Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Schuster will speak during a Lakewood Ranch luncheon March 1 as a special guest of our own Congressman Vern Buchanan.
The talk is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, March 1 a the Polo Grill & Bar's Fete Caering & Ballroom, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch. Reservations are required by emailing LisaR@ManateeChamber.com or calling 941-748-3411. The cost is $20 for Manatee Chamber, Sarasota Chamber and STARTUPS members; $35 for non-members (includes lunch).
The event is organized by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and STARTUPS.
Shuster is the chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. He represents Pennsylvania's 9 District, which ranges from south central Pennsylvania in Chambersburg and Shippensburg, northwest to Altoona and Indiana, Pennsylvania.
One of the largest committees in Congress, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee currently has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, roads, mass transit and railroads.
Shuster was appointed as chairman to the committee in November, and is the same committee is father Rep. Bud Shuster served on from 1995-2001, when his father retired. The younger Schuster took over his father's committee seat in 2001 when he was elected to Congress.
Bill Schuster told The Herald-Standard in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, that he was nervous last week when he oversaw his first meeting as chairman:
“There were a few butterflies,” he said following the hearing Wednesday. “It reminded me of my first high school football game and baseball game. You are a little anxious, but once you get that first hit, everything is fine.
“It was that same feeling at the hearing, but once we were under way it was all good.”
Shuster has been in the news recently for calling President Barack Obama a liar following the State of the Union Speech for saying chief executives wanted to invest in high-speed rail. He has since apologized for his comments, Politico reported:
"This type of incendiary rhetoric is not my style," Shuster said at a Chamber of Commerce infrastructure summit after apologizing for his remarks. "I do not think the president is a liar."
High-speed rail has been coming back into the discussion of Americans again. Two weeks ago, a map of what a national high-speed rail system could look like went viral on Facebook and through the news when Berkeley, California-based designer Alfred Twu, posted the map and information to a Google site. His map on Facebook was shared more than 16,000 times.
In that map, he shows a network for Florida connecting around the state with a loop and connections from Naples to Miami along Alligator Alley and from Tampa to Daytona Beach along Interstate 4.
Still seen as controversial today, Gov. Rick Scott had turned down $3 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail linking Tampa to Orlando, and the plan also included an Orlando to Miami route, which was not funded, according to the Tampa Tribune.
Shuster also serves as the chairman of a special panel to investigate the challenges small and medium sized businesses face in doing business with the Department of Defense.