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Shuster addresses challenger issue

Since winning a special election to succeed his father, Congressman Bill Shuster has not had much of a challenge for his seat representing the Ninth District of Pennsylvania. In the 2004 election, Shuster has a challenger in Michael DelGrosso who is determined to take over the seat.
Following yesterday’s campaign fundraising breakfast, Shuster addressed the challenger issue.
“I am focused on doing the job in Washington on hand,” said the congressman. “I think the people are going to judge my performance by what I do and the legislation that we pass. They will judge on the things we are able to do to help communities and families around the District. Right now, my concern is doing the job in Washington. That is my focus.”
Shuster’s press secretary Angelo Terrana fielded questions from the media following the press conference held by Shuster and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
“The first focus of the congressman is jobs and the economy,” said Terrana. “We want to make it more inclusive for small business by cutting the red tape that gets in the way. That work has already started through equipment loans included to the last tax bill.”
Terrana said that Shuster is working to improve the economy in the rural areas.
“We have a rural economy bill proposed,” said Terrana. “This would provide incentives to hire more workers, buy new equipment and provide training to the workforce.”
Shuster also is working on infrastructure issues for the Ninth District.
“We are working to build more infrastructure in the District,” said Terrana. “You can’t attract new business without water and sewer and good roads. It is a commitment of the congressman to have good roads, good sewage systems and clean, safe water.”
Terrana said that Shuster has been working with his fellow congressmen to fight the war on terror.
“We want our first responders to have the best equipment, be the best trained and get their fair share of the budget,” said Terrana. “That starts at the local police and fire companies. The congressman has already secured 12 fire grants for the district. We need to provide our first responders the best equipment and training possible. They are the first on the scene to any disaster. It isn’t FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), it is the local firefighters and police who are first to respond.
“The House will be holding hearings to find out why the Homeland Security money provided by congress isn’t making it to the local levels,” said Terrana.
“The Congress voted on the funding and the President wants the money distributed. The Congress wants to find out why it isn’t being distributed.”
Terrana laid out a game plan for Shuster’s 2004 campaign.
“Bill has a proven record of bringing jobs and creating growth,” said Terrana.
“Take Logan Town Centre right down the road as an example. That centre is creating 4,000 jobs. Bill is working to move the economy forward and working to provide provisions that are special to rural communities.”
When speaking of rural needs, Terrana spoke of the hospital care in rural communities.
“In the Medicare Bill, there is a provision for prescription drugs,” said Terrana.
“Most plans are geared to urban areas. Bill is fighting to make sure that the rural communities have the same benefits as urban areas. He recently had the local hospital administrators to Washington for a hearing and their needs were heard and Bill is working for them.”
When asked about Michael DelGrosso, Terrana spoke very briefly.
“Michael DelGrosso hasn’t lived in this district for over a decade,” said Shuster’s press secretary.
“How is he to speak on the issues if he hasn’t lived here. Bill grew up here. He is meeting more and more people in the district daily. Bill has a proven record. We don’t even know what Mr. DelGrosso’s record or views are.”