Longest-serving United States congressman John Dingell dies aged 92

Alicia Farmer
February 9, 2019

"His original family name, translated into Polish, meant 'blacksmith.' Nothing could be more fitting for a man who hammered out our nation's laws, forging a stronger union that could weather the challenges of the future...".

In 1982, his second year as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he demanded documents from the EPA regarding its Superfund toxic-waste cleanup fund. Burford, following instructions from Reagan, refused to comply and became the highest executive-branch official charged with contempt of Congress. Months later, she resigned. I will never forget his wise counsel as I learned my way around Congress...

"John Dingell was a giant legislator on behalf of the people", said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. "You have to be very, very sure of your target, and then when you get your chance, don't miss".

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The Dearborn Democrat had been battling prostate cancer that metastasized. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) called Dingell her "true friend", writing in a statement that the congressman was "not merely a witness to history".

'I want to thank you all for your incredibly kind words and prayers. "I'd come out of retirement if you promised me I could do that every day".

"One of the advantages to knowing that your demise is imminent, and that reports of it will not be greatly exaggerated, is that you have a few moments to compose some parting thoughts", Dingell said Thursday. "He was a lion of the United States Congress and a loving son, father, husband, grandfather and friend", Democratic Michigan Rep. While there were areas where we disagreed, I had no doubt that John's passion and positions were well founded.

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In 1993, during the effort by President Bill Clinton to pass major health reform, as the heads of the three main committees that oversee health issues argued over which would lead the effort, Dingell famously proclaimed of his panel, "We have health".

Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, died Thursday at 92. Throughout his lifetime of public service, John was a fierce advocate for the people of MI and was guided by a love of country. "My people live and die by the success of the auto industry and manufacturing". "He will be remembered for his decades of public service to the people of Southeast Michigan, his razor sharp wit, and a lifetime of dedication to improving the lives of all who walk this Earth".

During his almost five decades in Congress, Dingell was a staunch supporter of the auto industry. "I'm only left with more questions".

We regularly used and consumed foods, drugs, chemicals and other things (cigarettes) that were legal, promoted and actively harmful.

"He was a passionate advocate for health care for all and was instrumental in creating Medicare and passing the Afforable Care Act; a defender of the environment who helped pass the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act; and tireless champion of civil rights who would often cite his vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as the proudest and most important of his career", the Clintons said in their statement. His hometown, the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, was home to a Ford Motor Co. factory that was once the largest in the world. Taking up his father's cause, Dingell had introduced a universal health care coverage bill during each of his terms.

Dingell served in the House of Representatives for 59 years and 22 days, from 1955 to 2015.

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