Chair Peter A. DeFazio
Peter A. DeFazio was elected Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the U.S. House of Representatives on January 4, 2019. The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has broad jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) (including our nation's highways, public transit, rail systems, airports, pipelines, and seaports), the U.S. Coast Guard, Amtrak, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the General Services Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Economic Development Administration, and other agencies.
DeFazio served as Ranking Member of the Committee from January 2015 until being named Chair, and has been an active member of the Committee since he was elected in 1986. During his time on the Committee, he 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. DeFazio has taken a lead role on several multi-billion-dollar surface transportation and FAA reauthorization bills, and worked to strengthen safety standards, worker protections, and strong Buy America requirements. DeFazio has a strong reputation as a leader on transportation issues, working to boost investment in a robust, multimodal transportation system to ensure the United States remains globally competitive.
In the 114th Congress, DeFazio led efforts to increase investment in surface transportation as a lead drafter and negotiator of the FAST Act (P.L. 114-94), a five-year surface transportation reauthorization act that provided $281 billion in guaranteed funding for highways, highway safety, and transit infrastructure, and authorized and made improvements to Amtrak and DOT's hazardous materials safety program. DeFazio was also a lead drafter and negotiator of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA) (Title I of P.L. 114-322), which authorized funding for Army Corps of Engineers navigation, flood control, and environmental restoration projects, and included a permanent minimum allocation for the maintenance dredging needs of emerging coastal commercial ports.
In the 115th Congress, DeFazio led the bipartisan opposition to Chairman Shuster's plan to privatize the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Traffic Control system. When that legislation stalled, DeFazio worked with the Chair and other Committee Members to enact the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, a bicameral, bipartisan multi-year reauthorization that provides long-term stability and critical reforms to the FAA. The FAA Reauthorization Act included the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA), which DeFazio also worked on. DRRA will increase federal focus on pre-disaster mitigation and proactively reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of future disasters and requiring stronger, more resilient rebuilding after disaster strikes. DeFazio also worked with Chair Shuster to enact the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (Title I of P.L. 115-270), which was signed into law in October of 2018.