Vern Buchanan

Members of Congress Talk Hurricane Irma

Blame It on the Rain: House Departs for August Recess
A rainy last session day in D.C. as captured by Roll Call’s Bill Clark

Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman walks down the House steps in the pouring rain on Friday, following the final votes as Congress leaves town for its summer recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While the Senate is scheduled to stay on in Washington for at least another few days to take care of legislative business, House lawmakers on Friday finished up their final votes ahead of the summer recess.

And it was just in time, too, as heavy downpours hit the nation’s capital, with a D.C. area flash flood watch in effect through Saturday afternoon.

Brat Bill Would Limit VA Dog Experiments
Sponsors PUPPERS Act with Nevada Democrat Titus

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., introduced legislation to limit the VA from conducting experiments that cause dogs significant pain or distress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Virginia Rep. Dave Brat introduced legislation limiting experiments on dogs at Veterans Affairs hospitals.

The Republican introduced the Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species Act, also known as the PUPPERS Act, with Nevada Democratic Rep. Dina Titus.

Word on the Hill: More Paws in the Capitol
Game show night in Rayburn

Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta poses at a photo booth with his dog Reilly during an ASPCA pet adoption event on Capitol Hill in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The annual “Paws for Celebration” pet adoption event on Capitol Hill is today, which means you can play with dogs and cats in the middle of the work day.

Hosted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with the support of Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., six local rescue groups will bring in animals in need of permanent homes.

Take Five: Rep. Francis Rooney
Florida Republican on thinking globally with the Pope

Florida Rep. Francis Rooney says being in politics has put a dent in his boating and sailing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Rep. Francis Rooney, 63, a Florida Republican, talks about being ambassador to the Vatican, seeing the Capitol Visitor Center as a hole, and boating in his home state.

Q: What has surprised you about being in Congress so far?

Lawmakers Demand More Info on VA Dog Experiments
Letter cites experiment breeding dogs with narcolepsy and treating them with drugs before killing them

Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-Calif., was among members of Congress asking the Department of Veterans Affairs for more information about experiments on it is conducting on dogs  (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs asking for more information into the department's experiments on dogs.

“We are concerned that the VA’s description of these experiments as ‘observational’ is inaccurate and misleads Congress and taxpayers to believe that the studies are harmless,” the letter reads.

Word on the Hill: Semi-Recess Week
Your social calendar for the week

A television monitor at the TV stakeout shows proceedings on the floor as the House votes to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House staffers get a bit of a break this week.

While the Senate is in session, the House is on recess following a long and stressful week that culminated with the passage of the Republican health care bill. 

Three Celebrities on Capitol Hill for Three Reasons
Rob Thomas, Billy Hurley III and Huw Collins on why they came to D.C.

Athletes Billy Hurley III, left, and Dan Jansen, right, at a National Golf Day event in the Rayburn House Office Building. (Courtesy WE ARE GOLF)

This week on Capitol Hill, a musician, an athlete, and an actor came out to lobby for causes specifically important to them.

Singer Rob Thomas came to discuss the challenges facing songwriters and federal regulations on licensing and was joined by other singers including Peter Frampton.

Buchanan Wants Investigation into VA Dog Experiments
VA defends research as ‘life-changing and lifesaving’

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., said the VA’s animal research “include everything from inducing heart attacks to invasive brain-damaging surgeries, which can leave animals severely maimed or dead.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs asking for an investigation into reports of medical experiments on dogs.

Buchanan’s letter came after Richmond, Va., TV station WRIC’s report into animal surgeries and deaths at the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond. 

Why Some House Republicans Could be Taking a Risk on Obamacare Repeal
The 11 GOP members who have the most constituents on Obamacare

These 11 members of Congress represent the Republican districts with the greatest percentage of constituents enrolled in government insurance exchanges. They are (clockwise from upper left): Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., Francis Rooney, R-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Rob Woodall, R-Ga.

As House Republicans rolled out their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act this week, some members of the conference found themselves stuck between their constituents and their colleagues.

Eleven House Republicans, who will be expected by party leadership and the White House to support their party’s replacement plan, represent districts where at least 6 percent of their constituents are enrolled in government insurance exchanges set up by the 2010 health care law, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of Kaiser Family Health Foundation and Census Bureau data.