Congressman Peter DeFazio was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 1986 and is now the longest serving House member in Oregon’s history. As the dean of the Oregon House delegation, he has developed a reputation as an independent, passionate and effective lawmaker.
In 2013, DeFazio was elected to the powerful position of Ranking Member on the House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over energy, federal lands, oceans and fisheries, and Native American issues. DeFazio will use this important position to continue fighting for critical protections to keep our air and water clean, and our natural treasures safe for future generations. In the coming months, this committee will address critical issues that have a profound impact in every state and territory.
Most recently, he was able to pass his balanced, bipartisan O&C solution that creates private sector jobs, provides revenues to failing counties, and permanently protects old-growth and other irreplaceable environmental treasures.
DeFazio is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where he serves on the Aviation Subcommittee, the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, and the Railroad, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. In 2005, DeFazio served as the ranking Democrat on the Highways Subcommittee where he helped negotiate a five-year federal highway and transit spending bill called SAFETEA-LU. Under the bill DeFazio secured $2.7 billion for Oregon's roads, bridges, highways and transit systems.
DeFazio and his wife, Myrnie Daut, live in Springfield, Oregon. He has logged over three million miles traveling between Oregon and Washington, DC. DeFazio has refused to accept congressional pay raises while the government is deficit spending, and has linked his pay to Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. Instead, he has used his pay raises to reduce the national debt and to fund scholarships at five southwestern Oregon community colleges; by the end of 2014, DeFazio will have contributed $378,000 of after-tax salary toward 237 scholarships and debt reduction. He counts these scholarships among his proudest accomplishments.