Issue One mourns the loss of former Rep. Victor “Vic” Fazio Jr. (D-CA), an active member of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 former members of Congress, governors, and Cabinet secretaries united to fix America’s broken political system.
Rep. Fazio passed away on March 16. He was 79 years old.
A champion for the State of California, Vic Fazio exemplified his passion for serving his home state community through public office. Consistently putting people before party, Rep. Fazio leaves behind a legacy as one of the most amicable bipartisan dealmakers to walk the halls of Congress.
Born in Massachusetts in 1941, Victor Fazio spent much of his adolescent and young adult life in the northeast, eventually graduating from Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1961. Discovering a passion for public service, Fazio began what would become a nine-year career as a congressional and legislative consultant.
By 1972, Victor Fazio would begin his career of public service, being elected to the Sacramento County Charter Commission in 1972. By 1975, Fazio would become a member of the California State Assembly. By 1979, Fazio would ascend to representing California’s 4th congressional district, beginning his first term in the 96th Congress, serving nine consecutive terms thereafter, until 1999.
A master bipartisan dealmaker, Rep. Fazio helped pass 10 appropriations bills and authored critical amendments to the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 — a key piece of legislation to deter corruption within the federal government. Speaker Pelosi, noting Rep. Fazio’s commitment to multiple successful appropriations processes, said in a recent statement: “As Chair of the Legislative Branch subcommittee of the powerful Appropriations Committee, he was a champion for Members, staff and institutional workers — ensuring they had the resources to continue working For The People.”
Through his work with Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, he enthusiastically supported multiple reform efforts including the introduction of the Lobbying Disclosure Reform Act of 2020. ReFormers Caucus Co-chairs Ambassador Tim Roemer (D-IN) and Congressman Zach Wamp (R-TN) both had thoughtful remarks upon hearing of Congressman Fazio’s passing:
“Vic’s character transcended his political obligations,” said Amb. Roemer. “In addition to being an effective legislator, he was a wonderful human being. He was respected on both sides of the aisle for his unparalleled commitment to being a bridge builder between both parties. Congressman Fazio will be dearly remembered.”
“Vic Fazio was a diligent and knowledgeable Member who built relationships and trust on both sides of the aisle,” said Rep Wamp. “He represented his constituents very well and served with distinction. Beyond his 20 years of service in Congress, Fazio continued to make meaningful contributions to his country and fought for reforms that have improved and brought greater transparency to government. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten.”
Rep. Victor “Vic” Fazio Jr. exemplified what it means to serve with grace, integrity, dedication, and resilience. In a period where polarization is at its highest, we must look to leaders like Rep. Fazio and live by the principles that guided him through his 20-year tenure in Congress. We are grateful for his commitment to create a more perfect union and send our thoughts to his loved ones as we remember his wonderful life and legacy.