U.S. House Republican leaders selected Rep. Sam Graves (R-Missouri) to lead the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans in the 116th Congress beginning in January. Graves is filling the post that Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) will vacate when he retires at the end of the current Congress. But unlike Shuster, who chaired the committee, Graves will be the ranking Republican in the new Congress as the Democrats take control of the House.
Shuster called Graves an “outstanding choice” to fill the top Republican spot on the T&I committee. “I have known Sam Graves since I came to Congress, and in that time I have learned that no one has as much knowledge and passion for the issues before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as Sam,” Shuster said. “He knows how important infrastructure is to our economy and the everyday lives of Americans.”
A general aviation pilot who has co-chaired the House GA Caucus, Graves has worked closely with the business and general aviation community on numerous issues during his time in Congress. He also found himself at loggerheads with the community as he backed Shuster’s ill-fated proposal to create an independent, user-funded organization to run the nation’s air traffic control organization.
Even so, NATA president Gary Dempsey expressed appreciation of his lengthy background helping resolve many of their issues and welcomed the selection.
“Throughout his time on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Graves has long advocated for the interests of the aviation business community by supporting FAA reform to improve our aviation system, addressing the pilot and mechanic shortages affecting the industry, and assisting small and rural airports to make investments to support general aviation transportation across the country,” Dempsey said.