House Republicans Wednesday chose Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) to be the next chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee when the new congressional session begins in January.
Shuster will replace Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who had supported Shuster as his successor. Mica had served for two years at chairman of the committee.
“Chairman Shuster is a great friend of the trucking industry and we look forward to continuing to work with him to address the funding shortfall in the highway trust fund and to advance a strong safety agenda,” said Bill Graves, president of American Trucking Associations, in a statement.
Shuster did not have any challengers.
“Transportation issues are among the most critical that we face in Congress and as a nation,” Shuster said in a statement. “Working together in the 113th Congress, the Committee will focus on strengthening America’s transportation networks to make us more efficient, more competitive and more prosperous.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who backed Shuster for the post, said the congressman’s leadership “will be critical” to the work of the next Congress.
After the election earlier this month, Shuster said that he would seek the post once held by his father, E.G. “Bud” Shuster, a legend in transportation circles who was chairman from 1995 to 2001.
Shuster currently is chairman of the panel’s subcommittee on railroads, pipelines and hazardous materials.
Brian Turmail, spokesman for the Associated General Contractors, called Shuster a congressman with “an impressive collection of skills, knowledge and savvy that will serve him well in his new role.”
Turmail also praised Mica, saying his accomplishments while chairman have given the transportation committee “a better legislative foundation to build on” as they address the next long-term highway and transit bill.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also issued a statement congratulating Shuster.
OOIDA executive vice president Todd Spencer said in the statement that OOIDA is “optimistic [Shuster] will advance legislation that will actually help the small-business truckers out there on the road. His background and leadership record have more than prepared him for the challenge ahead.”