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Shuster won't seek reelectionShuster won't seek reelection

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) announced Jan. 2 that he will not seek reelection in 2018.

Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Bill Shuster. File photo by Kevin Lamarque, Reuters.

In a statement, Shuster said he would spend the next year working across the aisle to pass a broad infrastructure bill. “Rather than focusing on a reelection campaign, I thought it wiser to spend my last year as Chairman focusing 100 percent on working with President Trump and my Republican and Democratic colleagues in both Chambers to pass a much needed infrastructure bill to rebuild America,” said Shuster.

Politico reported that Shuster’s new focus on passing an infrastructure bill rather than FAA legislation, “signals that he may be giving up the fight to push the air traffic control system out of the FAA. Neither of his likely successors as chairman, Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) or Sam Graves (R-Mo.), have indicated an interest in picking up the mantle if they get the gavel (and if the Republicans maintain control of the House).”

Shuster, the leading congressional proponent of removing air traffic control from the FAA, has held his seat since 2002 and is in the final year he can serve as chairman because of term limits. His air traffic proposal has not reached the House floor due to a lack of votes and has been strongly opposed by AOPA and a coalition of hundreds of general aviation organizations, small airports, and others.

Despite the disagreement on Shuster’s air traffic proposal, AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker thanked Shuster for his work on issues that matter to pilots: “We thank Representative Shuster for his service to the nation and to his constituents back home in Pennsylvania. In his role as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he has accomplished many things over the years including moving America’s aviation and transportation systems forward.

“We thank him for helping general aviation on a number of key issues including third class medical reform, airport improvement funding, and other important matters. We look forward to working with Chairman Shuster in the days and months ahead to move a long-term FAA reauthorization bill that can get support from the entire aviation industry as well as helping him move a bipartisan national infrastructure bill that will benefit all Americans.”

Joe Kildea

Joe Kildea

AOPA Senior Director of Communications
Joe is a student pilot and his first solo flight was at AOPA’s home airport in Frederick, Maryland. Before joining AOPA in 2015, he worked for numerous political campaigns, news organizations, and the White House Press Office.
Topics: Advocacy, Capitol Hill

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