GOP lawmaker bought multimillion dollar yacht on the same day he voted for GOP tax bill

GOP lawmaker bought multimillion dollar yacht on the same day he voted for GOP tax bill
© Greg Nash

GOP Rep. Vern BuchananVernon Gale BuchananMORE (Fla.) bought a luxury yacht on the same day the House passed the GOP tax bill, according to newly released financial disclosure forms.

Florida Politics, a state-focused political news outlet, first reported that Buchanan purchased an Ocean Alexander yacht on Nov. 16 of last year.

According to financial disclosure forms, the price was between $1 million and $5 million. The Ocean Alexander website says the least expensive yacht from the company starts at $3.25 million.

The House passed their first version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Nov. 16 with no Democratic votes, but did not approve the final version of the bill until the following month.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' MORE signed the bill into law on Dec. 22.

Buchanan, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is the eight-wealthiest member of Congress, and worth nearly $74 million, according to Roll Call.

Democrats seized on the report, with the Florida Democratic Party sending out a release arguing it suggested that Buchanan voted for the bill for personal interest. Buchanan is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee which produced the legislation. 

Progressive think tank Center for American Progress estimated earlier this year that Buchanan would save more than $2.1 million because of the new tax law. The group looked at Republicans on the tax-writing panel.

Buchanan’s office and re-election campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The new law, which made sweeping changes to the tax code, has drawn criticism from those who say it primarily benefits the wealthy.

Republicans touted the overhaul as a boon to middle class families, and President Trump has said the tax cuts have accelerated economic growth.