tv National Journal Conversation with Representative Bill Shuster R-PA CSPAN May 2, 2015 5:25pm-6:15pm EDT
is, right back there. walter isaacson: there is a microphone right next you, sir. >> good morning, madam secretary, and our historic investment that the president has asked us to do, it closes this week, so hurry up and get your applications in, because there are 100 or 125 innovative models across the country, and it is a very huge effort to blow it out of traditional labor construction, or trade, and it is wonderful and we could keep -- we should keep doing this, so there is a lot of strategy, a lot of interest in the country and we are of about 65,000 in number and that is in the last year so we have already increased it by 55,000 apprenticeships and we are moving. walter isaacson: it would be great to get an apprenticeship in the trade and patent office. [laughter] walter isaacson: that would be a
great place to start. there are people in the pack, i do want them to feel left out. calling: -- colleen: hi, colleen rose, i have spoken with michael porter at the harvard business school trying to get this started in for -- started for a long time, but my one fear about this is that we may begin to be driven by only big business, and my understanding is that the small and medium enterprises are the ones the higher the most people, so how do he teach small and medium enterprises how to grow their businesses -- how do we teach small and medium enterprises on how to grow their businesses so that it creates and need to create jobs? sec. pritzker: we work with a
lot of different business sectors in how to help them grow, for example, i will go back to manufacturing we have the manufacturing extension partnerships at the department of commerce where we work with businesses to develop world-class practices so they can remain competitive. the department of commerce also has the export assistance center where there is over 100, i think there is 108 centers around the united states, to center on which markets around the world their products will be competitive so that they can succeed, and then we have officers in 75 countries around the world where we help you navigate locally to grow your's nest. so we do a lot to try and, as we say, we try to create the conditions for your business to grow so it can create jobs.
we partner with the department of labor in terms of training, most of the money, the grant money, comes from the department of labor, and what we have done is partner with them to try and work with the conditions of those grants so that they are employer-led and job driven, so that what we are doing is to try to have less where the secretary of labor would say train and pray and more of a labor approach to skills acquisition and training into various sectors in our economy. walter isaacson: let me do this in the order that i saw and that we will try to get to you. and then we will maybe have to start wrapping this up. >> i really appreciate this new an ambitious program, and my question is, one things that we hear -- one thing that we hear is that they are very much
progressing and moving towards a more diverse workforce, but they don't have the tools that they need to diversify their workforce, so i wonder if anything in this program will include more diversity in industries that have not been traditionally diverse, including native american populations and non-english beakers into these programs as well? sec. pritzker: maybe we will have maureen and jay answer that? maureen conway: sure, just in terms of increasing this, one of the things that the secretary mentioned earlier is that a lot of these issues are driven a locally, and one of the things that we are looking for it, in terms of the application and in terms of what we are hoping to work with, is that we raise the issues that are being struggled within the community and we work with public agencies and others to think about how we can
address that, so how can that sort of come from them, if this is an issue they want to work on together. walter isaacson: jay, do you wan t to? jay: is the work that we do in the native american tribes across this country. they have a specific different set of needs different from some of the rural communities and urban communities we work in. by having them as part of the conversation, having our staff on the ground, it gives us the extra sensitivity that we're addressing those and being inclusive and diverse in terms of our investments and our approaches. >> ted welsh from stem connector. one of the issues in the work that we're doing is some of the opportunities in stem fields don't know, aren't aware of the opportunities that exist in the workforce, especially students
from low income backgrounds. this is a great set of infrastructure that you are putting in place. the build it and they will come approach may not necessarily work. are there any strategies that students and educators and those who work with them at the secondary level are helping to inform students about the opportunities that you're talking about? some of these jobs didn't exist 15 years ago, five years even. sec. pritzker: do you want to talk about the ground floor effort, the matching, some of the pilots. >> one example, the glass door expect that we are working on actually in partnership, we have e.d.a., so jay can follow up on the national advisory council for innovation and entrepreneurship. it's focusing on workforce development of one subcommittee of what it's doing as part of
