Rep. Bill Shuster (R) announced he will retire after nine terms, leaving open a safe, Republican seat in western Pennsylvania. The term-limited chairman of the House Transportation committee, who “has held the seat since 2001, said he does not want campaigning or anything else to get in the way of helping Trump” pass an infrastructure bill. (Washington Examiner)
THE FIELD. Shuster’s 2016 primary challenger Art Halvorson (R), whom Shuster narrowly beat in 2016, announced another campaign on Tuesday with a promise to serve only six terms. State Sen. Rich Alloway (R) is considering a run. (Chambersburg Public Opinion)
“Shuster, 56, appeared to be ready for a re-election campaign just a month ago. He had weathered a tough campaign in 2016 when he came under fire for dating Shelley Rubino, a vice president of Airlines for America. A4A, the leading trade group for the U.S. airline industry, lobbies the transportation committee.” (Chambersburg Public Opinion)
State Sen. John Eichelberger (R) “has expressed interest in running, a GOP source said. Two GOP sources cited” state House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R), “who lives in the district, as another potential contender.”
“Shuster narrowly won his most recent primary in April 2016, defeating … Halvorson by about 1,000 votes. Running as a tea-party candidate, Halvorson tried to paint the congressman as a Washington insider, pointing to his relationship with Rubino. Halvorson came up short, but he won enough write-in votes from Democrats that he was able to run on the Democratic ticket in the general election. He lost to Shuster by 27 points.” (Roll Call)
DEMOGRAPHICS. The district backed President Trump by 43 points, his largest victory margin of any of the state’s congressional districts. “PA-09 is a solidly red district and we look forward to electing the next Republican leader to represent it,” NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement.
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The Senate on Sunday failed to reach agreement on a plan to fund the government through Feb. 8, postponing the vote until noon on Monday. "While lawmakers angled to score political points or shift blame, most agencies planned Monday to begin executing orderly shutdown procedures, per guidance from Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney."
"The Senate was expected to be back in session at noon, while House lawmakers were told to return to work for a 9 a.m. session. Mr. Trump on Friday had canceled plans to travel to his private resort on Palm Beach, Fla., where a celebration had been planned for Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office."
"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."