Congressman Peter DeFazio Will Reflect on 35 Years of Service on Capitol Hill

Expect questions on DeFazio’s tussles with Republicans and his own Democratic Party leadership.

Boeing is a powerhouse in the Pacific Northwest. Even as the $78 billion company moves its corporate offices slowly eastward, its jet factories remain a mainstay of the Seattle economy.

But if there’s one public official Boeing fears, that man isn’t in Washington state. He’s in Oregon, and his name is Peter DeFazio.

DeFazio, an 18-term U.S. congressman from Eugene, has long served as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees Americans’ safe travel via road, air and sea. That’s placed him at odds with Boeing—especially when the company’s 737 Max airliners started falling out of the sky.

DeFazio will tell a few of his war stories next month in Portland in a conversation with WW Editor Mark Zusman and Oregon Historical Society executive director Kerry Tymchuk. (Those organizations are co-sponsors of the event.) The live interview will range across DeFazio’s 35-year service on Capitol Hill, which ends next year.

Expect questions on DeFazio’s tussles with Republicans and his own Democratic Party leadership, his early standoffs with a nuclear power utility that came to be known as “Whoops!,” and his races against eccentric scientist (and urine collector) state Rep. Art Robinson (R-Cave Junction).

Zusman might also ask DeFazio to explain the political reason for his mustache.

GO: A Conversation With Congressman Peter DeFazio will be held at the First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Ave. 7 pm Thursday, June 2. Free. Learn more here.