its advisory role to the secretary of the e.d.a. a member of that advisory group glass door is working with us to kind of touch on your question and comment about how do you prepare for what are the jobs of the future basically in stem where a lot of job growth and i.t. there is a big gap in data most people in this room know we don't have a localized data, but the supply and demand is and take the state for example. we're working with glass door to do a pilot to look at virginia to obtain some of their employment data to do some matching between the supply side and the demand side. so glass door has a treasure trove of information about jobs available, skills that are needed and by developing a partnership with the state of virginia and obtaining their information about the supply side, who needs jobs, what skills do they have, the idea is to develop a demonstration project that potentially we can share with other states. so it's early stage, but i
think it's something that addresses your question a little bit about how are we thinking forward about what are the skills needed for jobs now and going forward. sec. pritzker: and linked in is working on a different approach. we're trying to use technology to try to deal with the supply demand question and equation. >> i'm going to end with a topic that is sort of a future looking topic which is the evolution of the american workforce seems to have a couple of trends that have accelerated recently. one is that people, young people coming out of either college or from high school are not necessarily joining big corporate entities, but they're creating a portfolio where they're juggling a lot of jobs things like the affordable care act makes that more possible because you don't need to join a corporate entity, and secondly, i know steve case and people have been working with the administration going across america, we're going to new
orleans in a couple of weeks to talk about entrepreneurs and start-up and that culture. how are you dealing with people who are not going into traditional, i'm going to get a paycheck employment. sec. pritzker: one of the things we do through e.d.a., we work with incubators and action accelerators to help support those cultures in the united states which frankly is the envy of the world. there isn't a country i go to around the world that says how do we replicate what you've got. what is so exciting to me is that we're really doing a lot to elevate and support innovation and entrepreneurship outside of the traditional centers of boston silicon valley austin, texas boulder, and with the efforts like what steve case is doing and with what e.d.a. is doing to actually help fund a number of
these organizations, we're helping entrepreneurs around the united states get access not only to mentorship and to train, remember, they're going from a business idea to a business plan to how to actually create an organization legally to having to hire people, et cetera, that whole process is something daunting if you don't come from folks who can help you do that. and so these are really centers that are able to help young folks and or old folks it doesn't matter what age you are, just any entrepreneur. it's very exciting what is happening there. >> i will put in a little plug that we have started this last month, one of the people has come here so we can have an incubation at the aspen profit both for profit and nonprofit
entrepreneurs, people who want to be social entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs in the private sector because that notion of bringing people together and giving them the mentorship, giving them the skills, giving them the support of support structure that they need allows people to start new enterprises. what about this portfolio approach that many people are doing, how are we besides the affordable care act helping allow that to flourish in america? sec. pritzker: well, i think that, you know, we are living in the age of the microentrepreneur, right. so think about what technology is allowing to have help. you can drive your uber for four hours a day and go to night school or date school or whatever and you can be volunteering part of your time, i always loved talking to a driver, and they are portfolio folks. the sharing economy is allowing
people to put together a portfolio lifestyle and income streams that is something we have never seen. we're unlocking entrepreneurship in this country in a way that is really revolutionary. >> that might be the answer to the question of will technology create jobs or destroy jobs. once again we're seeing it create jobs. sec. pritzker: one of my questions is, are we capturing all in g.d.p.? any find words. >> >> no. >> 40 years ago this weekend a grieving nation gathered along lincoln's funeral train from washington, d.c. to springfield, illinois. this afternoon we're live from oak ridge cemetery in
springfield to commemorate the anniversary of president lincoln's funeral with over 1,000 reenactors and a recreation of the 1865 useology speakers and performances and a tour of the newly recreated lincoln funeral car. on c-span this weekend,ton at 8:00, the festivities of the state visit of japanese president shinzo abe including his arrival at the white house and the toast at the dinner in his honor. and the supreme court of the united states oral arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage on whether the 14th amendment requires the state to license a marriage between two people of the same-sex. and tonight at 10:00, author peter slevin looks at the life of our first lady michelle obama from childhood to the white house. and our live three-hour
conversation with author john ronson. join the conversation with jon ronson who will also be taking your phone calls, email, facebook comments and tweets. get the complete schedule at c-span.org. pennsylvania representative bill shuster chairs the transportation and infrastructure committee. he recently spoke about issues concerning the highway trust fund reauthorization of the aviation administration and changes to amtrak. he raced questions about his relationship with an aviation lobbyist. this is 50 minutes. rep. shuster: i was talking to fawn backstage the last time i was here we slugged our shoulders -- shrugged our shoulders, three years ago.
