Inauguration is still a few weeks away, but today marks the official start of the 113th Congress. And, while the president secured a second term, the 2012 election resulted in some significant changes on Capitol Hill — changes that could have a big impact on bicyclists.
As we prepare for the National Bike Summit and the next transportation bill, it’s a good opportunity to introduce the key players in transportation policy. One of the most important committees is the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, which will see new leadership and an influx of new members.
Taking over as the new Chairman, Representative Bill Shuster will assume the gavel when the session begins. A Republican from Hollidaysburg, Penn., Shuster is a 10-year veteran in Congress with a long-running focus on transportation. Over the past two years, Shuster has played a critical role on the committee. He started the 112th Congress by joining then Chairman John Mica on his transportation listening tour, and played an active role educating freshman Republican T&I members through the bill process. Although he did speak out and vote against the Petri Amendment (to reinstate dedicated funding for biking and walking) in committee debate in January 2012, Shuster has a reputation for being a practical dealmaker.