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Lawmakers want to name federal transportation building for Oberstar

Posted by: Corey Mitchell under Minnesota congressional, Democrats, Republicans Updated: May 13, 2014 - 3:03 PM

A Democratic congressman is mounting an effort to name the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters for former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, who died May 3.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski introduced legislation Friday to name the building after Oberstar, who chaired the powerful Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2007 to 2011.

The building is located at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE Washington, D.C.

Oberstar, first elected to Congress in 1974 and Minnesota's longest-serving congressman, lost his seat to Republican Chip Cravaack in 2010. Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan now represents the Eighth Congressional District, which includes the cities of Duluth, Brainerd, Grand Rapids and International Falls.

All eight members of Minnesota’s House delegation are co-sponsoring Lipinski’s bill.

Lipinski, who served on the Transportation Committee with Oberstar, introduced a similar measure in 2010 just before Oberstar left Congress, but the legislation stalled in committee.

“His accomplishments were many,” Lipinski said in a statement.

“He ensured the passage of important airline, highway, and rail safety legislation. He was also vital to the adoption of intermodalism, the seamless integration of air, sea, rail, and road transportation that many Americans take for granted. But Jim may have been most proud of the Safe Routes to Schools program.  It would only be right that the man synonymous with transportation have his name forever attached to this building.”

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