Statements from leaders on John Dingell's retirement
Updated On: Feb 24 2014 04:41:54 PM EST
Gov. Rick Snyder:
"John Dingell has devoted his life to public service, including serving in the U.S. Army during the Second World War, and dedicating nearly 60 years as congressman in service of the people of Southeast Michigan. Sue and I are proud to call ourselves his constituents.
As the longest-serving member in the history of Congress, Rep. Dingell has shown the unique ability to put politics aside and work across party lines to help improve the quality of life for those he represents. Throughout his distinguished career, he has stood up for working families and worked to strengthen the economy. He has been a strong voice for civil rights, helped guarantee equal access and diversity in the Michigan school system, has consistently fought for our veterans, and led conservation efforts and worked to protect the environment, including helping establish the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge.
We should all be proud and inspired by John Dingell’s lifetime of service to our state, and on behalf of all Michiganders, I sincerely thank the gentleman from Dearborn for everything he has done for our great state. I wish him, his wife, Debbie, and their family nothing but the best as they begin this new chapter in their lives."
Vice President Joe Biden:
"House Speaker Tip O’Neill used to say “All politics is local”, but in John Dingell’s case, all politics has always been personal. It’s only when you have a personal relationship with someone that you establish trust, even when you’re on opposite sides of an issue. Through 59 years of public service, John fought for what he believed in, and got things done through relationships and his deep respect for others.
And there was no one he respected more than his constituents. He respected their hopes, their dreams, and their values. He has been relentless in his efforts to secure for them the right to live a decent middle-class life.
He has always been a staunch advocate for health care for every American, and he has been a player on every significant piece of legislation that has helped make America a more just, fair, and free country for over half a century.
It was a privilege walking the floor of the Detroit Auto Show with John this past January. I’ve never known a man who has been a better champion of the American worker, and he deserves a great deal of credit for the resurgence of the iconic American automobile industry.
The House and the American people are losing a great public servant. But John is gaining a well-deserved retirement, and I wish him many happy years with his family.
John has always been more than Mr. Chairman to me. He’s been Dean, the longest serving Member of Congress and one of the most effective in our history. There’s never been a colleague I’ve admired more. Happy retirement, John, and thank you for your service."
Sen. Debbie Stabenow:
“Nobody has done more for Michigan than John Dingell. For nearly 60 years, the Dean of the House has dedicated his life to public service and has done so with honor and distinction. He has been a critical voice on important issues like civil rights, protecting the environment, supporting our auto industry, and strengthening health care in America. John has been a mentor and a personal friend, and it has been an honor to work with him to represent Michigan families.”
Sen. Carl Levin:
"John Dingell is a supreme fighter for working men and women who has built a record of accomplishment second to none. I have known no better person in government during my 35 years in Congress. His rare combination of legislative skill, steely determination, hard work and generosity of spirit have helped him play a vital role in almost every major congressional initiative over the last half century, including the civil rights revolution, historic protections for the environment, the establishment of Medicare and passage of landmark health insurance reforms. Everyone who cares about Michigan has benefitted from his tireless advocacy for our state."
Rep. Sander Levin:
“John Dingell has been a pillar of unique strength for Michigan and the entire nation in the U.S. House of Representatives. His exceptional combination of legislative prowess and a deep respect for those individuals whom he prided in representing in Congress stands as a model of public service. His legislative accomplishments will be well recorded in the history books as they have touched every aspect of modern life, yet it is my hope that his wise counsel and deep feelings about the institution he cares so deeply about will be heard by all as well.”
Rep. Candice Miller:
"John Dingell is truly a giant in the history of the United States Congress. He played an important role in the creation of Medicare, Medicaid, the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, and so many other important pieces of legislation that have had such an incredible impact on our nation. He has stood strong for civil rights and voting rights, helping our country finally fulfill its creed of equality for everyone. And without question he has been a stalwart fighter for Michigan. He has been a fierce defender of our auto industry, of our Great Lakes and a leader in the conservation of our natural resources. He also has done it all with great honor and dignity that has set an incredibly high standard for professionalism and integrity in public service.
"John Dingell is a man who can disagree with you without being disagreeable. As the longest serving member of the U.S. House, he is universally respected on both sides of the aisle.
"John Dingell is simply a man who loves his community, his state and his nation and he has served them all well. After nearly 60 years of incredibly impactful service it will be difficult to imagine the House of Representatives without John Dingell. It has been my honor to serve with him in Congress and I am so proud to call him my friend."
Rep. Gary Peters:
"Whether you measure by years of service, laws passed or service to constituents, the United States Congress will never again see a legislator leave as an indelible a mark as John D. Dingell. As a Chairman he shepherded landmark legislation to make our air and water cleaner and provided stronger consumer protections. As a Congressman, John Dingell always fought for Michigan first. Whether it was fighting to save our auto industry or safeguarding our Great Lakes, he always delivered for our economy, our middle class families and for our way of life. And though John Dingell may be leaving Congress at the end of this year he and his accomplishments will never be forgotten. We are so grateful for his service to our country, both as a solider and a Congressman. Colleen and I wish John and Debbie all the best and thank them for their years of friendship."
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer:
"John Dingell's service to the people of Michigan will endure for generations, long after he leaves the House of Representatives. The Chairman's work can be seen in Michigan's clean air and water, in the auto factories that employ thousands of Michigan workers, and through the quality health care that his work made available to our kids, families, and seniors.
"Serving alongside John Dingell during such a critical period in our nation's history was truly an honor. I consider him a mentor and a friend. While I am sad to see him leaving the job he has served in with such distinction for so many years, I know John and Debbie Dingell will continue to serve the people of Michigan for many more years to come. And I look forward to working with them to build a better future for our great state."
DCCC Chairman Steve Israel:
For more than half a century, John Dingell has served the people of Michigan and been a tireless champion for the health and well being of all Americans. His fingerprints can be traced back to nearly every issue vital to the American people, from civil rights to the passage of Medicare to protecting our auto industry and the good jobs that it creates. This is a solidly Democratic district that gave President Obama 67 percent of the vote in 2012, and I’m confident the people of Michigan will elect another passionate and problem-solving Democrat to follow in John’s very formidable footsteps. Across the country, the battlefield for open competitive seats in 2014 continues to provide the advantage for House Democrats, with 11 opportunities for Democratic pick-ups compared to only three for Republicans.