Vern Buchanan to head Ways and Means investigative subcommittee

Rep. Vern Buchanan in a 2012 photograph provided by his campaign.
Rep. Vern Buchanan in a 2012 photograph provided by his campaign. AP

Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, was named chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee on Monday.

The watchdog panel has investigative authority over issues like health care, the IRS, taxes, Social Security and Medicare, which all fall under the full committee’s jurisdiction.

“I look forward to chairing this important watchdog panel that will monitor government’s largest federal agencies and programs,” Buchanan said in a statement. “I intend to make sure these programs are accountable and working for the people.”

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said in a statement that Buchanan “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,” Brady’s statement said. “I appreciate his hard work and am confident he’ll continue to deliver real results for Floridians and all Americans.”

A Ways and Means Committee member since 2011, Buchanan chaired the human resources subcommittee in the last Congress. He also sits on the health and Social Security subcommittees.

As chairman of the oversight subcommittee, Buchanan vowed to fight fraud in Medicare and Social Security and to make the Internal Revenue Service more responsive to citizens.

“I intend to be fair but relentless in exposing government malfeasance,” Buchanan’s statement said. “Fraud, waste and abuse will not be tolerated. Government exists to work for the people, not the other way around.”