i guess we have been having fun. the usual suspects show up when i'm talking about transportation issues. i have to warn you as i told fawn what are you going to say in your opening remarks? probably a lot of what you heard me talking about for the last couple of years so here goes. again, i really appreciate the opportunity to talk to the media, the folks like you that care deeply about transportation because i think we all know that's a quality of life issue. it's about creating jobs. it's about creating convenience. it's about getting us to and from, getting the products to and from to make sure that we have them on our shelves and we get to our families, to the playground, to wherever we're going in this country. when i look at a crowd like this i look at every crowd and say we're all in the transportation business, everybody today was touched by the transportation business. everybody in this room obviously, but even back home when mom or dad are getting that carton of milk or cereal
for the kids this morning, that got to the house by the transportation system. it's critical that we pay attention to it and we make the investments that we need to. i believe there is a federal responsibility as i have said to this room and many others over the years article i, section 8, pretty clear to me that there is a role for the federal government not to do it all, but to be a partner, to be a good partner with the states and the local governments to make sure again that we are connecting this country. what we have tied to do over the last couple of years in the committee is work on a bipartisan basis. that's always my goal to strt out sitting down with my colleagues across the aisle and try to develop a common ground where we can move forward and i think historically, that's been the committee's history, sitting down, working things out. we continue to do that every day. peter defaso is a good parter, he is somebody that is very smart and he has been around this town for more than two decades, so he knows where all of the bodies are buried when it comes to transportation. he knows what was tried before,
so it's good to have somebody like that you can work with. peter is passionate as you might have saw the article that fawn wrote, i said he rants on the house floor. i probably shouldn't have said rant, but peter is very passionate. when you sit down with him, you can work with him. the priorities for the committee are first of all the surface transportation bill which we're working through. it looks as though we have to do a short-term patch to get to a longer term bill. we're working very closely with the leadership and with paul ryan to figure out how to do that short-term patch and then move on to a longer-term bill. i feel fairly confident, though, that we're going to get a long-term bill because both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capital and both sides of pennsylvania avenue want a long-term bill. as i traveled this country and i think members travel back to their districts and their states, that's what they hear. we must have a long-term bill. so that's the goal, again, we need to continue that federal
partnership. i spent a week, not a week, but a couple of days in my district with four or five secretaries of transportation around the country to see pennsylvania's infrastructure to raise awareness and to talk about the need for the federal partnership. i have yet to have one single governor or secretary of transportation across this country ask me to send it all back to the states. they know it's a responsibility that needs to have something at the federal level, again, to make sure we are connected. as i said, as we move this bill, we want to empower the states and local governments to be able to move faster. map 21 did a lot of that. we're waiting to see how some of that rolls out and some has. public private partnerships we need to focus on. having an intelligent title in the bill intelligence title, talking about the cars, the transportation of the future, not that we deal with regulating those cars, that comes under the committee's jurisdiction, how do we build roads in the next five or 10 years that will have cars and trucks that have this
technology on it driverless vehicles. again, we need to start thinking about that in this bill. again, access railing project delivery streamlining and focusing on freight movement in this country i think is absolutely critical. that should be the focus of where these federal dollars go. and finally, and most importantly, it needs to be fiscally responsible. we have to find a way to pay for it that doesn't add to the deficit and the debt. the second piece i'm focused on is f.a.a. reauthorization. we have come to a point in time that we are losing the lead in the world, whether it's manufacturing, whether it's airline service, whether it's component manufacturers, we have to make sure that our government is out there able to push the ball forward, help them get out of their way so they can continue that lead in the world. when you look at the airline industry, we're moving toward a billion passengers in the next several years a billion passengers flying around the country and around the world. i believe we're going to need to do something that is
transformational, it makes it easier for passengers, makes the system more efficient, makes it so that when our manufacturing are looking for certification on aircraft or components, that it moves much faster. again, we can't allow the rest of the world to be moving faster than we are. we need to modernize the traffic control system which is a big part of what we should be doing. next jen working on the last 10 years, we spent $60 billion and have little to show for it. at the same time verizon has upgraded its operating system four times four different iterations of it while we here at f.a.a. can't move forward on much of anything. stakeholders have lost their confidence in the f.a.a. bureaucracy and again i think we are seeing all of the groups out there saying and we have spent the last 16, 18 months talking to everybody about the need for transformation, about the need for change at the f.a.a. we are all in agreement, all of the stakeholders are in agreement there is a problem.
