By Theodore Schleifer
WASHINGTON (CNN – April 17, 2015) — Congressman Bill Shuster is in a “private and personal relationship” with a lobbyist who works to influence the House panel that Shuster leads, the Pennsylvania Republican said Thursday.
Shuster, who heads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Shelley Rubino, the vice president for global government affairs for Airlines for America, became involved with each other last summer, Politico first reported Thursday.
“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 said in a statement.
It is not clear that ethics laws appear have been violated: Rubino does not lobby Shuster directly, according to the Politico report, though she can lobby other members of the committee.
Shuster’ succeeded his father, Bud, who chaired the same committee for years and stepped down in controversy over accepting gifts from a former aide who became a powerful industry lobbyist.