Congressman Peter DeFazio announces he will not seek re-election
Written by Patrick Schneider on December 1, 2021
Salem, Ore. – Peter DeFazio, the longest-serving member who represented Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District for 36 years has announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday.
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today announced he will not seek re-election in 2022. DeFazio, Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, served 36 years in the House of Representatives, the longest serving House Member from Oregon and the 65th-longest serving member of the House in U.S. history. DeFazio, known as a passionate progressive populist and effective legislator, has amassed major accomplishments in a broad range of areas with colleagues from across the aisle, including aviation safety, infrastructure investment and job creation, preservation of public lands and resources, fair trade and labor protections, organic farming, and climate change. DeFazio is most well-known at home for his effective constituent services program, helping deliver hard-earned benefits to Oregonians. Following is DeFazio’s statement.
“With humility and gratitude I am announcing that I will not seek re-election next year. It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as Congressman for the Fourth District of Oregon. For 36 years I have fought corporate greed and special interests to benefit Oregon’s working families–from delivering affordable health care under the Affordable Care Act, to preventing the privatization and destruction of the Social Security safety net, to protecting our natural treasures for future generations, to fighting trade policies that undermine American workers, to holding industry and regulators accountable to improve aviation safety, to asserting congressional war powers authority to stop endless wars, to making historic job-creating investments in our roads, bridges, ports and more under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Thank you for putting your trust in me.
“It’s time for me to pass the baton to the next generation so I can focus on my health and well-being. This was a tough decision at a challenging time for our republic with the very pillars of our democracy under threat, but I am bolstered by the passion and principles of my colleagues in Congress and the ingenuity and determination of young Americans who are civically engaged and working for change.
“I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my incredibly talented and dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly on behalf of Oregonians and all Americans. I especially want to thank my wife Myrnie Daut, whose strength, encouragement and counsel has made my career possible.
“I still have a lot of work to do in my remaining 13 months and I’ll be putting all of my efforts into that work, including helping to pass the Build Back Better Act that will bring down costs for families, create jobs, fight the climate crisis and help Americans get ahead.”
DeFazio’s career accomplishments include:
- Returning Congressional pay raises to fund 295 scholarships at five Oregon community colleges;
- The largest expansion of Wild and Scenic rivers in the lower 48 states;
- Banning the export of logs from federal lands to protect old growth forests;
- Establishing a USDA organics standard to empower consumers and support organic farmers;
- Permanently protecting over 390,000 acres of wilderness in the state of Oregon–an area half the size of Rhode Island–including the creation of the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, Copper Salmon Wilderness, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Steens Mountain Wilderness, Oregon Caves National Monument, and River Styx–the only underground Wild and Scenic River in America;
- Advancing Tribal sovereignty, restoring the Coquille Tribe’s federal recognition;
- Increasing federal investment in America’s infrastructure by more than $550 billion, creating two million jobs a year over the next 10 years;
- Improving the federal highway funding formula to bring home an additional $1.3 billion in funding to Oregon for roads, bridges and surface transportation projects;
- Changing the dual mandate at the Federal Aviation Administration to safety only, rather than promoting the industry;
- Unlocking up to $3 billion annually in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and increasing small harbor funding by 50 percent, so ports can be safe and effective economic engines;
- Investigating the Boeing 737 MAX accidents, holding the FAA and Boeing accountable, reforming the airplane manufacturing certification process, and most importantly improving the safety of the traveling public; and
- Removing the federal antitrust exemption from the health insurance industry to lower health care costs for all Americans.