Bud Shuster, congressional ‘king of asphalt,’ dies at 91

Bud Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican who served for 28 years in Congress, where he became known as the “king of asphalt” for the billions of dollars in public works that he directed as chairman of the powerful House Transportation Committee, died April 19 at his farm in Everett, Pa. He was 91.

The cause was complications from a broken hip, said his son Robert Shuster.

Dr. Shuster — a former computer company executive who held a doctoral degree in business — was elected in 1972 to represent an economically struggling district centered on the Appalachian city of Altoona.

He quickly claimed a seat on the Public Works Committee, a predecessor to what is now the Transportation and Infrastructure panel. Dr. Shuster became chairman after the Republican takeover in the 1994 midterm elections and led the committee for six years. The Washington Post once described him as “arguably the last great committee-chairman power baron to walk the halls of Congress.”