Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., (seen above) said on December 1 he would not seek re-election in 2022. He is one of 19 House Democrats and 11 House Republicans who have announced they will not seek reelection in 2022.
DeFazio – chair of the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – has served 36 years Congress.
“With humility and gratitude I am announcing that I will not seek re-election next year,” Rep. DeFazio said in a statement. “It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as Congressman for the fourth district of Oregon.”
Rep. DeFazio – who became chair of the House T&I Committee in 2018 – proved instrumental in returning earmarks to the transportation funding legislative process in Congress. It is a move he believes helps legislatures connect taxes, such as the motor fuels tax, more directly with transportation improvements.
“Why does an unelected bureaucrat get to decide who gets [transportation] grant money? Why not allow elected representatives to bring some of that back to their districts to show their constituents what they are getting for their gas taxes,” he explained during the 2019 Washington Briefing hosted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “I think this is key to getting this done – and I aim to bring back earmarks.”
Rep. DeFazio subsequently returned earmarks to the House T&I Committee’s transportation funding process in March – a move AASHTO generally supported in a letter to the committee, while warning that Congressionally-directed project funding that comes from within the state’s federal share “jeopardizes the ability of state DOTs to program and obligate federal-aid formula dollars for well-established state and local priorities.”