GOP Rep. Shuster won't seek reelection

Rep. Bill ShusterWilliam (Bill) Franklin ShusterHouse panel approves water infrastructure bill Majority of Americans say Trump is not giving infrastructure enough attention GOP chairman to introduce infrastructure bill this summer MORE (R-Pa.) will not seek reelection this year, becoming the fourth House Republican committee chairman to call it quits.

Like the other three chairmen, Shuster, who leads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was term-limited at the end of this Congress.

House GOP conference rules limit chairmen to serving three consecutive two-year terms, meaning Shuster would have to relinquish the post he has held since 2013 after the end of this year. 

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Shuster, 56, represents a safe Republican district, but is now the latest in a growing line of lawmakers opting to pass on running for reelection in what’s expected to be a challenging midterm election year for the party.

Shuster told the Washington Examiner in an interview published on Tuesday that he wants to focus on working with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Meetings on potential North Korea summit going 'very well' Freed American 'overwhelmed with gratitude' after being released from Venezuela Ivanka Trump to campaign for Devin Nunes in California MORE to pass an infrastructure bill in his final year in Congress.

“I thought it was the best decision for me to focus 100 percent on my final year as the chairman of the Transportation Committee, working with the president and other Democrats and Republicans to pass an infrastructure bill, which is much needed to rebuild America,” Shuster said.

The other three chairmen to announce their retirements are House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteGOP nearing end game on immigration votes Three House Dems say they'll oppose immigration floor vote over possible wall funding House GOP sets three FBI interviews in Clinton probe MORE (R-Va.), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingTrump signs Dodd-Frank rollback Candidate endorsed by Pence loses Texas House primary Overnight Finance: House sends Dodd-Frank rollbacks to Trump | What's in the bill | Trump says there is 'no deal' to help ZTE | Panel approves bill to toughen foreign investment reviews MORE (R-Texas) and House Science Committee Chairman Lamar SmithLamar Seeligson SmithFreedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights Five races to watch in the Texas runoffs Five Republican run-offs to watch in Texas MORE (R-Texas).

Ex-Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzChaplain controversy shifts spotlight to rising GOP star Ingraham’s ratings spike a wake-up for advertisers Boehner to campaign for House GOP candidates MORE (R-Utah) also stepped down last year to take a position at Fox News, although he could have kept serving as House Oversight Committee chairman through 2020 under the term limit rules. 

Shuster told the Washington Examiner that he has been working with the Trump administration for months on an infrastructure plan, noting that he recently met with the president at the White House.

“He's very excited. He seems to be ready to go, as we are, and so I think we’re going to have a good working relationship as we move forward,” Shuster said. 

“This is a president who really understands how to build things, how to finance things, and how to get them done on time and under budget. It's an exciting time to be the chairman of the committee, so I didn't want to take my eye off the ball at all.” 

Shuster has also been pushing legislation to transfer control of the nation’s air traffic control system to a nonprofit corporation, but it has stalled in the House despite support from Trump.

Shuster first won election to the House in 2001, replacing his father, Bud Shuster, who also served as chairman of the House Transportation Committee.  

The district in western Pennsylvania has been held by members of the Shuster family since 1973. It’s likely to remain in the GOP column, given that Trump won the district handily in 2016. 

Shuster's 2016 reelection campaign was dogged by ethics questions about his relationship with a top airline lobbyist while leading the Transportation Committee and pushing his air traffic control legislation.

Shuster narrowly defeated a primary challenger, Art Halvorson, who then ran against him in the general election as a Democrat. Halvorson announced on Tuesday that he will run for the seat again this year.

Under Shuster, the Transportation Committee produced a five-year highway bill to fund transit projects, an accomplishment that had eluded lawmakers for years as they repeatedly passed short-term transportation spending patches. Until then-President Obama signed the legislation in 2015, Congress had not passed a highway bill lasting longer than two years since 2005.

Shuster had maintained as recently as November that he planned to stay in Congress despite having to give up the Transportation gavel, telling The Hill at the time that he had ambitions on the House Armed Services Committee.

“My intention is to stick around. I've got some other opportunities. I'm pretty senior on the Armed Services Committee,” Shuster said. “[Chairman] Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryOvernight Defense: Latest on scrapped Korea summit | North Korea still open to talks | Pentagon says no change in military posture | House passes 6B defense bill | Senate version advances House easily passes 7B defense authorization bill Congress must act to restore the integrity of American elections MORE has another term, but I'm on the top prong there, and I've demonstrated that I can get things done.”

Nearly twice as many House seats currently held by Republicans will be up for grabs in 2018 so far compared to the Democrats. More retirement announcements could emerge in the coming days as lawmakers return to Washington after spending the holidays at home.

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchFreed American 'overwhelmed with gratitude' after being released from Venezuela Former US prisoner Josh Holt returns from Venezuela Hatch, Trump say American held in Venezuela returning to US MORE (R-Utah), another powerful committee chairman, announced within the same hour as the Washington Examiner interview published on Tuesday that he would not seek reelection this year either. 

House GOP lawmakers have been outpacing their Democratic counterparts in deciding to leave Congress at the end of this year, which Republicans acknowledge doesn't help their prospects for keeping the majority.

Fifteen Democratic-held seats will be open in 2018, due to eight House Democrats running for other office, six retirements and the resignation of former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersConyers III won't appear on primary ballot in race to replace his father Conyers's son in danger of missing ballot in Michigan Eric Schneiderman and #MeToo pose challenges for both parties MORE Jr. (D-Mich.). 

By comparison, Republicans will have to grapple with at least 28 open seats this year. 

Two Republicans who resigned over sexual misconduct, Reps. Tim MurphyTim MurphySaccone loses GOP primary comeback bid in Pa. Nearly half of voters hope for Dems to win majority in 2018: poll GOP Rep. Dent will leave Congress in May MORE (Pa.) and Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksFreedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights Eric Schneiderman and #MeToo pose challenges for both parties The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Ariz.), will be replaced in special elections by mid-year. Rep. Pat TiberiPatrick (Pat) Joseph TiberiFreedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights Poll shows tight race to replace Tiberi in Ohio Five takeaways from Tuesday’s primary fights MORE (R-Ohio) is also expected to step down by the end of January to take a position at the Ohio Business Roundtable, which is likely to prompt a third special election.

Ten House Republicans are running for other office, while 15 others have said they will retire.

The retirements include three lawmakers — Reps. Ruben KihuenRuben Jesus Kihuen BernalDems win nail-biter in charity congressional soccer game House votes to advance Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project Overnight Energy: Interior sending officers to southern border | Dem AGs want EPA to halt plan restricting use of science | EPA documents show secrecy push MORE (D-Nev.), Joe BartonJoe Linus BartonHillicon Valley: Judge rules Trump can't block Twitter users | ISIS content finds a home on Google Plus | Rubio rips ZTE demands as 'terrible deal' | Bill would protect kids' data Lawmakers roll out bill to protect children from online data collection GOP dissidents on cusp of forcing immigration votes MORE (R-Texas) and Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdSenators introduce bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy Freedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights Five races to watch in the Texas runoffs MORE (R-Texas) — who announced under pressure from sexual misconduct allegations that they will serve out the rest of their terms but won’t seek reelection.