Rep. Shuster announces bid for House Transportation Committee chairmanship

Shuster's office said Thursday that he had written a letter to his colleagues informing them of his intent to seek the Transportation gavel in the 113th Congress when it convenes in January.

"Dear Colleague: Thank you for considering my candidacy for chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee," Shuster wrote to members of the House Republican Caucus. "Leadership demands hard work, experience and a clear vision for the future. It also requires teamwork, listening to a diverse set of opinions to create consensus, and building coalitions based on shared principles."

Shuster, whose father was once chairman of the House Transportation Committee, touted his own experience on the panel as his chief qualification for the committee's leadership post.

"In my 11 years on the committee — including eight years of leadership as chairman or ranking member of two key subcommittees — I have demonstrated inclusive leadership and achieved a strong record of accomplishments," Shuster wrote.

Shuster cast continuing reforms to transportation funding mechanisms that have been sought by Republicans on the panel as a chief objective of his chairmanship bid. Among them have been pushing to privatize Amtrak service in the Northeast U.S. and directing more transportation money toward roads and transit in lieu of alternative transportation forms like bike and pedestrian programs.

“Transportation is essential to our economy and our future," Shuster said. "I am focused on continuing to work together to promote competitiveness and economic growth, reform programs, focus our resources where they are needed most and better manage our federal assets.”

Shuster is planning to hold a conference call Thursday afternoon to further discuss his Transportation Committee chairmanship bid.