GOP Rep Won’t Seek Reelection to Focus on Infrastructure Legislation: ‘I Don’t Want to Take My Eye off the Ball’

President Trump speaks with Rep. Bill Shuster as he signs a letter of principles on air traffic control reform / Getty Images

Republican Rep. Bill Shuster (Pa.) will not seek reelection in November, and instead wants to focus on working with President Donald Trump to pass a massive infrastructure bill before he retires.

The chairman of the House Transportation Committee told the Washington Examiner that he does not want any distractions, including campaigning, getting in the way of passing infrastructure legislation in 2018.

"I thought it was the best decision for me to focus 100 percent on my final year as the chairman of the Transportation Committee, working with the president and other Democrats and Republicans to pass an infrastructure bill, which is much needed to rebuild America," Shuster said.

Shuster, who has held the Western Pennsylvania seat since 2002, also believes he will be better able to work with both parties if he doesn’t have to worry about holding his seat in an election.

The major piece of legislation is set to be at the top of Trump’s agenda for 2018, and the Examiner notes the president will most likely lay out his intentions for the bill during his first State of the Union address at the end of January.

"This is a president who really understands how to build things, how to finance things, and how to get them done on time and under budget," Shuster said of Trump’s competency to create effective infrastructure legislation. "It’s an exciting time to be the chairman of the committee, so I don’t want to take my eye off the ball at all."