House transport panel heading for shake up after Rahall defeat

House transport panel heading for shake up after Rahall defeat
© Greg Nash

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is heading for a shaking up after Rep. Nick RahallNick Joe RahallWe shouldn't allow politics to impede disaster relief Break the cycle of partisanship with infant, child health care programs Clinton mulls role in 2018 midterms MORE’s (D-W. Va.) defeat on Tuesday night. 

Rahall, who been the top ranking Democrat on the panel, was defeated in his bid for an 18th term in Congress by Republican Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsWest Virginia New Members 2019 Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report MORE

Republicans have longed targeted Rahall because President Obama is deeply unpopular in West Virginia. 

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The long-time lawmaker sought to project a centrist image even as he pushed for increased transportation spending in Congress. 

Rep. Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Deadline approaches for 2020 Dems Dems eye big infrastructure package, with or without Trump Dems, Trump pull T surprise on infrastructure MORE (D-Ore.) is considered to be next in line for the ranking Democrat position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. 

Lawmakers could look to transportation funding in the next Congress as an area they can find bipartisanship with the current infrastructure spending measure set to expire in May 2015. 

-This story was updated to correct an earlier version on Nov. 6 at 2:24 p.m.