Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after Congressman John Dingell announced that he will retire at the end of the current term of Congress:
“Congressman John Dingell is the living embodiment of a lifetime public servant. A House page as a teenager and an enlisted soldier during World War II, he has never wavered in defense and in service of our country, its people, and its values. When the time came, he carried forward his father’s legacy representing the state of Michigan in the House of Representatives – and proceeded to build an extraordinary legacy of his own. Now, he prepares to end his tenure in our nation’s capital as Dean of the House and as the longest-serving Member of Congress in history.
“Over the course of nearly six decades, John Dingell has had a hand in the greatest array of legislative accomplishments: from protecting civil rights and workers’ rights, to ensuring food safety, to enacting essential consumer protections, to creating jobs in Michigan’s 12th district.
“Yet, among his countless achievements, none hold greater significance than his contributions to the health of the American people. Each congressional term from 1955 on, he introduced legislation to secure affordable health care for all Americans. In 1965, he held the gavel in his hand as Medicare became the law of the land. In 2010, more than half-a-century later, it was my privilege to hold that same gavel in my hand as we passed the Affordable Care Act, realizing the dream of the Dingell family.
“To work alongside John Dingell is to be inspired by his strength, by the history of our institution, by the seriousness of our work, by not only the length of his service, but the quality of his leadership. He is our distinguished Chairman, a cherished colleague and friend, a living legend. His experience, his leadership, his partnership and passion will be sorely missed by all who had the honor to serve along his side. We wish him and his beloved wife, Debbie, and the entire Dingell family the very best in their future endeavors.”