Buchanan Urges Funding for Children’s Health
Issue Among Congressman’s Top Priorities for 2018
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan said today Congress must fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, saying 6,000 kids in his congressional district depend on this vital coverage.
“We cannot allow this program to lapse and jeopardize the health of 9 million children nationwide,” said Buchanan, a longtime supporter of the federal health care program. “I am urging congressional leaders from both parties to work together on a bipartisan basis to reauthorize this critical program for six years.”
A six-year reauthorization is included in the government funding bill expected to be voted on by Congress by the end of this week. “We should not be playing politics when the health of our children is at stake,” he said. If Congress takes no action, funding is due to expire March 31.
Other Buchanan priorities for the 2018 session include the following:
- Confront Florida’s opioid crisis. Buchanan noted that new federal anti-drug funding will be transferred to states in the coming months and, similar to last year, will work with state and local partners to ensure that critical funding goes to Florida’s Suncoast. Buchanan is also a co-sponsor of the STOP Act to block the influx of drugs into America.
- Fight red tide. Buchanan said that his proposal to increase funding for red tide research, which passed the U.S. House last year, must be included in the next government funding bill. Red tide is currently spreading across the Suncoast and contributed to one of the highest number of manatee deaths in history last year.
- Preserve Social Security. Citing preserving and protecting Social Security as one of his highest priorities in Congress, Buchanan said he is committed to combatting waste, fraud and abuse within the program, and will fight to pass a bill he cosponsored called the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act.
- Secure our borders and protect the American people from terrorism. Buchanan said that Congress must pass legislation to remove dangerous criminals who enter the country illegally and strengthen policies to prevent terrorists from infiltrating our legal immigration system. Buchanan will push for adoption of the Criminal Alien Gang Removal Act, House-passed legislation that would target gang members entering the U.S. Buchanan will also push to eliminate the diversity visa lottery, which has allowed individuals linked to terrorism into the country, by passing the Safe for America Act.
- Protect police and other first responders. Buchanan said that his Thin Blue Line Act, which increases penalties on cop killers, must pass the Senate and be signed into law in 2018. The bill passed the House in 2017. Ambush-style attacks on police have increased in recent years and contributed to 128 law enforcement fatalities last year alone.
- Extend the current offshore oil drilling moratorium. In light of the Trump administration’s recent troubling proposals to increase offshore drilling and roll back drilling safety requirements, Buchanan said that Congress must pass his bipartisan Marine Oil Spill Prevention Act. Buchanan’s bill would extend the moratorium on offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for another five years, which is currently set to expire in 2022.
- Ban horse slaughter. Buchanan will also continue to push for passage of his bill, the SAFE Act, which permanently bans the killing of horses for human consumption in America. The bill has continued to gain momentum in Congress and has over 200 cosponsors supporting it in the House. Buchanan said he will also work to continue the existing short-term horse slaughter ban through the federal funding process in the coming months.
- Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program. Currently set to expire in mid-January, Buchanan said that Congress must quickly act to provide long-term funding and certainty to the National Flood Insurance Program. Buchanan noted that nearly 40 percent of all flood insurance policies nationwide are held by Floridians.
- Help Our Veterans. Buchanan said that he is committed to providing the veteran community much-needed assistance and will be pushing for passage of the VA Care in the Community Act. The bill modernizes the VA’s broken medical claims processing system and improves the current Choice Program by removing roadblocks to veterans getting timely access to quality care.