Powerful Chairman of House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to Retire
Washington D.C. — U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) will not seek re-election in 2022.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the longtime Democratic representative of Oregon’s 4th District called his time in Congress the “greatest honor of my life.”
“It’s time for me to pass the baton to the next generation so I can focus on my health and well-being,” DeFazio said. “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.”
DeFazio 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.
He has been an active member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure since he was first elected in 1986.
During his time on the Committee, DeFazio has served as Chair or Ranking Member of four of the six subcommittees: Aviation, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Highways and Transit, and Water Resources and Environment.
In December of 2019, he was re-elected by his colleagues to be Chair of the Committee for the 117th Congress.
However, he said he still has much work to do to push President Biden’s unprecedented $1.8 trillion “Build Back Better” spending bill over the finish line if the Senate sends it back to the House.
“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,” he said.
DeFazio’s announcement comes as a flood of Democratic retirements continues to pour ahead of what most political analysts believe will be a wipeout for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.
So far, a total of 19 Democrats have said they will not seek reelection next year.