now we're trying to figure out what's the solution and move forward hopefully in a bipartisan way and making sure the stakeholders are at the table helping us to craft what would be a good bill. in addition to that, on the committee, we have a very, very busy agenda, we passed on a passenger rail bill in march. hope to see some action on that. we passed a fema reform bill. we have on the floor this week, waters of the united states piece of legislation to try to stop the e.p.a. from putting out a rule that i believe will be very, very bad for the economy. we introduced a coast guard bill last week and then next year we hope to do in this congress, next year another resources bill and of course a pipeline safety bill with modernization, it will be done in the next couple of months and working on g.s.a. reform. a lot on our plate in the committee. i believe we work together, we can accomplish a lot of these things that will mark america a better place, our
transportation system will be vastly improved as well as somebody has to run agencies being reformed that will be positive for not only the country, but the products and the services they provide. thank you very much for having me here today. i look forward to hearing your questions. [applause] fawn: great, thank you mr. chairman. joining the chairman at this time is fawn johnson. she is a correspondent with the national journal. she covers policy issues such as a gun control and transportation. she is a long time student of washington, d.c. policy and politics. she has covered congress and the administration. fawn johnson ladies and gentlemen. fawn: thank you, poppy. i have an ipad right here with, waiting for your questions so my goal is to get through, we probably all have the same questions, so i'm going to try
to ask them and we get to the q & a. keep sending them along and hopefully we can take care of them. mr. chairman, thank you for joining us. i realize that you and i are boring compared to the protesters outside of the supreme court. thank you all for being here anyway. so let's talk about and you touched on this briefly, the most immediate problem facing the congress. i counted 33 days until the highway trust fund authority expires. you mention in your remarks that we need some sort of extension. how long do you think we will need for your committee and the ways and means committee to work out a long-term bill. rep. shuster: being a long term bill the patch is driven by the amount of money that we find. we are hoping to do several months to give the ways and means committee to then do a ball. i know paul ryan wants to do tax reform. i believe that's where he will come up with the dollars to do a long-term bill.
