U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan introduced seven bills to start the 115th Congress on Tuesday, ranging in subjects from searching social media to finding potential terrorism ties to banning the killing of horses for meat.
Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, considers his top priorities as the co-chair of the 29-member Florida congressional delegation as tax reform, reducing regulations for job creation and fighting terrorism.
Also, Buchanan’s 16th district lines were redrawn, approved by the Florida Supreme Court in December 2015, to no longer include Sarasota County south of Clark Road and added southeastern portions of Hillsborough County.
The bills are as follows:
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- Main Street Fairness Act: Introduced to the House in April 2016 by Buchanan, the bill would ensure that small businesses wouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than large corporations.
- Social Media Screening for Terrorists Act: This bill would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to screen all public records, including social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter, before allowing foreign travelers and visa applicants to pass into the borders.
- Support our Start-Ups Act: Introduced in the House in May 2015 by Buchanan, the bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to give tax breaks for new business expenses like those given for the start of a corporation or partnership. The bill would also increase the maximum deduction for start-up expenditures from $5,000 to $20,000.
- Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act: This bill, originally introduced in November 2015, would give a full deduction of the cost of replanting lost or damage citrus plants. It passed the House in 2016.
- Thin Blue Line Act: The bill would make the murder or attempted murder of a first responder an aggravating factor when deciding the death penalty, and in general would toughen penalties by amending the federal criminal code.
- Safeguard American Food Exports Act: Also known as SAFE Act, this bill would permanently ban the killing of horses for food and ban the export of live horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada.
- A constitutional amendment that would require Congress to balance the federal budget.