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 2019, DeFazio was elected to the powerful position of Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard, highways and transit, water resources, railroads, aviation, and economic development.
DeFazio has served as a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee since he first entered Congress in 1987. During his time on the Committee, he has served as Chairman or Ranking Member of four of the six subcommittees: Aviation, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Highways and Transit, and Water Resources and Environment. DeFazio has taken a lead role on several multi-billion dollar surface transportation and FAA reauthorization bills, and worked to strengthen Buy America standards. In 2005, DeFazio served as the Ranking Member 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. More recently, DeFazio introduced the Repeal and Rebuild Act (HR 4848), a long-term solution to replenish the Highway Trust Fund. (Read more about HR 4848 here.)
DeFazio previously served as the Ranking Member on the House Natural Resources Committee, where he focused on energy, federal lands, ocean and fisheries, and Native American issues. In 2013, he successfully passed 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 and his wife, Myrnie Daut, live in Springfield, Oregon. He has logged roughly five million miles traveling between Oregon and Washington, DC. DeFazio has voted against and refused to accept congressional pay raises while the government is deficit spending. Instead, he has used his pay raises to fund scholarships at five southwestern Oregon community colleges. As of the end of 2019, DeFazio has contributed more than $369,921 of after-tax salary toward 278 scholarships. He counts these scholarships among his proudest accomplishments.