(St. Paul, Minn. — Bob Kelleher, MPR) Rep. Jim Oberstar on Thursday chaired his last meeting of the House Transportation Committee that he's served in some capacity for 46 years.
Illinois Democratic Rep. Daniel Lipinski said he's drawing up legislation to name a new Department of Transportation headquarters building after the outgoing Minnesota Congressman.
Lipinski joined members of the committee with words of praise for Oberstar. Comments were bi-partisan, led by incoming chair and ranking member Rep. John Mica, R-Florida.
"We are truly blessed to be able to serve the people," Lipinski said. "And the people have been blessed to have your service for these years."
Oberstar told committee members his service has been a long, fulfilling and productive journey.
Oberstar commended the significance of the committee's work funding enduring infrastructure like highways and bridges.
"That our body of work, when we leave this place, will be there for our children, that it will be an enduring monument for this country, then we will have achieved our goal of serving the public," Oberstar said.
Committee members from both sides of the aisle gave Oberstar two standing ovations and ongoing praise. Oberstar leaves office after losing his re-election bid to incoming Republican Chip Cravaack.
For audio of Oberstar's final hearing head to our partner, MPR.
Watch this site for a Transportatio Nation interview with Oberstar to be posted soon.