U.S. Reps. Oberstar & Mica to Serve as Co-Deans of Italian American Delegation in the 108th U.S. Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

(WASHINGTON, DC – January 24, 2003) Congressman James L. Oberstar of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District, and Congressman John L. Mica of Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, will serve as co-deans of the Italian American Congressional Delegation, announced the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). The former dean of the Delegation was Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-NY) who recently retired. Six United States Senators and 23 U.S. Representatives of Italian ancestry are serving in the 108th United States Congress, bringing to 29 the total number in Congress.

Congressman Oberstar, now serving his 15th term, was elected in November 1974 to the 94th Congress. As the senior Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Oberstar serves as Ex-Officio member of the Subcommittees on Aviation; Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation; Public Buildings & Economic Development; Railroads; Surface Transportation; and Water Resources & Environment. Congressman Oberstar’s ancestors are from the city of Naples in the region of Campania in the southern part of Italy.

Now serving his sixth term in the House, Congressman Mica has been recognized as a national and central Florida leader in transportation issues. He serves on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Government Reform Committee, and the House Administration Committee. His ancestors came to America from the city of Roscigno in the region of Campania.

“The NIAF looks forward to working with Reps. Oberstar and Mica to host the Foundation’s Public Policy Forum Series on Capitol Hill, and to further involve the Italian American Congressional Delegation with our youth outreach programs,” said Frank J. Guarini, NIAF chairman and a former U.S. congressman from New Jersey.

The U.S. Senate members of the Italian American Delegation to the 108th U.S. Congress include: Senators Pete V. Domenici (R-NM); John Ensign (R-NV); Michael B. Enzi (R-WY); Mary Landrieu (D-LA); Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) and Richard J. Santorum (R-PA). Serving in the U.S. House of Representatives are: Representatives Robert Brady (D-PA); Virginia Brown-White (R-Fl); Michael Capuano (D-MA); Peter DeFazio (D-OR); Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Mike Doyle (D-PA); Mike Ferguson (R-NJ); Vito J. Fossella (R-NY); Melissa Hart (R-PA; Nicholas V. Lampson (D-TX); Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ); Donald Manzullo (R-IL); John L. Mica (R-FL); James L. Oberstar (D-MN); Frank Pallone (D-NJ); William J. Pascrell (D-NJ); Rick Renzi (R-AZ); Tim Ryan (R-OH); Thomas G.Tancredo (R-CO); Mike Thompson (D-CA); Pat Tiberi (R-OH); David Weldon (R-FL) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).