Vern Buchanan

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Vern Buchanan
Vern Buchanan.jpg
U.S. House, Florida, District 16
In office
January 3, 2007-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 8
PredecessorThomas J. Rooney (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$14.25 in 2012
First elected2006
Next primaryAugust 26, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$16,785,853
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sCleary University
Master'sUniversity of Detroit
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Air National Guard
Years of service1969-1975
Date of birthMay 8, 1951
Place of birthDetroit, Michigan
ProfessionAutomobile Dealer
Net worth$88,802,066.50
Office website
Campaign website
Vernon G. "Vern" Buchanan (b. May 8, 1951, in Detroit, Michigan) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Buchanan was elected by voters from Florida's 16th Congressional District.

Due to redistricting, Buchanan ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Florida's 16th District.[1][2][3] He was first elected to the U.S. House in 2006 from District 13.[4]

In 2012, Buchanan was at the center of an investigation regarding illegal campaign contributions.[5] On July 10, 2012, Buchanan was cleared by a U.S. House Ethics Committee on allegations that he made mistakes on his financial disclosure statements.[6] However, in May 2013 three men and two companies were fined for making illegal contributions to Buchanan's campaign.[5]

Buchanan ran for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He sought the Republican nomination in the primary election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Buchanan is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.


Buchanan grew up in Michigan, in a family of six children.[7] When he graduated from high school in 1969, he joined the Michigan Air National Guard, serving there for six years. Buchanan got a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Cleary University, in Michigan, and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Detroit.[8]


Buchanan has held a variety of investment ventures throughout his career. These range from car dealerships to insurance companies, to real estate development.

In June 2007, Buchanan, in his financial disclosure filing, reported having over $100 million in assets, making him among the five wealthiest members of Congress. Most of his wealth is from his automotive empire, which includes several dealerships in Florida. He also reported ownership interests in about fifty other businesses, including offshore reinsurance companies, and a charter-jet business. He reported receiving at least $19.5 million in income from these businesses in 2006.[9]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Buchanan serves on the following committees:[10][11]



Legislative actions

113th Congress

The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[12] For more information pertaining to Buchanan's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[13]

National security

National Security Agency reforms

Buchanan, a member of the Congressional Privacy Caucus, pointed to a report in August 2013 that the National Security Agency (NSA) engaged in almost 2,800 illegal incidents where they obtained personal communications as a reason for Congress to back major reforms.[14]

“These latest revelations of government overreach are extremely disturbing,” said Buchanan in a statement on August 21, 2013. “Our strength as a nation flows from the values and freedoms laid out in the Constitution, including the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. It’s imperative that both parties work together and institute reforms to protect the privacy and liberties of the American people. It is a slippery slope if we allow our basic freedoms to be eroded in the name of security. The time has come for Congress to address these issues in a transparent, public manner.”[14]

Buchanan pushed an amendment in July 2013 ensuring the NSA cannot collect information on Americans not under investigation, but it was narrowly defeated with a vote of 205-217 in the House.[14]

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

Buchanan released a statement regarding the situation in Syria, saying "President Obama made the right decision to seek congressional authorization as he considers launching a military strike against Syria. Serious questions remain as to the wisdom of committing American military might to a civil war in the Middle East where the lines are blurred between friend and foe. The President needs to explain to Congress and the American people why he believes U .S. military involvement is vital to our national security."[15]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Buchanan voted in favor of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[16]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Buchanan voted against House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[16]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Buchanan voted in favor of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[17] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[16]


Voted "Yes" Buchanan voted in favor of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[16]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[18] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[19][20] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[20] Buchanan voted with 161 other Republican representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Neutral/Abstain On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[21][22] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and 3 Democrats voting against the bill.[22] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[23] It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Buchanan did not vote on the bill.[21][22]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[24] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[25] Buchanan voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[26]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[27] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Buchanan voted for HR 2775.[28]

Pay during government shutdown
See also:United States budget debate, 2013

Buchanan declined to accept his salary while the government was shutdown.[29]

"No small business would pay someone who refuses to do their job,” Buchanan said in a statement on October 1, 2013. “So why should Senators or House members be paid for failing to fulfill one of their most basic responsibilities? They shouldn’t.”[30]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "Yes" Buchanan voted in favor of House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States. The vote largely followed party lines.[16]


