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DeFazio wraps up his Congressional committee work

DeFazio committee hearing
Screenshot from livestream of committee hearing
U.S. House of Representatives
Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, is chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Peter DeFazio is close to wrapping up his 36-year career in the U.S. House. The Springfield Democrat served for the final time Wednesday as chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during a hearing on the U.S. Coast Guard's strategy in the Arctic. Since it was technically a meeting of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, DeFazio did not hold the gavel in his final committee meeting.

“This has been the honor of my life to serve on this committee,” DeFazio said as the hearing began.

Prior to his election as chair of the committee in 2019 when Democrats won control of the House, DeFazio served as the "ranking member" of the committee, meaning he was the top Democrat on the panel while Republicans held the House.

DeFazio took a few moments to thank other lawmakers who had mentored him, as well as his congressional staff members.

“A member of Congress and this committee are only as good as the fabulous staff we have, whether it’s legislative, investigative, or just organizational," he said. "This is the biggest committee in Congress. It’s a little unwieldy. But I think we do pretty damn well.”

DeFazio is retiring after his current term. Another Democrat, Val Hoyle, was elected in November to represent Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District starting in January.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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