the timing, working with ways and means, working with leadership, no decision has been made as to exactly how long. fawn: what is your preference? rep. shuster: several months to get us through, i think it's very important to get us through the construction season and states like texas and florida, they have construction season lasts basically all year. states like pennsylvania wisconsin have a shorter window, so making sure we get through that construction season. fawn: and in the immediate future, there needs to be an extension on the floor. you guys are out next week, i believe, so you need to come back and have something ready to go that can get through the senate relatively quickly. what's the time frame on that? are we going to be seeing some sort of countdown to the 31st as many people in this room have seen many times. rep. shuster: it sounds like the countdown has already started. legislative days, so we are out next week, we're back for two weeks and we allow for memorial day, 22nd, it's going to have
to be that second or third week. we're working with the senate talking with senator inhofe and senator boxer. senator inhofe, i'm not sure what he said on the issue, he would like a shorter term. fawn: he told me, i was the one that asked the question, he wanted it to be before the end of the fiscal year. that sounds like it's not quite enough time, i would think, for you to come up with a tax, a robust tax package. rep. shuster: that doesn't get us through the entire construction season. pennsylvania still needs to go another month or so before they start to slow down. fawn: let's also talk a little bit about -- i have one question from one of our listeners here is how long is long-term when it comes to a bill. we have to deal with the extension, but what do we do next? rep. shuster: i believe five or six years is a long-term bill. that's what my goal is. that's what we're working towards. both sides of the aisle, both house and senate and the administration are all talking
about a long-term bill. fawn: would it be the same level of funding, more or less? rep. shuster: i'm nudging paul ryan the best i can to do more. it's at the same levels. what i learned from traveling the country, giving people the choice, more money in a shorter term money or about the same money in a long-term money, it's unanimous, they want that five or six years of certainty. fawn: it's been awhile innings that happened. let's talk a little bit about -- we talked a little bit about this when we had our private interview about the tax, the tax debate that's come around. we know that we can't do something as big and ambitious as the kind of thing that dave camp, the former ways and means chairman had proposed. there needs to be something more than just a small tweak on
taxes as you and i talked about. how do you see this playing out , you must be working very closely with paul ryan to be able to figure this out because whatever number he comes up with is going to determine how long you can do a bill. what are you looking at? what do you expect to have happen in terms of the tax conversation? rep. shuster: read the papers, everybody is talking about some sort of tax reform, senate and the house. it's a big large reform that dave camp was working on but i think there is an opportunity out there to do some smaller things on tax reform. that's where we'll come in again, paul, it's up to paul to figure out exactly where the dollars are and to do a five or six-year bill, we need between $70 billion or $90 billion to make that happen. in our conversations, he is working very hard on trying to figure that out.
fawn: one of the things that i have observed after having covered this for a while is that a lot, the kinds of policy conversations, most everybody agrees on the need for some sort of robust transportation bill and the policy around that. really the question is how do you pay for it? are there any outstanding policy issues that you guys are working on or that you expect to include in a bill once you get the funding started or put together? rep. shuster: yes. it is focusing on freight, the freight corridorness this country which of course carry passengers. having that your focus and taking that focus back, because that's really what the system was set up to do and giving the states more ability to move quicker, move faster and look what we did in map 21 and see how the department is implementing those reforms. some of them rethink are going in the right way, some we have concerns about and we need to tweak those. fawn: do you have any examples?
rep. shuster: a come out there. making sure that these reports are done, not consecutively, but at the same time, they're all coming together concurrently. that is starting to happen, but, again we want to make very sure it moves forward. one of the things we put in there, the need for review process. two states, california and texas, are taking over the need for reform process. by saying taking it over, they do the same as the federal government does, the states are going to do it. the texas secretary of transportation was traveling with me to pennsylvania. they have been at it a few months and he is confident they can speed the process up. fawn: you talked about a technology title. that's brand-new, you want to give us a little detail on that. rep. shuster: sure. i had the opportunity to ride in a driverless vehicle. fawn: it's documented on the
webcam. rep. shuster: i have ridden three of them. one in pennsylvania, they brought a car down to washington which was a little more intense. fawn: it want be worse than the drivers here. rep. shuster: the car was pretty cautious. the driver had to get aggressive to go in traffic. fawn: type a driverless car is what you need. rep. shuster: when they start talking to each other, we'll bring courtesy back to the driving public. fawn: oh, no, terrifying to think about. i'm derailing the conversation, the technology title. rep. shuster: these cars are coming. they tell me probably several years you'll be able to buy in the showroom a high end car, most likely cost you $15,000 extra to get a car that can drive itself. they believe in 20 years, that 75% of the fleet will have the ability to talk to each other. the technology title is you start to think about it, is
