Former Rep. Elmer Greinert “Bud” Shuster (above) of Pennsylvania died on April 19 due to complications from a hip fracture he suffered in a fall in late March. He was 91 years old.
[Above photo via Wikipedia]
First elected to the House of Representatives in 1972, Shuster went on to become chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, where he proved instrumental in shepherding the $218 billion Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century or TEA-21 surface transportation bill to passage in 1998 and the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century in 2000.
Though reelected to a 15th term in 2000, due to term limits established by Congress in 1994, Shuster had to step down as chair of the House T&I Committee – which he said at the time prompted his decision to retire from Congress a month after being sworn in for what became his brief and final term in January 2001.
His son, Bill Shuster, later won his Congressional seat and also became chairman of the House T&I committee before retiring from Congress in 2018.
“Chairman Bud Shuster truly is a legend,” noted Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), the current House T& I chairman, in a statement.
“He was a masterful legislator and one of Congress’ most effective advocates for America’s transportation and infrastructure. His knowledge of the issues, skill at building coalitions on Capitol Hill, and ability to work across the aisle to find common ground continues to set the bipartisan tone for this Committee.
Rep. Graves also characterized Shuster “as a force” and said the nation’s highways, aviation system, ports and waterways, rail network, water systems, and more “all benefited from his ability to bring together members of Congress from across the political spectrum in support of infrastructure.”
Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, also praised Shuster’s legacy of bipartisanship when it came to funding the current and future needs of America’s infrastructure.
“Chairman Shuster recognized not only the critical role transportation infrastructure plays in supporting the economic vitality of the nation and the quality of life for its citizens, but how formula funding programs are instrumental to maintaining and improving that infrastructure,” Tymon said.
“His ability to get members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to work together towards that vision is perhaps the most noteworthy accomplishment over his remarkable career in Congress,” he noted.