U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan has been named chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, a key watchdog panel with investigative authority over all issues under the full committee’s jurisdiction, including health care, the IRS, welfare, Social Security and Medicare.
“I look forward to chairing this important watchdog panel that will monitor government’s largest federal agencies and programs,” Buchanan said. “I intend to make sure these programs are accountable and working for the people.”
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady was effusive in praising Buchanan.
“While serving on Ways and Means, Vern has proven to be an effective, hardworking, and thoughtful leader. As the newly-selected Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee, Vern will be at the center of the House’s efforts to hold the IRS accountable and ensure the faithful execution of our laws. I appreciate his hard work and am confident he’ll continue to deliver real results for Floridians and all Americans.”
Buchanan said he is in the process of developing his agenda for the 115th Congress, but said it will include fighting fraud in Medicare and Social Security, making the Internal Revenue Service more responsive to ordinary citizens, safeguarding Americans from identity theft and increasing transparency in government.
“I intend to be fair but relentless in exposing government malfeasance,” Buchanan said. “Fraud, waste and abuse will not be tolerated. Government exists to work for the people, not the other way around.”
Buchanan, who chaired the Human Resources Subcommittee in the last Congress, also sits on the Health Subcommittee and Social Security Subcommittee of Ways and Means.
The congressman has served on the Ways and Means Committee since January of 2011. His 2015 appointment as subcommittee chairman marked the first time a Floridian led a Ways & Means Subcommittee since U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw chaired the Trade Subcommittee for the 109th Congress (2005-2006).
Ways and Means is widely considered the most powerful committee in Congress because of its broad jurisdiction, including taxes, health care, Social Security, Medicare, welfare and international trade.