there anything difficult we have to do? i don't have the answers. pennsylvania, for instance carnegie melon won the contest, the first driverless vehicle. they contracted with them to do a three-year study, how do we build roads to take these cars to build and interact with these cars, is it different materials, the paint need to be different, the sensors pick up on it, again, i don't know the answer. that's what we need to study and understand. when we build a road in the next five to 10 years, it is going to have a driverless vehicle on it. fawn: are there other stakeholders that need to be consulted in those processes? i mean are there science parts of it in the government that are not in the transportation department, for example, but should be weighing in on some of the rules and regulations that are coming out? rep. shuster: absolutely they already have the electronics industry, we have talked to folks from silicon valley, the technology coming out of there. they're very involved and engaged in what's going to
happen. again, they also have to deal with the cars and technologies are billed built. that will be for the commerce committee to deal with the regs on that. getting on the highway and how we build the roads, they're very interested. fawn: the forward thinking part of the bill. there is one question from our audience on surface that i don't want to forget and we'll move on. the question is do we know what the offsets are for the short -term stopgap that we have? i had been in the sense that we're looking at $8 billion, $10 billion by the end of the calendar year. rep. shuster: we don't have the exact offset. fawn: i feel like we have run out of all of the gimmicks. rep. shuster: it's tough. fawn: to be announced further. i have a few more questions on surface, but let's move on to f.a.a. i'm putting this in order of the things that are coming up
that you have to deal with. so f.a.a. expires at the end of fiscal year. you talked a little bit about your plan. can you give a little more detail -- we have talked about what you would like to see f.a.a. transformed into. rep. shuster: i can't give you much detail because we haven't got to the detail part. what we spent the last 18 months now if my math is right, starting this conversation with the stakeholders. i think we have had every stakeholder group in a roundtable, a listening session. they try to figure out what they think the problems are. as i said in my part earlier everybody agrees there is a problem. now we have to figure out the solution. that's why we spent time looking at what do people around the world do. there are the industrialized countries and 50 total have taken the air traffic controller organization out of government -- fawn: completely or almost.
rep. shuster: to say, that you have to quantify that. germany has taken it out and formed a wholly owned corporation owned by the german government. you have the pure for profit air traffic control system that acts kind of like a utility would act. the canadians have what is a not for profit organization that kind of operates like a co-op. they have benefits to them but we're the largest system in the world, we to figure out, is there a model out there we can use to help scale it. that's what we're going lou, the conversations right now with all of the stakeholders. fawn: i have been under the impression that at least your initial thought that the nonprofit nodl on canada or something like that is something that you're most interested in? rep. shuster: i think that's a fair statement. when you look at the metrics on what each do and, first of all
safety is paramount. that has to be our number one priority. it is in these systems. they're very safe and then how we go through it again, what scales best for the united states what system works best. it will take all of the stakeholders all at the table. if we do an f.a.a. authorization, not everyone will get what they want and people will be ok. it will be tough to do. fawn: i can preface think by saying i did back-to-back interviews with you and mr. sazio and talking about the specific issue as you two are in the middle of negotiations. he is i think a little -- he has questions about a nonprofit because i think there are many number -- i can go into it, but i will probably get it wrong. he is a very smart guy. he has talked about how, the idea of a government corporation ala fannie mae is
one -- rep. shuster: i would never use fannie mae as an example. fawn: exactly. my question is what if you don't get there? the two of you really do need to agree if you're going to actually transform the f.a.a. is there going to be a winner and a loser here? not saying that you're up against one another. rep. shuster: peter and i can have our disagreements. the stakeholders out there have to be really engaged in this and across the board from the air traffic controllers, they went through 23 extensions, three years without a pay raise. sequestration, government shutdown and they all seemed to get hammered. they had it with the system and they want to try to do something different. the manufacturers, when you talk about the certification program, we got to fix it. we got the manufacturer of a business jet that they told me they are three years ahead of
