U.S. house committee chair admits relationship with airline lobbyist

U.S. house committee chair admits relationship with airline lobbyist

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House committee that handles aviation legislation has acknowledged he has a private, personal relationship with an airline industry lobbyist.

Rep. Bill Shuster is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Pennsylvania Republican acknowledged his relationship with Shelley Rubino in a statement Thursday but said she doesn’t lobby him. Rubino works for Airlines for America, a trade association for major U.S. airlines.

Shuster was the top House recipient of airline industry contributions last year, receiving $128,350 in campaign donations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Shuster’s staff is currently writing a bill of keen interest to airlines dealing with Federal Aviation Administration programs. He has also supported several of the industry’s top priorities in Congress.

Shuster’s relationship with Rubino was first reported by Politico.