Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced Jan. 2 that he will not seek re-election.
Instead of focusing on a re-election campaign, Shuster said in a press release that he will dedicate his remaining year in office to working with President Donald Trump to pass an infrastructure plan.
“As I look forward to the future, I have had a lot to contemplate as to how to best serve my constituents and the American people over the next year. With much deliberation, consultation with my family and prayer over the last several weeks, I have decided not to seek election for a 10th term. It was a difficult decision because of my love of this nation and the people I serve,” Shuster said. “I thought it wiser to spend my last year as chairman focusing 100% on working with President Trump and my Republican and Democratic colleagues in both chambers to pass a much-needed infrastructure bill to rebuild America.”
It has been the honor of my life to represent the people of central and southwestern Pennsylvania. After much deliberation, prayer, and consulting with my family I have decided not to seek re-election in 2018. https://t.co/Sbs93Ovtgv— Bill Shuster (@RepBillShuster) January 3, 2018
Shuster has been active in developing a massive infrastructure funding proposal that Trump has long promised, but has yet to unveil. The two met Dec. 11 to discuss the plan, which would address concerns with freight corridors, commuter networks, pipelines and the air travel system.
While the minutiae of the $1 trillion, 10-year infrastructure plan remain murky, the White House explained that $200 billion would come from existing federal accounts, while the remaining $800 billion will come from private sector investments.
Shuster has represented the 9th District of Pennsylvania, which encompasses a southwestern portion of the state, for 17 years. He spent the last five of those years as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Shuster joins a slew of House committee chairmen who also have stated they will not seek re-election, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
“It is with a happy heart and a sense of accomplishment that I say this will be my final year in the U.S. Congress,” Shuster said. “I want to again thank the citizens of the 9th District for putting their faith in me. I want to thank my House colleagues for putting their trust in me by selecting me as chairman. I want to express my deep appreciation for the hard work my staff has put in over the years.”
Marcia Hale, president of Building America’s Future Educational Fund, commended Shuster for his leadership and his ability to advance bipartisan legislation. BAF is a bipartisan group of elected officials that advocates for investment in infrastructure and educates the public on infrastructure-related policy matters.
Hale said BAF has met with Shuster in the past and that the organization has cultivated a positive working relationship with the congressman. One of BAF’s co-chairmen, Edward Rendell, previously served as governor of Pennsylvania, Shuster’s home state.
“He will be greatly missed because he’s been such a leader. We were pleased to see that, even though he’s going retire, he’s going to spend all his time on trying to get an infrastructure bill done,” Hale told Transport Topics. “He’s been a great member of Congress. It’s people like him who make Congress work.”
In a statement, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear thanked Shuster for “his service in the cause of improving and modernizing our transportation system.”
“Throughout his career, Chairman Shuster has been a champion for highway safety and the trucking industry, leading the charge for increased investment in the critical highway arteries that our trucks depend on to move the nation’s goods,” Spear said. “Chairman Shuster has proven time and again that Congress can still tackle important problems. During his tenure, his Committee has led the way on moving bills through the process to actual enactment, and the trucking and freight industry are stronger for his work.”