GOP chairman fundraising for conservative House member

GOP chairman fundraising for conservative House member
© Greg Nash

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill ShusterWilliam (Bill) Franklin ShusterThe Hill Interview: Missouri Republican has gavel on his radar For Trump, GOP tax bill could have big downside GOP chairman fundraising for conservative House member MORE (R-Pa.) is slated to host a fundraiser for one of the most conservative House members next week, according to an invitation obtained by The Hill.

Shuster, a close ally of House GOP leadership, is hosting a reception for Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieHouse passes concealed carry gun bill GOP could punt funding fight to January McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money MORE (R-Ky.) at the Capitol Hill Club on Sept. 27, with requested donations ranging from $500 to $2,500.

The Kentucky Republican is a member of the Transportation Committee but is also closely aligned with the conservative House Freedom Caucus and has a reputation for being a thorn in the side of leadership.

ADVERTISEMENT

Massie, a self-described libertarian, has frequently bucked leadership on various issues. He publicly criticized President Trump and voted against the House GOP health-care plan earlier this year, stepping up the possibility that he could be vulnerable to a primary challenge in his deeply red district in 2018.

The fundraiser with Shuster, the head of a popular congressional panel who raises money for members throughout the year, could provide a major boost for Massie’s campaign coffers.

In 2015, USA Today called Massie “one of the least successful fundraisers in Congress.”

And for the 2018 cycle, Massie has only raised $47,362 through June, according to OpenSecrets.org. He had $244,716 cash on hand.

The fundraiser also comes as Shuster has been pushing for an overhaul of the nation's air traffic control system. The issue has divided Republicans, but Massie has been a vocal proponent of the proposal to privatize air traffic control.

Congress will need to pass a short-term aviation bill next week while lawmakers try to come to an agreement on the overhaul.

Massie is slated to host Shuster in his Kentucky district next month, just outside of Cincinnati, where the two Transportation Committee members will tour local transportation projects.

Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District is home to numerous bridges, locks and dams along 280 miles of the Ohio River.

While conservatives have long been wary of massive spending on transportation, both Massie and Shuster share the sentiment that infrastructure should be one of the few functions of the federal government.

“I hope you don’t take away my libertarian card because I support bridges and roads,” Massie quipped on Fox Business Network earlier this summer. 

In a statement sent to The Hill late Wednesday, Massie said: "As a three-term member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am honored to work with Chairman Shuster on transportation issues that affect my district, and I am grateful for his willingness to host events in D.C. and Kentucky."

Updated 10:37 p.m.