House Transport Chief Dating Top Airline Lobbyist

Shuster acknowledges 'private and personal relationship'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2015 4:33 AM CDT
House Transport Chief Dating Top Airline Lobbyist
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster is seen on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A Republican congressman told off for partying with female lobbyists a few years ago appears to have settled down with just one. Bill Shuster, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been dating a top airline lobbyist since last summer, multiple sources tell Politico. Shelley Rubino is a VP for global government affairs at the industry group Airlines for America, and after they got together, Shuster drafted a document saying she couldn't lobby him or his staff, according to Politico, which notes that she can still lobby the other 50 members of the committee Shuster heads.

"Ms. Rubino and I have a private and personal relationship, and out of respect for her and my family that is all I will say about that," Shuster, who was divorced last year, said in a statement. As committee chairman, Shuster's agenda on aviation taxation and regulation has been very close to that of Rubino's group, according to the AP, which notes that he received $128,350 in donations from the airline industry last year, more than any other House member. The AP also notes that Shuster's father, Bud Shuster, headed the same committee and stepped down from the House in 2001 over "serious official misconduct" with a female lobbyist. John Boehner's office had no immediate comment for Politico on the younger Shuster's relationship, which experts say probably doesn't violate ethics laws. (More Bill Shuster stories.)

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