Rep. Peter DeFazio(D-OR) has announced he is retiring from Congress.
He will be the 19th congressional Dem to retire.
🚨OREGON DEMOCRATIC REP. PETER DEFAZIO, house transportation chair, is retiring, several sources tell us.
Me and @bresreports
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 1, 2021
Rep. Peter DeFazio, the Oregon firebrand who leads the House’s transportation committee, will step down after 36 years in Congress, spelling more bad news for Democrats in 2022 and taking with him an encyclopedic amount of institutional and technical knowledge on infrastructure.
DeFazio told POLITICO that he was retiring to “focus on my health and well-being,” but his announcement comes on the heels of a frustrating few years in which DeFazio’s dreams of an ambitious, environmentally focused overhaul of the nation’s highway and transit program were sidelined for a major infrastructure bill that went only as far as Republicans in the Senate would agree to go.
In addition, Democrats are widely expected to lose their slim majority in the House in 2022, the kind of factor that frequently helps motivate lawmakers to retire. He will be the 19th House Democrat so far to have announced plans to leave after 2022.
For DeFazio, who underwent back surgery in October, a return to the minority would come at a time of rising partisan and personal rancor in the House. Even as chair he has sparred frequently in public with the committee’s ranking member Republican Sam Graves (R-Mo.) over “green new deal” climate priorities and countless other issues. (The two say they get along well personally.)
GOP must focus on stopping the steal.
A red wave is inbound!
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