U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan pulled in another $316,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021. That means the Longboat Key Republican has built up more than $1.7 million as he prepares to run for a ninth term in Congress.
“I’m humbled by such a strong show of support,” Buchanan said. “People are responding to my positive agenda of recovery and rebuilding, protecting veterans’ benefits and safeguarding Social Security and Medicare.”
Notably, the $1,707,712 he has collected includes none of Buchanan’s own money. The wealthiest U.S. House member representing Florida has offered self-funding to his campaigns before, but this election cycle has been paying debt down instead.
The heavy influx of dollars comes as Buchanan positions himself to be the next U.S. House Ways and Means Committee chair, one of the most powerful positions in Congress. U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican and the top GOP member of Ways and Means, already announced he’s not seeking re-election. Should Buchanan win another term, he would be the senior-most Republican on the powerful committee, and a favorite to chair the panel should Republicans retake a majority in the House.
He also ascended this month to ranking member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and recently earned a space on the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Most recently, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tapped Buchanan to co-chair a Republican task force, the Healthy Future Task Force, which will craft a health care agenda for congressional Republicans.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to drive health care and tax policy this year and well into the future,” Buchanan said. “I’m looking forward to this exciting new challenge to improve the lives of all Americans as well as strengthen the economy.”
The task force will guide proposals with a focus on lowering costs, increasing patient choice on providers and access to personalized health care, encouraging research investment and ensuring a senior safety net.
To date, Buchanan faces a Primary challenge from Sarasota conservative activist Martin Hyde. Democrats Jan Schneider and Benjamin Miranda-Padilla have also filed in the race.