(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
When negotiators on the highway and mass transit bill formally convened Wednesday, it took only a few minutes for them to cut their first deal: Rep. Bill Shuster was named chairman of the conference committee.
The decision further cements the Pennsylvania Republican’s standing as one of the most prominent legislators of the year — and it raises the stakes for his performance in the next few weeks.
A new set of policies and payments for public works, six years overdue, is now tantalizingly close to becoming one of the biggest achievements in the first year of the 114th Congress. Shuster made clear at the conferees’ opening session he will press hard for an agreement soon after next week’s holiday recess.
“So, staff on both sides of the aisle, happy Thanksgiving,” he said.
It’s a moment he’s been preparing for throughout his three years at the helm of the House Transportation and Infrastructure panel. But he began his schooling for this time as a boy, aided by the example and perhaps the genetics of his father. Full story