Congressman Peter DeFazio has spent his time in Congress working for Oregonians. 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 Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard, highways and transit, ports and water resources, railroads, aviation, and economic development. As Chair, and previously as Ranking Member, DeFazio has taken the lead role on several multi-billion-laws that have created jobs, improved transportation options, kept our ports open, ensured clean drinking water, and kept the airline industry accountable.
He authored and passed in the House the Moving Forward Act, transformative legislation that addresses the climate crisis head-on by modernizing our energy infrastructure for a clean energy future. In addition, the bill invests more than $760 billion over five years to bring our nation's transportation and infrastructure up to a state of good repair, reducing gridlock for commuters and business, investing in rural communities, strengthening Buy American standards, and creating millions of jobs.
DeFazio’s priorities are always focused on his constituents and over the course of his career his seniority has brought billions of dollars back to the district. During the 116th Congress alone, DeFazio has brought home more than $55.8 million in federal funding, for projects including airport repairs, dredging our harbors, and maintenance of the Coos Bay Rail Line.
As a former servicemember with the U.S. Air Force Reserve, DeFazio knows the sacrifices vets and their families make to serve our country. He secured $80 million dollars to build the Eugene Veterans Clinic, which opened in 2016, and investigated reports of poor health care and personnel issues at the Roseburg VA Health Care System.
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. DeFazio is committed to a responsible management of our Oregon’s natural resources and has led bipartisan efforts for common-sense forest management solutions for sustainability of Oregon’s rural communities, such as his leadership in passing the Healthy Forests Restoration Act.
An avid outdoorsman, DeFazio has been successful in protecting Oregon’s most unique natural and ecologically diverse treasures. In 2019, several of his conservation bills became law. In all, they protect 100,000 acres of salmon habitat in the Steamboat Creek watershed, designate the remote and unlogged Devil’s Staircase area as Wilderness, and stop future mining on the Chetco River and its tributaries to preserve salmon habitat and clean drinking water.
DeFazio and his wife, Myrnie Daut, live in Springfield, Oregon. DeFazio has voted against and refused to accept every congressional pay raise 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 2020, DeFazio contributed $445,744 of after-tax salary toward over 270 scholarships and debt reduction. He counts these scholarships among his proudest accomplishments.