Stepping off the campaign trail from his grueling Aug. 14th Republican primary battle with Congresswoman Sandy Adams (R-Oviedo), Cong. John Mica (R-Winter Park) was the special guest speaker at the July 16th BusinessForce "Insider's Briefing" luncheon presented by host sponsor AT&T along with supporting sponsors Bright House Networks, Duke Energy Corporation, Century Link and Publix Super Markets.
The powerful Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, accompanied by two key committee staffers, began his remarks to BusinessForce investors and their invited guests by recounting that his initial ambition was to go to Congress "to be a leader" and to "think in terms of the nation, not the district." He recognized early on it would be necessary to for him to become a committee chair to get things done and in order to do so, Mica revealed that he had to successfully overcome the initial opposition of current House Speaker John Boehner.
Once assuming the committee chairmanship, Mica discovered he had "inherited a mess" during his efforts to reauthorize the FAA and went on to share the "hardball politics" he played with Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to expose a $3,720 subsidy per ticket for certain Nevada airports which forced the U.S. Senate to compromise on the FAA legislation. More recently, Mica has steered to passage a bipartisan Transportation Bill re-authorization which had not been accomplished since 2005.
Looking ahead, the veteran congressman foresaw opportunities for the region to become a center for air traffic control and to improve our infrastructure to better support the needs of our tourism industry. He was excited about the possibility pursuing of rail connections to Orlando International Airport and the recent proposal by Florida East Coast Railroad to connect Miami with an Orlando high speed rail route. With respect to the region's growing modeling and simulation industry where upcoming federal budget cuts could severely threaten its future, Mica strongly urged business leaders to organize now to save what we have and even seek ways to expand it.
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