Minnesota U.S Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken have introduced a bill to rename the federal Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington, D.C., in memory of former U.S Rep. Jim Oberstar.
Oberstar chaired the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during his last two terms in Congress. The Chisholm native was Minnesota’s longest-serving congressman, representing the Eighth Congressional District from 1974 to 2010.
“Representative Oberstar’s fingerprints can be found on just about every major federally funded transportation project during the last five decades – roads, bridges, tunnels, rails, locks and dams, bike paths,” Klobuchar said.
Before serving in Congress, he worked for years on the House Public Works Committee, the Transportation Committee’s precursor, as an aide to former U.S. Rep. John Blatnik.
Illinois U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski has introduced similar legislation in the House. All eight members of Minnesota’s House delegation are co-sponsoring Lipinski’s bill.
“It’s only fitting that the federal building dedicated to the safe and efficient movement of the cars, trucks, bikes, planes, trains, and ships that Jim cared so much about be named in his honor,” Franken said.
Lipinski sponsored an almost identical bill in 2010, just before Oberstar left office. But the legislation stalled in committee.