House T&I Chair DeFazio won’t seek re-election

December 1, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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Rep. Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced on Wednesday, Dec. 1, that he will not seek re-election in 2022.

DeFazio, who has been an advocate for truckers on such issues as detention time and truck parking, served 36 years in the House of Representatives. He is the longest-serving Congress member from Oregon and the 65th-longest serving member of the House in U.S. history.

“With humility and gratitude, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election next year,” DeFazio, D-Ore., said in a news release. “It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as congressman for the Fourth District of Oregon.”

Detention time and truck parking

At a House T&I hearing in November, DeFazio used his time to discuss the problem of detention time in the trucking industry and how it negatively affects the supply chain.

“For years, I’ve talked about detention time,” DeFazio said. “You get to a warehouse, and they say, ‘Get in that line over there.’ Five or six hours later, maybe you get unloaded. Maybe you’re out of duty time now. That’s your tough luck. It’s no skin off their back. It doesn’t cost them anything to make you sit there.

“They put the cost on the truck driver, and I’ve been trying to pursue this issue for quite some time.”

DeFazio also made good on a promise to OOIDA President Todd Spencer and included a measure to dedicate $1 billion for truck parking construction in a House version of the highway bill earlier this year. That bill passed the House but then died in the Senate. The Senate version, which ultimately passed, did not dedicate any money toward truck parking.

Earlier this week, OOIDA asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to use $1 billion in discretionary funds to go toward solving the truck parking crisis.

OOIDA said it also will continue to work with Rep. DeFazio on such issues as truck parking through the remainder of his term.

“Since his arrival in Congress, Chairman DeFazio has been a leading voice on trucking issues,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “He has displayed a seldom matched knowledge and understanding of transportation policy that professional drivers have always respected throughout his decades of service. OOIDA has genuinely appreciated the chairman’s thorough comprehension of the various concerns raised by small-business truckers.

“While we have not always agreed about how to best improve the trucking industry, we have valued the informed dialogue with the chairman and his staff over the years. We look forward to continue working with Rep. DeFazio on addressing many of the longstanding challenges that truckers confront on a daily basis, such as excessive detention time, inadequate compensation, and the truck parking crisis during the remainder of his term.” LL

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Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.