Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is throwing his support behind Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, becoming the 11th member of Congress to endorse the New York real estate mogul.
House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), who NBC news reported has been advising Trump on national security issues, also said Thursday he is backing the GOP’s front-running candidate.
Shuster represents Pennsylvania’s 9th district, where Trump is a heavy favorite, and was elected to serve as a delegate at the Republican Convention.
The endorsement comes just two days after Shuster narrowly defeated Tea Party insurgent Art Halvorson in a tough primary challenge on Tuesday.
The 15-year veteran of Congress has come under fire for his relationship with a top airline lobbyist and had been fending off accusations from Halvorson that he is part of the Washington “cartel” of lawmakers who are financially beholden to lobbyists.
In his endorsement, Shuster said the GOP needs to unify behind Trump and focus its attacks on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“Donald is a private sector business leader who knows what it takes to get things done — and that is something that Washington desperately needs,” Shuster said in a statement. “Donald also shares my passion for economic development, including making sure our nation’s infrastructure meets the needs of our citizens.”
In endorsing Trump, Shuster and Miller join Republican Reps. Lou Barletta (Pa.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Chris Collins (N.Y.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Duncan Hunter (Calif.), Tom Marino (Pa.) and Tom Reed (N.Y.), and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said he voted for Trump this week, but will officially endorse this summer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.