Representative Bud Shuster (R-Penn.), principal author of AIR-21, the aviation act unlocking the aviation trust fund for improvements on the nation's transportation systems, announced today his retirement from Congress effective January 31.
In a statement this morning, Rep. Shuster explained that "I [have] reached the pinnacle of my congressional career.... Like my boyhood baseball idol, Lou Gehrig, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth—to have realized my dream of becoming a U.S. congressman." He also cited health concerns.
As chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Shuster will be remembered for his successful efforts to guarantee that taxes collected for the improvement of the aviation and national highway systems finally and fully being used for their intended purpose. He received AOPA's Hartranft Award in 1999 for those efforts. Under Republican congressional rules, Shuster would have had to relinquish the Transportation Committee chair this session.