Peter DeFazio was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986. As the dean of the Oregon House delegation, he has developed a reputation as an independent, passionate and effective lawmaker.
DeFazio has served as a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee since 1987. During this time, he has served as Chairman or Ranking Member of four of the six subcommittees. In 2005, DeFazio helped negotiate a federal highway and transit spending bill that secured $2.7 billion for Oregon's roads, bridges, highways and transit systems. In 2014, DeFazio was elected to the powerful position of Ranking Member on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard, highways and transit, water resources, railroads, aviation, and economic development. DeFazio will continue to fight for investments that result in job creation, increased safety, economic efficiency and strategic growth. Recently, DeFazio introduced a long-term solution to replenish the Highway Trust Fund.
Peter was an early target of a Super PAC in 2010 which aired attack ads in Oregon eight months after the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision. It was later disclosed that the funds were derived from one individual, a Wall Street billionaire who has spent $1.78 million against DeFazio since 2010.
For years, Peter DeFazio has voted “no” when Congress gives itself a raise, instead using the money to fund scholarships for dislocated workers at five community colleges in Southwest Oregon. By the end of 2015, DeFazio will have turned back more than $391,485 to fund 245 scholarships for Oregonians. Peter counts these scholarships among his proudest accomplishments.
DeFazio and his wife Myrnie live in Springfield, Oregon. He has logged roughly five million miles traveling between Oregon and Washington D.C.
Not Your Usual Politician - Effective Outspoken Leadership
"Though his independence drives leaders of his party crazy, it is the foundation of DeFazio's success in a district that is large and ideologically varied," Oregonian, 4/19/10
"One need look no further than the dramatic vote in the House Monday to see how DeFazio stands up for taxpayers. The 22-year House veteran voted ‘no’ with the majority, because he thinks more of the financial burden of the $700 billion bailout package should be put on money traders, not taxpayers.
Eventually, DeFazio and his colleagues will need to compromise and pass a financial package. But it's comforting to know lawmakers such as DeFazio are looking out for ‘the little guy,’ despite pressure from the highest level of government and CEOs." The Grants Pass Daily Courier endorsement article, 10/1/08
"[DeFazio is a] fierce advocate for Oregon who is building seniority in the House and helping this state with its transportation infrastructure and other needs. " The Oregonian, 1/8/07
"DeFazio directed hundreds of millions of dollars to Oregon for bridge and highway repair," The Oregonian, 1/8/07
"DeFazio continues to be an independent thinker who values hard work and results more than rhetoric, and the practical more than party ideology." - Corvallis Gazette-Times, October 16, 2004
"The DeFazio that people in Oregon's 4th District have known for 20 years is the same DeFazio who represents them in Congress: hard-working, independent and politically shrewd." -Register Guard September 27, 2006