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Mica Drops Chairmanship Bid, Endorses Shuster

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Rep. John Mica (R-FL) has withdrawn from the running to remain chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He was up against Republican term limits, which specify that no Congressmember can spend more than six years as the highest-ranking member of their party on a committee -- regardless of whether that time is spent as chair of the committee (while their party is in the majority) or as ranking member (when in the minority).

Mica had been in conversations with House Speaker John Boehner about getting a waiver, as Rep. Paul Ryan did, allowing him to stay at the helm of the Budget Committee. But it wasn't looking likely. So Mica did the gentlemanly thing: He pulled out and threw his support to Rep. Bill Shuster, the chair of the Rail Subcommittee, who was also jockeying for the hot seat. Politico reported the news this morning.

"Bill has served in two Subcommittee leadership positions," Mica wrote in his letter to Boehner, "and has both the experience and ability to assume this important position for our Conference."

Streetsblog recently reported on Shuster's record on rail and bike/ped issues.

In his letter, Mica acknowledged that the Republican Conference had recently upheld the decision to withhold all term-limit waivers except for Ryan's, and its decision to continue counting Ranking Member service toward the six-year limit.

Mica says he'll stay on the Transportation Committee, and hopes to take over the chairmanship of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in two years.

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