their competition to get their jet out, three years ahead. that gives them a huge competitive advantage. the f.a.a. at he have step slows it down. we got to stop that. the component manufacturers, they're going to go to other countries and manufacture these things they get certified faster. we have a drone industry that is starting to -- they're going to end up in foreign countries if we don't figure out how to make sure our air space is safe for them and they can manufacture. and the airlines have to be able, the airports, everyone has to be at the table. the way our system works, nobody is going to get up from the table and go -- frank: talk -- fawn: talk about how that works, the lunch last week when the president of n a.f.c. a was speaking, the place was packed. everybody listened to what he had to say. his concern is that there is still funding because of
sequestration and the temporary extensions were killing them. you rattled off 10 different stakeholder groups that are going to have their own priorities. how does it work for you guys to be able to come up with something that is workable and you can also pass before september. rep. shuster: it's going to be very difficult. i said it before. fawn: good answer. rep. shuster: when you start out with everybody saying there is a problem, we can figure a pathway forward which we haven't done yet. we're starting to move on that pathway forward. it's important that we're all talking together. you mentioned all of the stakeholders there general aviation is a key stakeholder others but those are very important to the process because if you look, this is nothing new that i'm trying to do. this was tried in the clinton administration, it was tried in the bush administration. something very similar and
cross ways with a couple of stakeholders and it didn't move forward. in fact, we had -- i told you we had a hearing with these clinton administration former bush, reagan administration, all of these folks were giving testimony and one of the senior democrats said i have been to this hearing before, but it was 20 years ago. these were the same people saying the same things they were saying 20 years ago. fawn: a few more wrinkles. rep. shuster: we are to a point, we're able to do something. as i said, figuring out that sweet spot. fawn: can you take a little bit about how you work with stakeholders generally? i have noticed and i have written that the transportation community, well, we all know each other pretty well. so how does it work? just kind of on a practical basis. rep. shuster: having the roundtables are absolutely critical. again, having meetings with the
stakeholders one-on-one to understand what their concerns and priorities are, making sure that we're not just republicans in the room talking about it, but having democrats in the room talking about it with them. so we all can hear the coming right from the stakeholders, this is a concern or some is something we think is good. i look add how we did werda, that's the same way to move this -- fawn: the water resources bill, but this is a much bigger bite at the apple. there is more stakeholders. so it leads me when we're talking about the transportation community, we need to talk about an issue that has been on a lot of people's minds. it's not my practice to go into someone's personal life. you have been dating a lobbyist from the airline industry, a former hill staffer, very well thought of. the airline industry has a huge stake in the f.a.a. bill. can you tell us what that's
about and how you're coping with that. rep. shuster: i have been very transparent and one of the things it's a personal private relationship, but i think i have gone above and beyond what the rules require, what the law requires to make sure that we're doing things appropriately. i know a lot of people in this town that are lobbyists, b.y.u. but, again i think we can do these things as professionals. fawn: i know a lot of people that are lobbyists as well. a lot of people here are lobbyists. did you think about recusing yourself from aviation and what is your reasoning? rep. shuster: i have gone above and beyond what the house rules require. my integrity level. people in this town know my integrity level. i'm at the table. i have a lot of stakeholders. i guarantee you, everybody will walk away from this deal hopefully saying it's pretty good it's not perfect.
fawn: you know that's about the best as you can do. rep. shuster: that's the way the system is set up. 230 years of this country, i can't imagine there has ever been a legislature that walks out after a bill passes this is perfect. it just doesn't happen. we're looking for the good. fawn: this is something that has, especially when we're talking about surface transportation issue, aviation has its own little world. the people who deal in the industry work very closely together in part because the system is heavily regulated and because there is some government money on the table. so can you i know that you have spent some time trying to invite other people into that circle. you grew up in it because of your family. what have you done to try and expand the circles, so to speak, so that you can have different voices come in, so you can have other voices that
aren't, that don't speak werda? rep. shuster: again, bringing them in and faking sure their voices are heard. you talk to people in the water resources industry, you talk to people in the maritime coast guard industry and you talk to people in the aviation industry across the board and listen to everybody. again, this is not going to be about one stakeholder. it's going to be about how you get those 15, 12 whatever the numbers of stakeholders together to say, ok, we can support this. you saw the senate do on an f.t.b. bill, the railroad industry, you talk about a small industry, the railway industry is much smaller. they were able to work it out, ok we can live with this. that's the kind of thing -- fawn: that dovetails my plan to the next topic. you have already passed an action track bill on the house side and now we're waiting to see what happens in the senate.