Healthcare Reform Rules

Neutral/Abstain Buchanan did not vote on House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[16]

Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act

Voted "Yes" Buchanan voted in favor of HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act of 2013. The bill passed through the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 232-185. The bill would prevent the IRS and Treasury Secretary from enforcing the powers provided to them in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The vote largely followed party lines.[16]

Social issues

Amash amendment

Voted "Yes" Buchanan voted in favor of House Amendment 413 - Prohibits the National Security Agency from Collecting Records Under the Patriot Act. The amendment failed on July 4, 2013, by a vote of 205-217. The amendment would have prohibited the collection of records by the National Security Agency under the Patriot Act. Both parties were split on the vote.[16]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Buchanan voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 85 Republicans that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[31]


Campaign finance allegations

On July 10, 2012, Buchanan was cleared by a U.S. House Ethics Committee on allegations that he made mistakes on his financial disclosure statements, where the Ethics Committee ruled that the alleged mistakes are common among many lawmakers.[6]

However, Buchanan faced more serious campaign finance allegations, as well as related investigations by the FBI and IRS.[32][33] On September 28, 2012, a friend of Buchanan, Timothy Mobley, pled guilty to illegally making campaign donations in the amount of $84,300 to Buchanan. Buchanan stated that he was unaware of any illegal contributions and that he would "disgorge" any funds received illegally.[34]

Campaign themes


Buchanan's campaign website listed the following issues:[35]

  • Jobs & Economy
Excerpt: "As a businessman for 30 years, and past Chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, I know what it means to balance a budget, meet a payroll, and exercise the fiscal discipline necessary to keep a business moving forward."
  • Spending
Excerpt: "Washington’s irresponsible pattern of borrowing and spending has put our country on a road to bankruptcy. Unbelievably, America borrows $188 million every hour. This is simply unacceptable."
  • Small Business
Excerpt: "At a time of 10.3 percent unemployment in Florida, we should be doing all that we can to assist our most dynamic job creators. We can start by keeping taxes low and cutting the bureaucratic red tape and burdensome regulations that stifle job creation."



See also: Florida's 16th Congressional District elections, 2014

Buchanan ran for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He sought the Republican nomination in the primary election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Florida's 16th Congressional District elections, 2012

Due to redistricting, Buchanan ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Florida's 16th District. Buchanan was seeking re-election on the Republican ticket. Keith Fitzgerald ran as a Democrat. Primary elections were held on August 14, 2012. Buchanan ran unopposed in the Republican primary on August 14, 2012.[2] He was re-elected on November 6, 2012.[36]

U.S. House, Florida District 16 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngVern Buchanan Incumbent 53.6% 187,147
     Democratic Keith Fitzgerald 46.4% 161,929
Total Votes 349,076
Source: Florida Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Buchanan is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Buchanan raised a total of $16,785,853 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 4, 2013.[40]

Vern Buchanan's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Florida, District 16) Won $2,209,719
2010 U.S. House (Florida, District 13) Won $2,078,743
2008 U.S. House (Florida, District 13) Won $4,374,205
2006 U.S. House (Florida, District 13) Won $8,123,186
Grand Total Raised $16,785,853


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Buchanan's reports.[41]


Breakdown of the source of Buchanan's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Buchanan won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Buchanan's campaign committee raised a total of $2,209,719 and spent $2,667,717.[50] This is more than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[51]

Cost per vote

Buchanan spent $14.25 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Buchanan's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Buchanan won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Buchanan's campaign committee raised a total of $2,078,743 and spent $973,705.[52]

Personal Gain Index

See also: Personal Gain Index
Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png

The aim of the Personal Gain Index (PGI) is to shine a light on how members of the U.S. Congress may benefit from their tenure as public servants. Researchers at the Government Accountability Institute will look at four different metrics pointing to aspects of self-enrichment.
The PGI will consist of the following metrics:

  • Net worth
    • How much did a member's net worth increase or decrease over a specified period?
  • The K-Street metric (coming soon)
    • What percentage of a member's staff were previously lobbyists?
  • Donation concentration (coming soon)
    • What industries are contributing the most to each member?
  • Stock trading (coming soon)
    • What stocks are each member holding in their portfolio?

