As we predicted earlier this month, Rep. William “Bill” Shuster (R-Pa.) will replace Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee—the body that provides oversight for public buildings issues—in the 113th Congress. Mica, who had signaled that he would like to keep the post, was forced to step down as a result of term limits. (Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was the only chairman to be granted a waiver to those rules, enabling him to remain atop the House Budget Committee.) In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) dated November 26, Mica said he accepted the House Republican Conference’s ruling to not grant additional waivers and endorsed Shuster for the committee chairmanship. The conference voted yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, November 28) to name Shuster and 18 other committee chairmen (yes, all are men) for the 2013–2014 session, which begins in January. Shuster has served on the committee—which his father, Elmer “Bud” Shuster, chaired from 1995 to 2001—since he was elected following the elder Shuster’s resignation that year. He currently chairs the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.
While Shuster spoke to reporters at a press briefing only hours after his election as chairman, he did not address any public buildings issues at that time, focusing instead on Amtrak, aviation regulation, and funding sources for future federal transportation bills, thus leaving us with few clues as to how he will approach federal real estate issues.