Buchanan Outlines End-of-Year Priorities
List Includes Red Tide and Retirement Security
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today outlined his legislative priorities for the final four weeks of the 115th Congress – a list that includes environmental protection, retirement security and animal welfare.
“This is going to be a very active lame-duck session and I intend to fight for local priorities, including more funding for red tide research, helping start-up small businesses and banning the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption.
“These are all bipartisan measures with strong support,” said Buchanan, who was named one of the most bipartisan members of Congress this year by the non-partisan Lugar Center.
The 115th Congress has already been Buchanan's most successful session since he was first elected in 2006. Buchanan's 16th legislative initiative, designed to reduce opioid addiction, was recently signed by President Trump.
Specifically, Buchanan said he will work over the next four weeks to:
- Reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The program, which expired September 30, is widely regarded as a critical tool for funding conservation efforts throughout the United States. Earlier this year, Buchanan led a bipartisan Florida delegation letter calling for the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- Ensure retirement security. Buchanan will continue to push for Senate passage of his bill, the Retirement Security for American Workers Act, to make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement benefits to employees. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, up to 35 percent of private-sector workers over the age of 22 work for a company that doesn’t offer a retirement plan.
- Fight red tide. Buchanan has called for passage of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act which provides more than $100 million to combat Harmful Algal Blooms like red tide. Earlier this year his proposal to increase funding for red tide research was signed into law.
- Protect police and other first responders. Buchanan’s Thin Blue Line Act, which increases penalties on cop killers, passed the House with bipartisan support and now needs Senate approval. Ambush-style attacks on police have increased in recent years and contributed to 128 law enforcement fatalities last year alone.
- Crack down on sanctuary cities. Two bills Buchanan cosponsored passed the U.S. House and need Senate approval – the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate’s Law. The bills would cut federal funds for sanctuary cities and toughen penalties against anyone who re-enters the country after being deported.
- Protect dogs and cats. Buchanan’s bill the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act outlaws the slaughter of dogs and cats for the purpose of human consumption in the United States. Dogs and cats provide love and companionship to millions of people and should not be slaughtered and sold as food. The bill passed the House in September.
- Help start-up businesses. Noting that only 50 percent of small businesses survive past their first five years, Buchanan’s legislation, the American Innovation Act, will help businesses stay afloat and grow by making it significantly less costly to start a new business. The bill passed the House and is pending in the Senate.