening, adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, banning the killing of horses for human consumption and imposing tougher sentences on criminals who kill police officers and first responders.
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