Longtime U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, is the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
DeFazio’s election to the post was announced in the wake of the Democrats re-taking control of the House, following the 2018 election that returned them to the majority. The 116th Congress began its first session Thursday.
Transportation has long been a primary interest for DeFazio, who was previously the ranking Democrat on the committee.
“Every state and territory in our country is profoundly affected by the decisions made in this committee,” DeFazio said in a written statement Friday. “Our communities and businesses depend on our network of roads, bridges, airports, rail, ports, and public transit to move people and goods safely, whether it is across town, across the country, or internationally. And millions of American jobs are directly tied to the health of our infrastructure.”
DeFazio said America is nearing a “transportation crisis,” and pledged to be a “tireless advocate” for infrastructure that creates jobs and increases economic growth. He also said he wants to reduce harmful emissions and “champion a smarter, greener infrastructure that helps to reduce carbon pollution, and is more resilient and better equipped to handle the impacts of climate change.”