In an effort to help you make informed decisions during the General Election, ABC Action News has reached out to dozens of candidates running for office. The following statements have been submitted to ABC Action News by the candidate. Every candidate was given the same set of questions. These are their responses in his/her own words.
Name: Vern Buchanan
Office: US House District 16
No information provided
Why should voters vote for you?
I have successfully passed 22 proposals into law under three different presidents from both parties. Whether it was passing legislation to crack down on animal cruelty or combating the opioid epidemic or making sure our veterans and seniors receive the care they deserve, I will never stop fighting for the men and women of Southwest Florida.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
- Combatting the coronavirus: We need to be doing everything in our power to combat this deadly virus and protect our most vulnerable. That’s why I have called for additional COVID-19 relief funds to be directed to senior living communities and backed a bill to extend telehealth for seniors. I was also one of the first in Congress to call for the president to declare a public health emergency and to call for restricting flights into the country from China, the origin of the disease. In fact, in 2017, I proposed that Congress should create a pandemic response fund to combat deadly infectious diseases.
- Creating jobs and growing the economy: It is so important that we give our small businesses the support and tools they need to recover from the pandemic. Without good paying jobs it’s hard to raise a family, put a roof over your head, food on the table, gas in the car and access to health care.
- Ending Washington gridlock: There is simply too much partisan bickering from both parties in Washington. I have been ranked one of the most effective and bipartisan members of Congress because I'll work with anybody if it means producing results for our region.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
Bipartisan, effective, gets the job done.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
As somebody who spent 30 years in the private sector creating thousands of jobs, I’m extremely passionate about helping small businesses grow to help turbocharge our economy.
As it relates to the role you are seeking, how has that governmental body handled the Covid-19 pandemic? What would you do differently/the same in handling both the public health risk and the economic recovery?
In Congress, I supported a sweeping rescue package that included financial assistance for individuals, families, small and medium-sized businesses, hospitals, medical facilities and state and local governments. The bill also included significant resources for our front-line health care workers and first responders.
Another important provision was additional unemployment insurance benefits for people suddenly thrown out of work. It was an important addition in the face of an unprecedented crisis like this. People are hurting and they need to know we have their back. I'm also on record urging Congress to extend benefits until the next relief bill is passed.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
It’s time to chart a constructive course with bipartisan cooperation and a positive vision for our future. We can start by listening to one another, instead of yelling and berating each other. The next time you hear a politician in either party castigating someone instead of offering a constructive solution, count them as part of the problem not part of the solution.
In Congress, I supported the Justice Act which addressed reforms to police procedures, such as chokeholds, body cameras, de-escalation training and greater reporting of use-of-force incidents.
What motivates you to run for public office?
The people I have the honor of serving.