i think there is some thought that their bill and your bill can come together. rep. shuster: probably won't be able to be merged. i understand they may introduce a passenger bill. there are a lot of folks over there that care about amtrak. so that's something we're tating to see. they haven't passed the s.t.b., or they passed something else -- fawn: if i remember shall and probably someone here knows better than i do, the bill passed by the committee, but it's not on the floor. rep. shuster: that's correct. the senate confuses me in general. fawn: it confuses everybody. rep. shuster: i think they're working on something on both of those issues. fawn: i'm interested in this particular amtrak bill took the policy a little bit farther than others had in the past, particularly in terms of trying to isolate and make the infrastructure investment going
to the northeast corridor and we don't know what is going to happen to the long-term routes that tend not to making money. where would you like to see amtrak go? do you think it should still have federal subsidies? rep. shuster: it won't survive without him. my goal is to work with jeff, we had a bipartisan bill with mike, the ranking member on the subcommittee to push the reforms amtrak to make them more like a business. there has been a number of reforms tried to happen at amtrak. i think one of the key things we put into this bill was to break out the different lines as business units to see exactly how much it's losing. my guess is if you go to amtrak, you couldn't figure out their balance sheet. you couldn't figure out their income statement because, again, they're not operating as clearly as they should be. the northeast corridor makes a
profit. those dollars should go back into the northeast corridor and we figure out other ways to generate the dollars to make those other lines again hopefully get to break even. i think part of what has changed in the last 10 years since i have been here, the states now theyle are interested in amtrak and being a partner with amtrak. they're willing to spend dollars to upgrade the system. i think that's something that we need to push. again, these long term lines, maybe if you're looking at them as a business, maybe there is a model you can change it to -- fawn: have you seen one that works with long-term lines? rep. shuster: not at this point. not that it can't be, there are others things to do out there. fawn: you were telling me just charge a little more for some of these routes. rep. shuster: i ride on the keystone corridor, harrisburg to philadelphia. i thought they were going to make a profit, they're close to making a profit and the state controls what the cost of the
ticket is. i have been pushing them to raise the price of the ticket, not because inesly want people to pay more, it's a great value even if it's 20 or 25% more. you're riding the train, you don't have to deal with philadelphia traffic. you're more productive. you have to pay tolls and gas and wear and tear on your car. people will pay more money to ride on those trains. fawn: one of the things i particularly enjoyed, thinking about the amtrak bill and the transportation committee i think you lost 100 votes from republicans on the amtrak -- there are republicans who never want to see amtrak -- happening in your caucus, you have to say we need a federal rule in transportation to fund it. some of them you're never going to convince, but others you might be able to. so how do you talk to your caucus and particularly some of the new members who might not be old timers like you or me on
this and try to explain to them why certain things might be appropriate, why it's important to keep funding surface transportation at the current levels. rep. shuster: first i talk at the need and responsibility of the federal government, i think that i hopefully have developed a relationship of trust and integrity with my colleagues, i understand if somebody is opposed to it, that's fine. again, if i tell them something that i'm going to do or not going to do. they know pretty much they can count on that. i think that's critical when you're dealing with both sides of the aisle that they know that you're an honest broker, you say, if you say you're going to do something, you're going to do it. if you say you can't do it, they trust it's not possible to get it through. fawn: do you have any examples of sort of the novice misunderstanding about the infrastructure system of this
country that can be with a little bit of back and forth can be easily moved? rep. shuster: not only a novice, but very experienced members that don't understand the role of the federal government in the transportation system. i always put it back in historical context it's in the accusation -- constitution. this country before it's the waterway system, the ports the harbors at the federal level needs to be involved to make sure we're connected and peter always brings up this picture -- i can't remember -- fawn: the evolution one? rep. shuster: oklahoma-kansas agreed to build this interstate or the significant road. kansas built it and it stopped at the oklahoma border. oklahoma didn't have the funds to do it. that's the reason why we need a federal road to make sure you can go from coast to coast or northern border to southern border. some states just won't do what's needed to be