PGI: Net worth

See also: Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Buchanan's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-58,149,853 and $235,753,986. That averages to $88,802,066.50, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican representatives in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Buchanan ranked as the 6th most wealthy representative in 2012.[53] Between 2006 and 2012, Buchanan's net worth decreased by 59.3 percent. Between 2004 and 2012, the average increase in the net worth of a congressman was 72.6 percent.

Vern Buchanan Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2006 to 2012:-59%
Average annual growth:-10%[54]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[55]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Buchanan is a "rank-and-file Republican," as of June 12, 2013.[56]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[57]

Buchanan most often votes with:

Buchanan least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Buchanan missed 100 of 5,226 roll call votes from January 2007 to March 2013. This amounts to 1.9%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[58]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Buchanan paid his congressional staff a total of $937,104 in 2011. He ranks 144th on the list of the lowest paid Republican representative staff salaries and ranks 188th overall of the lowest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Florida ranks 36th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[59]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year.


Buchanan ranked 185th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[60]


Buchanan ranked 165th in the conservative rankings.[61]

Voting with party


Vern Buchanan voted with the Republican Party 95.7% of the time, which ranked 134th among the 233 House Republican members as of June 2013.[62]


Buchanan lives in Longboat Key, Florida with his wife of more than 30 years, Sandra. They have two grown sons, James and Matt.[8]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Vern + Buchanan + Florida + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Vern Buchanan News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Vern Buchanan


  1. Bradenton Herald, "Redistricting plan joins Manatee, Sarasota" accessed February 14, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 AP Results, "U.S. House Results," accessed August 14, 2012
  3. ABC News, "2012 General Election Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  4. Project Vote Smart, "Vern Buchanan" accessed June 12, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tampa Bay Times, " FEC fines 3 men, 2 Tampa companies for illegal contributions to Rep. Vern Buchanan" accessed June 12, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 Washington Post, "Vern Buchanan cleared of some ethics allegations" accessed July 10, 2012
  7. Herald-Tribune, "Buchanan: Big deals led to big riches" accessed October 18, 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Congressman Vern Buchanan-Representing Florida's 13th District, "About Congressman Buchanan" accessed October 18, 2011
  9. Bradenton Herald, June 16, 2007 "One of richest reps in Congress: Vern Buchanan"
  10., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  11. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
  12. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  13. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Sunshine State News, "Vern Buchanan Calls for NSA Reforms," accessed August 21, 2013
  15. First Coast News, "Florida Senators react to Syria debate," accessed September 2, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 Project Vote Smart, "Vern Buchanan's Voting Record," accessed September 20, 2013
  17. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  18. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  19. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled farm bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  23. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  24. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  26. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  27. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  28. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  29. Politico, "Hill pols plan to donate, halt salary," accessed October 1, 2013
  30. Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 2, 2013
  31. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  32. House Ethics Committee, "Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Vernon G. Buchanan" accessed July 11, 2012
  33. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named hill
  34. Tampa Bay Times, "Friend of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan pleads guilty to campaign violations," September 28, 2012
  35. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed August 10, 2012
  36. ABC News, "2012 General Election Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. Open Secrets, "Vern Buchanan" accessed April 4, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Vern Buchanan 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 22, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly" accessed July 22, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 22, 2013
  44. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 10, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  47. Federal Election Commission, "Vern Buchanan July Quarterly," accessed September 30, 2014
  48. Federal Election Commission, "Vern Buchanan Pre-Primary," accessed September 30, 2014
  49. Federal Election Commission, "Vern Buchanan October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  50. Open Secrets, "Vern Buchanan 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 13, 2013
  51. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  52. Open Secrets, "Vern Buchanan 2010 Election Cycle," accessed October 27, 2011
  53. OpenSecrets, "Buchanan, (R-Fl), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  54. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  55. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  56. GovTrack, "Buchanan" accessed June 12, 2013
  57. OpenCongress, "Rep. Vern Buchanan," accessed July 31, 2013
  58. GovTrack, "Vern Buchanan," accessed March 29, 2013
  59. LegiStorm, "Vern Buchanan"
  60. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed February 27, 2013
  61. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  62. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas J. Rooney (R)
U.S. House of Representatives - Florida District 16
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Katherine Harris
U.S. House of Representatives - Florida District 13
Succeeded by
C.W. Bill Young (R)