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Democrat

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D)

Peter DeFazio Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-6416

Address: 2134 RHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (541) 465-6732

Address: 405 East Eighth Avenue, Eugene OR 97401-2716

Coos Bay OR

Phone: (541) 269-2609

Fax: (541) 269-5760

Address: 125 Central Avenue, Coos Bay OR 97420-2316

Roseburg OR

Phone: (541) 440-3523

Fax: (541) 440-3525

Address: 612 SE Jackson Street, Roseburg OR 97470-4956

Peter DeFazio Staff
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Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
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Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
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Debates, Megan
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Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Debates, Megan
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Pratt, Kris
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Pratt, Kris
Legislative Director
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Pratt, Kris
Legislative Director
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Arndt, Kerry
Communications Director
Batz, Nick
District Aide
Conroy, Chris
Field Representative
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Erickson, Kathy
Field Representative
Leasure, Matt
Legislative Correspondent
Pierce, Nancy
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Pratt, Kris
Legislative Director
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Systems Administrator; Field Representative; Caseworker
Wagoner, Phyllis
Constituent Services Director
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Richard, Reed
Systems Administrator; Field Representative; Caseworker
Batz, Nick
District Aide
Pierce, Nancy
District Aide
Richard, Reed
Systems Administrator; Field Representative; Caseworker
Arndt, Kerry
Communications Director
Wagoner, Phyllis
Constituent Services Director
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Weiner, Arlen
Legislative Assistant
Debates, Megan
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent
Leasure, Matt
Legislative Correspondent
Pratt, Kris
Legislative Director
Conroy, Chris
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Erickson, Kathy
Field Representative
Richard, Reed
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Peter DeFazio Committees
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Peter DeFazio Biography
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  • Elected: 1986, 15th term.
  • District: Oregon 4
  • Born: May. 27, 1947, Needham, MA
  • Home: Springfield
  • Education:

    Tufts U., B.A. 1969, U. of OR, M.S. 1977

  • Professional Career:

    Dist. dir., U.S. Rep. James Weaver, 1977–82.

  • Military Career:

    Air Force, 1967–71.

  • Political Career:

    Lane Cnty. Bd. of Commissioners, 1982–86.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Myrnie)

Peter DeFazio, a Democrat first elected in 1986, is a persistent—and sometimes petulant—populist who doesn’t mind showing his independence from his party or loudly criticizing the conservative ideas he disdains. Oregon’s longest-serving House member, he became the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's top Democrat in 2015. Read More

Peter DeFazio, a Democrat first elected in 1986, is a persistent—and sometimes petulant—populist who doesn’t mind showing his independence from his party or loudly criticizing the conservative ideas he disdains. Oregon’s longest-serving House member, he became the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's top Democrat in 2015.

DeFazio (da-FAH-zee-oh) grew up in Massachusetts, came to Oregon for graduate school, was a bike mechanic, and went to work for 4th District Rep. Jim Weaver, a Democrat. In 1982, DeFazio moved to Springfield and won a seat on the county commission. When Weaver retired in 1986, DeFazio won his House seat in a tight race. He beat Bill Bradbury 34%-33% in the primary and won the general election 54%-46%.

DeFazio has compiled a record that seems to satisfy both Eugene and the rest of the district: He’s liberal on most issues, yet moderate on social issues. An original founder of the loose-knit Progressive Caucus, he has not been shy to express his anger that millions of working Americans suffered during the boom years before 2008. He opposed the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement and later was a leader in the fight to defeat normal trade relations with China.

DeFazio is known for sarcasm and his tendency to yell during debates. He has dismissively referred to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, whom he considers overly protective of Wall Street, as “Timmy.” Referring to the GOP’s fiscal policy, he told MSNBC in 2009: “Tax cuts solve all problems. I mean, we are pretty soon going to fill potholes with tax cuts.” But in an acknowledgment of the need to keep himself in check, he told The Oregonian of Portland in January 2013 that he keeps a blood-pressure cuff attached to his iPad.

Despite a mostly liberal voting record, DeFazio often takes idiosyncratic views. He has unsuccessfully called for abolishing the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that manages draft registration. DeFazio blames his failures on his colleagues’ desire not to appear weak on defense. He introduced a bill in 2011 allowing people to opt out of the health care law’s individual mandate reviled by Republicans—but only if they waived the right to any government-backed medical help for at least three years. He voted against climate legislation in 2009 putting caps on carbon emissions because he said there were better ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as a carbon tax. And he introduced a bill calling for a tax on large stock and derivative transactions that drew predictable enmity from Wall Street and business-minded Democrats. He took the lead in the House effort to permit airline pilots to carry guns in the cockpit, and although the Bush administration opposed it, DeFazio won by an astonishing 250-175. The Senate later followed suit.

To become Tranportation and Infrastructure's top Democrat after serving as top Democrat on the Natural Resources panel, DeFazio initially faced a challenge from California's lower-key John Garamendi, who argued that he could work more successfully with Republicans. But Garamendi eventually dropped his bid. DeFazio has called for replacing the federal gasoline tax with a per-barrel tax on oil companies. "What if we got rid of the tax that people don't like and move it upstream to something that most people don't like -- the oil industry?" he asked The Oregonian.

When Democrats won control of the House in 2006, DeFazio took the influential post of chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee. He was the only member of Congress to oppose the final 2009 economic stimulus bill after backing the original House version, saying it did not sufficiently boost transportation spending. He worked to get $1.1 billion authorized for Oregon projects in the 2012 two-year surface transportation bill. He also made sure the measure contained a temporary extension of county payments for Oregon counties.

Until 2010, DeFazio routinely won reelection by more than 60% in a marginal district. That year, Republican Art Robinson held him to 54% of the vote after getting a boost from outside interest groups’ ads tying DeFazio to liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He beat Robinson again with 59% in 2012 after first crushing Robinson’s son, Matthew, 90%-10%, in the Democratic primary. And in 2014, he beat Robinson once more with 59%.

After GOP Sen. Bob Packwood resigned in 1995, DeFazio ran to succeed him. His opposition to gun control and NAFTA provided clear contrasts to Democratic Rep. Ron Wyden, but the better-funded Wyden won the primary 50%-44% and went on to prevail in the general election.

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Peter DeFazio Election Results
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2012 General
Peter DeFazio (D)
Votes: 212,866
Percent: 59.19%
Art Robinson
Votes: 140,549
Percent: 39.08%
2012 Primary
Peter DeFazio (D)
Votes: 69,864
Percent: 90.11%
Matthew Robinson (D)
Votes: 7,665
Percent: 9.89%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (54%), 2008 (82%), 2006 (62%), 2004 (61%), 2002 (64%), 2000 (68%), 1998 (70%), 1996 (66%), 1994 (67%), 1992 (71%), 1990 (86%), 1988 (72%), 1986 (54%)
Peter DeFazio Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 66 (L) : 33 (C) 62 (L) : 37 (C) 63 (L) : 37 (C)
Social 69 (L) : 28 (C) 62 (L) : 37 (C) 61 (L) : 38 (C)
Foreign 90 (L) : 6 (C) 89 (L) : 8 (C) 75 (L) : 24 (C)
Composite 76.3 (L) : 23.7 (C) 71.8 (L) : 28.2 (C) 66.7 (L) : 33.3 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC00
LCV8986
CFG1125
ITIC-33
NTU3027
20112012
COC25-
ACLU-100
ACU124
ADA9090
AFSCME86-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote:
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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