To Congressman Vern Buchanan, Florida is the best state in the country to do business, and it’s not just because of the weather.
To a crowd at the Manatee Chamber of Commerce luncheon Monday, the Longboat Key representative gave some insights on Washington D.C.’s inner workings.
The Sunshine State’s atmosphere of reducing regulations and taxes is what the new tax law seeks to bring on a national level, he said.
“We’ve been doing the old way, 1.5 percent growth, and guess what? They ran up a $10 trillion debt (over 10 years). That way doesn’t work,” Buchanan said, adding he believes this tax reform will generate $5 trillion in 10 years by doubling growth.
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Chamber members were asked to send him positive stories about businesses who have benefited from the new law.
Buchanan hopes to fine tune the new law in his role as the new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Tax Policy Subcommittee (“So watch out!” he joked.), which covers topics such as taxes, health care, Social Security, welfare and trade.
While prefacing that he doesn’t agree always with President Donald Trump, Buchanan praised his pushing for tax reform while putting forth a four-point immigration plan and a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan.
“He wants to make these deals. He’ll be the most productive president ever if this gets done in a matter of two years,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan said he believed Trump’s immigration plan — which includes funding for the Mexico border wall, a way for citizenship for 1.8 million “Dreamers” brought to the U.S. as children, ending the merit-based visa lottery and stopping chain migration known as “family reunification” while shifting to sponsorships for spouses and children under 18 — was a “legitimate plan.”
“We want immigrants, but we want to make sure there’s a legal process,” he said.
While he doesn’t have his sights yet set on his own re-election — Buchanan said he is waiting for the primary election before debating any challengers — the special election day for the Florida House District 72 race, where his son James is the Republican nominee, is Tuesday.
Glancing at early voting and mail-in ballot data as of 3:30 p.m. Monday, the votes that have been cast by party affiliation are as follows: 12,102 Republicans, 11,926 Democrats and 3,844 others.
“It’s going to be a tight race,” Buchanan said. “(It’s) probably going to be the largest turnout in a special election ever.”
He said the “real race” would be in November, as whoever wins this election will catch the tail end of the state legislature’s current session.