Vern Buchanan and Alcee Hastings Host First Annual Florida Congressional Delegation Meeting
Florida’s 29-member congressional delegation – the third largest in Congress – met today for the first time in three years under the bipartisan leadership of Co-Chairmen Reps. Vern Buchanan and Alcee Hastings to discuss the economic importance of the state’s 15 seaports.
“Florida’s 15 public seaports support 550,000 jobs and produce $66 billion in annual economic activity to the region,” said Buchanan, who also serves on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. “Port Manatee in my congressional district – the closest deepwater seaport to the Panama Canal – generates more than 24,000 jobs. If we continue to expand our exports, it will help Florida’s economy as we send our goods, services and products to people around the world. The global marketplace will be the new battlefield of the 21st century and we need to make sure that America is up to the challenge.”
“Port Manatee is ideally positioned to expand international trade-related job opportunities in Manatee County,” said Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee and one of several port directors who addressed the congressional panel. “With over $ 2.3 billion in regional economic impact, including more than 24,000 jobs, it's essential that we continue to invest in the economic engine that Port Manatee brings to our economy.”
Buchanan said today’s meeting proves that Florida can set the tone for what needs to be done to restore common sense and civility to Washington.
“At a time when America faces unprecedented challenges, it is imperative that Washington put aside the poisonous rhetoric in favor of common-sense policies that move our state, our economy and our country forward,” said Buchanan. “Some people argue that it’s not possible to reshape the dialogue to a more public-spirited approach, but I believe that the Florida congressional delegation can lead by example – working together to do what’s right.”
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman and co-chairman, for bringing us back together as a bipartisan delegation,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
Members of the Florida delegation who attended this morning’s meeting include: Rep. John Mica, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Steve Southerland, Rep. Lois Frankel, Rep. Ted Yoho, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Bill Posey, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Dan Webster, Rep. Ted Deutch, Rep. Dennis Ross, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Rich Nugent, and Rep. Corrine Brown.