Rep. Bill Shuster, who has chaired the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee for five years, said yesterday he will retire from Congress when his current term expires in January 2019, adding that he will spend the rest of 2018 working with the Trump administration to push an ambitious infrastructure spending bill through Congress.
Shuster, a 56-year-old Republican, has represented Pennsylvania's ninth Congressional district for 17 years. He was named to chair the T&I committee in January 2013, and under term-limit rules governing House committee chairs, is barred from serving another term as chairman.
Shuster and Transport Secretary Elaine L. Chao met with President Trump in mid-December to discuss upcoming plans for a broad infrastructure measure, which originally called for using $200 billion in direct federal spending over the next 10 years to leverage an additional $800 billion in spending by states, localities, and the private sector.
Shuster's seat, representing the staunchly Republican district west of Harrisburg, the state capital, has been a legislative family affair for more than 40 years. Shuster's father, Elmer Greinert "Bud" Shuster, served the district from 1973 to 2001, the last six of those years as chair of the same committee his son will vacate.
The elder Shuster, 85, was known for his love of the "earmark," a provision that directs approved funds to be spent on specific projects in a Congressman's home district, often in exchange for the lawmaker's support of a certain bill.