Rep. DeFazio on Democratic majority in House, President Trump's post-election comments

Tom Adams spoke with the congressman Wednesday, November 7, 2018.Thumbnail

EUGENE, Ore. - Rep. Peter DeFazio is the ranking Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

So when the new Democratic majority takes over control of the House in January, the Springfield Democrat will become the chairman of the committee.

DeFazio on Wednesday said he is optimistic about moving a big infrastructure bill out of the House by the middle of next summer.

But he said it is up to President Donald Trump's team to get serious on the topic. DeFazio said three bipartisan bills on infrastructure introduced in the past 2 years went nowhere.

"And what I said to his head of Legislative affairs, there has to be real money. None of these fake ideas about we're going to sell all the interstates to the private sector, or we're going to have the private sector rebuild the bridges and we're going to toll 140,000 bridges in America," DeFazio said. "That's not going anywhere. It didn't go through a Republican Congress, it isn't going to go through a Democratic Congress."

For his part, the president signaled interest in bipartisan solutions at a press conference Wednesday.

But he also threatened that investigations into his administration or personal dealings would prompt him to launch investigations into Democrats - and bring the government to a halt.

DeFazio was unphased.

"I just think that was just the president spouting off a little bit, you know," he said. "I would separate the issues of working together in a bi-partisan basis on rebuilding America and us exercising our Constitutional duties to exert oversight."

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