The respective heads of the Senate Finance Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have announced that they will not seek reelection at the end of their current terms.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., have announced that they will will retire, effective at the expiration of their current terms in December 2018.
Hatch, who has represented Utah in the U.S. Senate since 1977, is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. As Finance chairman, Hatch oversees trade legislation and has had a key role as a congressional liaison during the Trump administration’s ongoing NAFTA renegotiation.
Hatch is known for his eye toward ensuring intellectual property rights enforcement and has favored a mostly open U.S. trade policy. In November, he introduced the first miscellaneous tariff bill since the last one expired in 2012, and more recently he pushed back against administration threats to withdraw from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).
“I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I’ve brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington,” Hatch said in a video message posted on Twitter. “But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves. And, for me, that time is soon approaching.”
Shuster, who currently serves as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in a statement he would spend his remaining year in office working exclusively on long-term infrastructure reform legislation.
“As I look forward to the future, I have had a lot to contemplate as to how to best serve my constituents and the American people over the next year,” said Shuster. “With much deliberation, consultation with my family, and prayer over the last several weeks, I have decided not to seek election for a 10th term. It was a difficult decision because of my love of this nation and the people I serve. Rather than focusing on a re-election campaign, I thought it wiser to spend my last year as Chairman focusing 100 percent on working with President Trump and my Republican and Democratic colleagues in both chambers to pass a much needed infrastructure bill to rebuild America.”