Former Michigan Congressman John Dingell dead at age 92

Rep. John Dingell to break record in Congress

Rep. John Dingell to break record in Congress

John Dingell, a gruff Michigan Democrat who entered the U.S. House of Representatives in 1955 to finish his late father's term and became a legislative heavyweight and longest-serving member of Congress, died on Thursday.

Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg said in a news-release statement: "I count it a privilege to have served with John Dingell in the House and to represent a part of his former district".

Dingell's wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, confirmed her husband's death.

The former congressman was first elected to the House in 1955, a seat formerly held by his father, John Dingell, Sr.

Dingell had a front-row seat for the passage of landmark legislation he supported, including Medicare, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, but also for the Clean Air Act, which he was accused of stalling to help auto interests.

John Dingell had said that politics are different these days. The people of MI owe John Dingell so much, from his fearless service in World War II, to his leadership as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and his crucial role in passing some of the most monumental laws of the past century, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act.

Dingell was a champion of the auto industry and was credited with increasing access to health care, among other accomplishments.

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Dingell did not win all of his legislative fights. "I can be 1st class one and I'll be proud of that". Reagan's first Environmental Protection Agency chief, Anne Gorsuch Burford, left her post after she refused to share subpoenaed documents during an investigation into a toxic waste program. In this divisive time, may we all draw wisdom and inspiration from the truly remarkable life of Congressman John Dingell, and may we all continue to learn from his example of selfless public service as we work to build a better future for our state. Even when hospitalized in 2003, following an operation to open a blocked artery, he maintained his humor: "I'm happy to inform the Republican leadership that I fully intend to be present to vote against their harmful and shameless tax giveaway package", he said from the hospital.

"I can be a second rate congressman - I'm not going to do that", he said. Robert Byrd of West Virginia as the longest-serving member.

From 1981 until 2009, Dingell was the top-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Continuing the family tradition, his wife, Debbie, successfully ran for her husband's seat in 2014.

Explaining his decision to retire in 2015, he said back then: "I don't want people to be sorry for me".

Dingell suffered a heart attack four years later, in September 2018 at age 92.

Dingell announced in 2014 he would retire from the House after representing Michigan's 12th District for almost 60 years, surpassing Sen.

The day before his death, Dingell tweeted he was still using the social media platform and thanked his supporters, saying, "You're not done with me just yet".

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