Shuster announced Thursday that he has sent a letter to his Republican colleagues asking for their support.
Shuster has been talking with his colleagues about the possibility of leading the committee, he said during a conference call with reporters.
“I am very encouraged by their response,” he said. “Over the coming weeks I will continue to talk with my colleagues on what I view needs to happen.”
Shuster has been a member of the committee during his entire tenure in the House. Of the 11 years he has served on the committee, eight have been in leadership roles, most recently as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. He said he hopes that during his 11 years in Congress he has established that he is a solutions-oriented person.
“I have traveled around this country trying to understand the different modes and how they interact in a national scale,” he said.
He said the federal government has a role in transportation.
“It’s essential we make sure we’re doing what we need to do to keep competitive in a world economy,” he said.
If named chairman, Shuster would succeed U.S. Rep. John Mica of Florida. A congressman can hold a leadership position for six years. Shuster would have to reapply for the position after every term. The chairman is chosen from the party in power. The minority party’s leader is called the ranking member.
In the next couple of weeks the House majority leader will break the House into regions. Each region will have a representative on the Republican steering committee. As a chairman candidate Shuster will make a presentation to the committee and they will vote on whom they believe the next chairman should be, most likely after Thanksgiving. The committee will share its findings with Republican House members, who will make the final decision.