Could Vern Buchanan weigh another bid for Ways and Means Chair?

Buchanan was overlooked last time, but a lot has changed.

A lot has changed since U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan got screwed out of a bid to become the Chair of the most powerful committee in Congress.

For starters, Kevin McCarthy’s cabal is now all but extinct, courtesy of a historic ouster of the ex-Speaker followed by a slew of retirements from his loyal lieutenants.

The new House Speaker is a known Buchanan ally, with the latter raising loads of cash for his speakership and the expansion of the GOP majority.

And one of the most influential members of Congress, Florida rabble rouser Matt Gaetz, is a Buchanan friend and colleague who has publicly ripped the current Ways and Means Chairman as a “special interest shill.”

The aforementioned reasons undoubtedly played into Axios publishing a piece last week confirming — albeit from “sources familiar” — that Buchanan is “weighing” a challenge for the top spot of the tax-writing panel.

Buchanan’s camp has kept tight lips on the Congressman’s plans, only saying he is focused on the work of the committee and expanding the House majority this fall.

But wouldn’t it be sweet poetic justice for McCarthy to be excommunicated and Buchanan to be anointed in less than a two-year span?

As we’ve learned from this election cycle, stranger things have happened. And, in many respects, the prospects of Buchanan as next chair aren’t really that strange.

For one, Florida’s prowess and power within Congress has only multiplied in recent months.

Apart from Gaetz’s megaphone, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds has found himself on the short list to become former President Donald Trump’s running mate. As you may recall, Buchanan was the first to nominate his fellow Southwest Florida Republican as Speaker when all hell was breaking loose last October. It also doesn’t hurt that Donalds has a vote on the revered House steering committee.

And let’s not forget the influence of the ex-President himself. Buchanan was one of the very first Republicans in Florida to publicly endorse Trump over Gov. Ron DeSantis in the GOP primary, a fact surely not lost on Trump and his inner circle. Trump in turn endorsed Buchanan over a self-important MAGA-wannabe in the upcoming August primary.

That brings us to Buchanan, the successful businessman whose background and pedigree as a poor kid from Detroit continues to offer sharp contrast to the 40-something currently wielding the Chairman’s gavel.

Maybe there is no there there.

But as we embark on a long weekend celebrating our nation’s independence, here’s hoping for some additional fireworks in the not-so-distant future.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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