Tags: Bill Shuster | Virgin Islands | legislation | contributions

Politico: Bill Shuster Reaps Donations From Virgin Islands Bill

Image: Politico: Bill Shuster Reaps Donations From Virgin Islands Bill
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Penn. (Handout/Public Domain/house.gov)

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 02:18 PM

Shortly after championing legislation that means millions of dollars in income to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the influential House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, headed for the Caribbean vacation spot to round up  political contributions.

Shuster, who backed a provision of the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 that allowed increasing from six to 12 the number of passengers on charter boats which can be based uninspected in the islands, took a fundraising trip to the islands and raised over $33,000 from island donors, Politico reports.

The Virgin Islands had lost huge amounts of money, as much as $70 million to $100 million per year, because of the "six-pack" regulation. Charter companies relocated to the British Virgin Islands, which has no such rule, after passage of amendments to the Passenger Vessel Safety Act in 1993 imposed the six-passenger limit, The Triton reports.

Virgin Islands representatives have struggled since then to obtain the 12-passenger limit without success.

Shuster, who owns a timeshare in the Virgin Islands, "was instrumental in making that deal happen,” said Pash Daswani, president of Lucky Jewelers and head of the India Association of the Virgin Islands, Politico noted. He contributed $500 to Shuster.

Noah Bookbinder, president of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, told Politico it was "a naked example of policy being made because there is money there," and added, "It does seem like a fairly stark example of an official being influenced by something other than what is in his constituents’ interest and what’s in the public interest."

However, Shuster's spokesman, Casey Contres, insisted the legislation and contributions were not connected.

"To assert otherwise is simply not the truth. He raised money for his leadership PAC in the (U.S. Virgin Islands) which helps support and maintain our Republican majority. He is always grateful to those supporters from Pennsylvania’s 9th congressional district and across the country who believe in his vision for ensuring that the federal government maintains its role in the transportation and infrastructure needs of the country," Politico reported.

Virgin Islands Gov. John de Jongh told the Virgin Islands Daily News, "Restoration of this important sector of our economy will offer a milieu of technical and entrepreneurial opportunities in the boating industry. This legislation is a critical first step in our journey to regain our position as the world's leader in this important industry sector."

"Shuster’s initiative in taking up such a parochial issue — the relaxing of the rule affected only the U.S. Virgin Islands’ situation — and the specificity with which donors connected their contributions to his work make this case unusual," Politico stated.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and former Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., also supported the amendment but received no campaign funds from the Virgin Islands, Politico notes.

U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Donna Christensen told Politico, "It took having two people who were willing to work with us and just get it done. What made the difference was concentrating on Congress and having two members, one in the House and one in the Senate, who were familiar with the Virgin Islands and understood the issue."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Politics
Shortly after championing legislation that means millions of dollars in income to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the influential House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, headed for the vacation spot to round up political contributions.
Bill Shuster, Virgin Islands, legislation, contributions
521
2015-18-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 02:18 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved