HONORING CONGRESSMAN JOHN DINGELL ON HIS RETIREMENT
(House of Representatives - December 09, 2014)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Pages H8912-H8918]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          HONORING CONGRESSMAN JOHN DINGELL ON HIS RETIREMENT

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush) is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.


                             General Leave

  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include 
extraneous material on the subject of our Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Illinois?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, 21 years ago, January of 1993, I was sworn 
into the 103rd Congress as the 28th Representative of the historic 
First Congressional District of Illinois.
  One of the first Members of Congress to welcome me with the most 
heartwarming words and smile was none other than my friend from the 
great State of Michigan, Congressman John David Dingell, Jr.
  John Dingell has trained me, worked with me, and inspired me far more 
than most other Members of this House. I can't think of any other 
Member in Congress who has spent the kind of time and energy teaching 
me the ropes than John Dingell.
  John Dingell, Mr. Speaker, will go down in U.S. history as being one 
of the most powerful House committee chairmen of all times. That is 
why, Mr.

[[Page H8913]]

Speaker, around Washington, D.C., throughout the Nation, and throughout 
this Congress, he was and will continue to be respectfully known as the 
``lion of the House.''
  While some may ascribe that honor to his forceful personality, Mr. 
Speaker, in my experience with John and watching him operate as 
chairman, he used a scalpel more than a sledgehammer to score his 
legislative wins and to gather up and earn the respect of all the 
Members not only of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, but the 
Members of this House on both sides of the aisle.
  Many will say that the secret to John's success has been his 
unrivaled mastery of parliamentary procedures and institutional memory. 
I would agree that he has superb parliamentary knowledge of the 
parliamentary procedures, and there is a remarkable aspect to his 
institutional memory.
  But what made John Dingell successful and a genuine American 
treasure--he was just last week awarded the highest civilian award that 
this Nation bestows upon an individual, the Presidential Medal of 
Freedom--is that he knows how to deal with people. He knows how to work 
with people.
  John doesn't go around talking about all his great exploits. I recall 
a few years back, Mr. Speaker, I was traveling to Michigan to campaign 
for John. He was in a primary challenge. Little did I know that the man 
who I was championing had at one time been scorned in his own district 
because he voted for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  I didn't know that about John Dingell. I didn't know that, but my 
respect for him mushroomed to the top even more than it had been before 
because he was a man who when he believed in something has the 
commitment and courage to stand behind his beliefs.
  Mr. Speaker, John means what he says, and he says what he means. 
Nobody can say anything different about John David Dingell.
  John Dingell, Chairman Dingell, my friend, I wish you continued 
health. I wish you continued strength and prosperity as you leave this 
House of Representatives, this House of the people, and return to your 
family and friends and constituents in Michigan.
  May God bless you and keep you. I will forever hold you dear. I will 
forever look toward your example in terms of committee work and work on 
this floor. I want to thank you, John Dingell, for all that you have 
contributed to this Nation, to your constituents, to this House, and 
certainly to the Committee of Energy and Commerce.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to my friend from Texas, the ranking member of 
the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Eddie Bernice Johnson.

                              {time}  1645

  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Thank you very much, Mr. Rush. I 
appreciate the fact that you are holding this hour.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise for the honor of the work of Mr. John Dingell who 
will retire this year as the longest-serving Member, with 59 years as a 
Michigan Representative. Since 1955, Congressman Dingell has 
represented the southeastern Michigan area and served on the Committee 
on Energy and Commerce and twice as chairman.
  When I learned that Mr. Dingell would retire at the end of this term, 
I was saddened to know that we would lose such a fine leader and 
advocate for social democracy; however, we must continue Mr. Dingell's 
fight for all Americans.
  He is well-known for his battles on behalf of civil rights, clean 
water, Medicare, and workers' rights. He is also the author of many 
pieces of legislation that enhance the protection of public health such 
as the Affordable Care Act.
  While he expanded public health and advocated for environmental 
conservationism, Mr. Dingell also combated corruption and waste via his 
chairmanship of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. He exerted 
strong, unwavering oversight of the executive branch through his 
committee, and his successes in Congress earned him the 2014 
Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  Through his career in Congress, he was willing and able to work 
across the aisle to accomplish tasks that made Americans' lives better. 
A true advocate for the people, Mr. Dingell dedicated his life to 
ensuring that public health safety of the American people was always in 
the forefront. Whether authoring the Clean Air Act or the Patients' 
Bill of Rights, Mr. Dingell was unwavering in his questions to protect 
Americans.
  I urge my colleagues to recognize the accomplishments of Congressman 
John Dingell and join me in congratulating him on an outstanding career 
in public service.
  Mr. RUSH. I thank the gentlelady.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), 
the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, the one who will ascend 
to the dean of the House, the legendary civil rights icon.
  Mr. CONYERS. I thank my colleague for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker and members of the committee, I rise today to honor a 
true statesman in every sense of the word, the dean of the House, 
chairman emeritus of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and a champion 
of the people of Metropolitan Detroit, the Honorable Congressman John 
Dingell.
  Now, I have had the distinct honor of working with Congressman 
Dingell for the last six decades, first as a member of his 
congressional staff and then as his colleague in the Michigan 
delegation. Over these six decades, we have fought together 
successfully for Medicare, for clean air and water, for workers' 
rights, and most importantly, for civil rights.
  Over these decades, he has succeeded at truly Herculean tasks, 
including passing the Endangered Species Act, the 1990 Clean Air Act, 
the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Patients' 
Bill of Rights, and the Children's Health Insurance Program, among many 
others.
  Congressman Dingell is a masterful legislator but, most importantly, 
a man of conscience. As he passes the torch on to another extraordinary 
leader, Congresswoman-elect Debbie Dingell, I am so proud to salute his 
legacy of compassion and service.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, I yield to my friend from Texas (Mr. Barton), 
the former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee,
  Mr. BARTON. I want to thank the Congressman from Chicago, the 
Reverend Bobby Rush, for recognizing me.
  Mr. Speaker, we always in Texas refer to the former Speaker of the 
House Sam Rayburn who served for 48 years as ``Man of the House.'' In 
fact, there have been books written about Rayburn with that title, 
``The Man of the House.'' I am a six-generation native Texan, so I 
certainly would be considered to be somewhat Texas-centric.
  In all honesty, I would have to say that the ultimate and true man of 
the House is the Honorable John Dingell of Michigan. His father served 
before him, elected, I believe, while President Roosevelt was President 
of the United States, and John Dingell literally grew up in the House 
of Representatives.
  When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, 
President Roosevelt, I believe, the very next day, December 8, 
addressed a joint session of Congress in his famous Day of Infamy 
speech. John Dingell was on the floor to hear that speech in person, 
not as a Congressman, but as the son of a Congressman.
  He got elected to replace his father when his father passed away in 
1955 and, as has been mentioned, has served longer than any other 
Member of Congress in the history of this Nation. If you count not only 
his service in Congress, but the time he spent as a child when his 
father was in Congress, he has literally been in the House for almost a 
third of its existence as an institution.
  I am not sure how many Members he has served with, but it is in the 
neighborhood of 2,500 Members that he has personally served with.
  When I got elected to Congress in 1984, I did not get on the Energy 
and Commerce Committee in my freshman year, but I did my sophomore year 
in 1986. John Dingell was then chairman and was chairman until the 
Republicans took the majority in the election in 1994, so I served with 
Chairman Dingell for my first 10 years in the Congress.
  He was a chairman in every sense of the word. The legislation that he 
helped craft during his chairmanship is some of the most important in 
the history of this Congress. Certainly, things

[[Page H8914]]

that he would be most proud of would be the Clean Air Act Amendments of 
1990, some of the health care legislation, and some of the 
telecommunications legislation.
  Those are laws that were passed under his chairmanship and are still 
the basic law in their field in this country.
  When I became chairman in 2003, he was the ranking Democrat on the 
committee. He helped me, sometimes in public, sometimes behind the 
scenes. Even when he didn't agree with the legislation that the 
Republican majority was pushing, he was always thoughtful and giving me 
tips on procedure and process and sometimes policy.
  When we passed a bill to move television from analog to digital, I 
wanted to put a date certain very quickly. With his counsel, he 
convinced me that we should draw that out, and he also said: ``The 
final date of the transition shouldn't be until after the Super Bowl; 
just in case there is a problem, people will get to watch the Super 
Bowl and won't be cussing you and the Congress for moving from analog 
to digital.'' He was absolutely right on that.
  With Chairman Upton's leadership, who is on the floor this evening--
several years ago, I went to Chairman Upton and suggested that we ask 
the Speaker to name the Energy and Commerce main committee room on the 
first floor of the Rayburn Building, 2123, the John Dingell Room. 
Chairman Upton thought that was a great idea. He recommended it to the 
Speaker, and that now is the John Dingell Room.

  I could go on and on, Mr. Speaker, but I do want to say that we are 
truly losing one of the giants of the Congress when John Dingell 
retires at the end of this session.
  He is still going to be here. His wife, Debbie, has been elected to 
succeed him, so hopefully, we will still see him in the Congress, but I 
really have difficulty imagining a Congress that John Dingell is not a 
member of. He will be missed. We honor him, and I consider it a 
personal privilege that he calls me a friend.
  I thank the gentleman from Chicago for yielding me some time.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Upton), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and I want to 
just remind people that we have a growing list of speakers.
  Mr. UPTON. Thank you, Mr. Rush. I will try to be brief.
  I do want to put a statement in the Record from Mr. Camp who was here 
a little while ago and wanted to speak.
  I just want to say, Mr. Dingell, Mr. Chairman is what we still call 
him. I have known him since 1977 when I came here as a staffer, and I 
have got to say that he treated me just as well as a staffer, which was 
great, as he has as a colleague and now, for me, as chairman of the 
committee.
  We are the best of friends. We really are. There have been a lot of 
different issues that we have worked on, and he took me under his wing 
a lot of years ago, and we discovered too that, for me, it is better to 
have Dingell on our side than to be on a different side, but when he is 
on the other side, he is certainly a powerful adversary.
  Our delegation in Michigan is pretty close. We are involved in so 
many different issues, jobs and the economy, particularly the auto 
sector is one of the things where John Dingell has really led and cared 
about.
  As we know, he is the longest-serving Member of Congress ever in the 
history of this institution. He is cared about so well.
  I can remember bringing over Congressional Records from years past 
and, as Joe Barton said, he served with some 2,500 Members here, 
actually going through the vote Journal on some of the big issues of 
the day, the Voting Rights Act and others, and actually talking about 
some of the Members and what they said on that particular day.
  He was a fair chairman, always went by the rules, had a command of 
the issues, a brilliant staff, and their loyalty still exists today. Of 
course, the light of his life, the lovely Deborah, a great person who 
we know is going to be taking his place, serving those 700,000 people 
from southeast Michigan in the next Congress.
  If you look back at his life, he has served his country from the 
first day through today, a World War II vet, something that he has 
always been so, so proud of, chairman of the most powerful committee 
here in the House.
  In addition to all that, he has been a friend, a father, a husband, 
and a colleague whose word has always been his bond and who has defined 
the very utmost of what we would like this place to be. He is a great 
American.
  Thank you, John Dingell.
  Mr. RUSH. I want to thank the chairman.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from the great State of Texas 
(Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the distinguished gentleman, Mr. Rush, and I 
thank Mr. Pallone for convening this Special Order and all of the 
members of this committee and Members of this House of Representatives 
that have come on the floor today with joy.
  It is often said, ``It is not how long you serve, but how you 
serve.'' For John Dingell, that is not mutually exclusive. He served 
six decades, and he served it greatly and grandly and with distinction.
  I am reminded of a description of him as a 6-foot-3-inch 
distinguished gentleman, towering over witnesses, but having the 
biggest of hearts, coming from the best of legacies in his father that 
served 22 years, reminded of his commitment to the Clean Air Act, safe 
drinking water, the endangered species.
  John has always reminded us new ones, relatively speaking, that his 
greatest love was to provide affordable health care to every American.

                              {time}  1700

  Decades after his father introduced such a bill, he never gave up.
  So I stand here today to thank you, John Dingell, for the Affordable 
Care Act. They call it many things--``ObamaCare''--but I am getting 
ready to call it ``DingellCare'' because you worked without ceasing. 
Thank you for your service to this Nation, where you stood in the 
shadows of World War II and stood as an American, willing to serve.
  I am grateful for the service that he has given and for his long 
years of service as the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce 
Committee.
  Let me conclude by saying that there is much more that all of us can 
say, but you can see so many Members have come to the floor. On a 
personal note, there are two items that I want to acknowledge:
  Thank you, John Dingell, for recognizing my voting rights--my 
opportunity to vote as an African American--and those of the thousands 
of millions that you helped in 1965. I will never forget your 
willingness to sacrifice personal political stature to do what is 
right. I also want to thank you so very much for being the kind of 
person on the floor of the House who asked about every Member. For 
every Member who came to your attention, you asked them how they were 
doing.
  I conclude with these remarks, his final words about the Civil Rights 
Act. He said that he was glad to vote for a bill that solved a problem 
that was eating at the soul and heart and liver of the country.
  Only John Dingell.
  John Dingell, I salute you as a great and a grand American.
  Thank you, Debbie Dingell. I will continue to look forward to your 
service.
  John, we are going to look forward to your service and, of course, to 
your long life here in this great country and in your great State of 
Michigan. Again, John, thank you so very much.
  Serving nearly six decades in the House of Representatives, John 
Dingell has earned the distinction of being both the longest-serving 
Member of Congress in U.S. history and one of the most influential 
legislators of all time.
  After serving his country in the Army during World War II, John was 
first elected to Congress in 1955--representing the people of 
southeastern Michigan in a seat previously held by his father.
  In Washington, John risked his seat to support the Civil Rights Act 
of 1964, fought to pass Medicare in 1965, and penned legislation like 
the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Endangered 
Species Act that have kept millions of Americans healthy and preserved 
our natural beauty for future generations.
  But of all John's accomplishments, perhaps the most remarkable has 
been his tireless fight to guarantee quality, affordable health care 
for every American.

[[Page H8915]]

  Decades after his father first introduced a bill for comprehensive 
health care reform, John continued to introduce health care legislation 
at the beginning of every session.
  And as an original author of the Affordable Care Act, he helped give 
millions of families the peace of mind of knowing they won't lose 
everything if they get sick.
  One of the proudest moments in my career in the House was watching 
the distinguished gentleman from Michigan preside over debate on the 
rule for the Affordable Care Act.
  Today, the people of Michigan--and the American people--are better 
off because of John Dingell's service to this country.
  Ending a career that is among the most singular in congressional 
history, U.S. Rep. John Dingell--who helped pass, if not author, many 
of the most iconic legislative achievements of the last 60 years is, 
concluding a term of service to metro Detroit, Michigan and the nation 
unprecedented in its length and remarkable in its scope.
  John Dingell's length of service stretches back to before Alaska and 
Hawaii were states and his father, John Sr., sat in the seat for 22 
years before him.
  Last June, he became the longest-serving member of Congress.
  John David Dingell, Jr., was 29 years old when the Detroit native was 
elected in a 1955 special election to serve out the remainder of his 
late father's term.
  Since then, he has cast tens of thousands of votes and played a role 
in everything from the Civil Rights Act and Medicare to the Clean Water 
Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and, in 2010, the 
Affordable Care Act.
  Known throughout Washington as Big John--at 6-foot-3, he literally 
towered over many witnesses before his House Energy and Commerce 
Committee--John Dingell cut a distinctive figure in the Capitol.
  A progressive when it came to workers' rights, he is also a staunch 
defender of Michigan industries, including its automakers, and at times 
ran afoul of environmentalists.
  He counts as among his most important accomplishments the creation of 
the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge and the River Raisin 
Battlefield.
  In 1964, he voted for the Civil Rights Act. He called that vote the 
most important one he ever took--one that ``solved a problem that was 
eating at the soul and heart and liver of this country.''
  John Dingell vastly expanded the scope of the House Energy and 
Commerce Committee's purview during his first stint as chairman--which 
lasted 1981-95--to the point where it was said it handled four out of 
every 10 bills in the House.
  By example, he had a photo of the Earth from space behind his desk 
and when anyone asked him to define the committee's jurisdiction, he 
would point to it.
  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 is 
only when you have a personal relationship with someone that you 
establish trust, even when you're on opposite sides of an issue.
  Through 60 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 has been a privilege to walk the Halls of Congress with John 
Dingell.
  I have never known a person 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 Dingell has always been more than Mr. Chairman to me.
  He has been Dean, the longest serving Member of Congress and one of 
the most effective in our history.
  There has never been a colleague I have admired more.
  Happy retirement, John, and thank you for your service.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, I yield to my colleague, the gentleman from 
the great State of Illinois, Mr. John Shimkus.
  Mr. SHIMKUS. I thank my colleague.
  Mr. Speaker, I know there are a lot of Members, so I will be quick, 
but you have to really come down to the floor to recognize a man who 
has served honorably for so many years--58 years to be exact.
  I would like to highlight the fact that, at 18, he joined the United 
States Army and rose to the rank of second lieutenant and was prepared 
to be part of the invasion of Japan until the bomb was dropped and the 
war ended. John won a special election to follow his father, and he has 
been here ever since. He was the leading congressional supporter of 
organized labor, of social welfare measures, and of traditional 
progressive policies. He was also known as a big hunter and fisher, 
which we heard many, many times.
  I also want to highlight that he was well-known for Dingell-grams, 
which were missives sent to the administration, regardless of party, 
that held them to account for public policies and the excesses of the 
executive branch. He is well-known for that.
  I know he will be followed ably by his wife, Debbie, and I look 
forward to working with her.
  May God bless you, John Dingell, and may God bless the United States 
of America.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, it's an honor to rise tonight and speak on 
behalf of my friend and colleague--the Dean of the House of 
Representatives--John Dingell. A proud son of Michigan, John Dingell 
has dedicated his life to helping those on society's margins and 
improving quality of life for all Americans. While he is the longest 
serving member of the House, he is also one of the most accomplished 
members in its history.
  It would be impossible to list all of John Dingell's accomplishments 
in the time we're allotted tonight. But make no mistake--John Dingell 
has played a role in every major legislative victory over the last 
sixty years. Throughout his time in Congress, he has been a champion 
for the American worker, for a clean environment, for health care, for 
civil rights, for consumers.
  When I arrived in the House, I received a seat on the Public Works 
and Transportation Committee as my freshman assignment. However, I soon 
realized that my interests and principles were outside the scope of 
that particular committee. One day, I passed 2123 Rayburn and sat down 
to watch a hearing of the Energy and Commerce Committee
  For the first time, I saw firsthand our Committee at work. And, for 
the first time, I saw John Dingell in action. He filled the whole room. 
You couldn't miss him. That day changed everything. What I quickly 
realized was that the Energy and Commerce Committee had the ability to 
make improvements in the lives of everyday Americans. And John Dingell 
was leading the way.
  I have had the privilege to learn so much from John ever since I 
started on the Energy and Commerce Committee. A quarter century later, 
I am still humbled by the work that we do in 2123--now known fondly, 
and rightly so, as the John Dingell Room. And I can only hope to one 
day live up to the example set by a titan like John Dingell.
  A few weeks ago, our new colleague, Debbie Dingell, said that she 
could never fill the shoes of John Dingell--and I feel the same way. 
When people think of the Energy and Commerce Committee, they cannot 
help but think of John Dingell. It is my own hope, that as I step into 
the committee's leadership I will be able to accomplish a small 
fraction of what John had achieved. His commitment, charisma and charm 
were the hallmarks of his leadership when he sat at the committee's 
helm.
  More importantly, he will be remembered for all he accomplished on 
behalf of the American people. Though the 114th Congress will be 
difficult for so many of us, who have served by your side, we are all 
so thrilled that your wife Debbie will take up the mantle. For those of 
us who have known her we know that there is no one more able and ready 
to carry on your legacy--the people of Michigan's 12th will continue to 
be well served. While you may be retiring, we know that you aren't 
going away. I know that for so many of us who have called you a mentor 
and a friend we will still be able to call on your sage advice and 
wisdom.
  Congratulations on your many accomplishments and service in this 
great body. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside you.
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, John Dingell is a legend in the Congress and 
a national treasure.
  As the Dean of the House of Representatives, Congressman Dingell will 
be retiring at the end of the 113th Congress, and his body of 
legislative achievements will continue to be experienced by every 
American for generations to come.
  From protecting the environment, to promoting civil and worker 
rights, Congressman

[[Page H8916]]

Dingell's legislative hand shaped it. He famously introduced health 
care reform legislation in 1955 and in every Congress since then to 
provide affordable, accessible care for every American. The Civil 
Rights Act of 1964, the 1965 Medicare Act, the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, the Safe Drinking Water Act 
of 1974, and the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act were all 
championed by Congressman Dingell.
  His meritorious contributions to society span his time serving in 
Congress and in the U.S. Army, where at the age of 18 he had orders to 
take part in the first wave of the planned invasion of Japan in 1945. 
Congressman Dingell is the longest serving Member of the House, and he 
is one of two World War II veterans still serving in Congress. 
President Obama recently awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 
the highest civilian award in the United States.
  I recall so well the first time I walked into the Energy and Commerce 
Committee hearing room. It was 1995 and my eyes immediately went to an 
enormous picture of the Earth hanging on the wall. I asked Chairman 
Dingell about the picture and his response has inspired and guided my 
legislative work because he said the painting represented the 
jurisdictions of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
  The Committee has the broadest jurisdictions which reach into the 
daily lives of millions of Americans. Those jurisdictions include 
health care, commerce, trade, manufacturing, energy and the 
environment, technology, communications and consumer protection. It is 
a reminder for members of the Committee to serve our constituents by 
fighting for meaningful and lasting opportunity. And it is a reminder 
that our job at the Committee has the most potential to create lasting 
impact.
  Congressman Dingell's service and legislation is unmatched in the 
history of our country and it has been a great honor to serve with him. 
I wish him and Debbie my full wishes for every blessing.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the incredible 
service of the Dean of the House of Representatives, John Dingell.
  In his 59 years in the House, John Dingell has experienced dizzying 
twists in national politics and turns in world events. And through it 
all, he succeeded in building a consistent record of achievements true 
to his core principle of social justice.
  If you rely on Medicare--or plan to in your retirement--you can thank 
John Dingell. After fighting for its creation, he was the one presiding 
over the House for its historic passage in 1965.
  If you've benefited from the Affordable Care Act, you can thank John 
Dingell for his pivotal role in passing this landmark legislation, and 
for continuing his father's fight to make affordable health care 
available to all Americans.
  If you've benefitted from a safe workplace or fair pay, you can thank 
John Dingell for being a champion of the American worker and a tireless 
advocate for policies to help our businesses create jobs and our middle 
class get ahead.
  And if you simply enjoy outdoor recreation and the ability to breathe 
clean air and drink clean water, you can thank John Dingell for his 
vision. He brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass 
legislation that protects our environment.
  On a personal note, I want to thank John Dingell for his wisdom and 
good counsel over the years. His guidance and effort were essential to 
passing the DISCLOSE Act in the House in 2010. That bill would have 
required groups spending millions of dollars on political campaign ads 
to disclose to voters who is bankrolling them. Unfortunately, the bill 
failed by one vote in a filibuster in the Senate. If John Dingell had 
been in the Senate, he would have gotten it passed.
  Thank you John Dingell for all that you've done for our country.
  Ms. MATSUI. Mr. Speaker, the life and career of the Dean of the 
House, John Dingell has been remarkable and historic.
  John has been a friend . . . colleague . . . and a true leader in 
Congress.
  During his nearly 60 years serving in the House . . . John has served 
with passion and integrity. His commitment to public service and deep 
understanding of this institution has been unmatched.
  John has shaped policies that have improved the lives of countless 
Americans. From backing landmark Civil Rights legislation, to ensuring 
our environment is protected by authoring the Clean Air Act, Clean 
Water Act and Endangered Species Act.
  Most significantly, John has never given up on the fight for 
affordable, quality health care for all Americans. Early in his career, 
he helped to pass Medicare, and achieved what he set out to accomplish 
with passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
  There is no question that his work here will have a lasting impact on 
Congress . . . and this country . . . for generations to come.
  It has been an honor to serve with John on the Energy & Commerce 
Committee . . . where I have had the privilege to work with him on a 
number of issues, including helping to spur clean energy manufacturing 
jobs in this country; and helping American small businesses export 
their clean energy products and services abroad.
  I thank him for his service and his friendship. John, I wish you 
nothing but the best in your next adventure. You will be truly missed 
in this body.
  I also look forward to working with your wife, Congresswoman Elect 
Debbie Dingell, in the coming years on important issues facing our 
country.
  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of the 
greatest legislators of recent decades, John Dingell, who will retire 
at the end of the 113th Congress.
  John Dingell has diligently served the people of Michigan's 12th 
district and our nation for nearly 60 years.
  John is recognized as the Dean of the House and the longest-serving 
Member of Congress in our nation's history, but it's not his longevity 
that has made him so special--it's the impact that his legislative 
accomplishments have had on our society.
  Through his service in Congress, he has crafted a legislative legacy 
that I believe to be unparalleled in its scope and its importance.
  John developed his reputation as a legislative giant with years of 
hard work, persistence, and shrewd coalition-building.
  Throughout his tenure, he has been at the forefront of passing 
groundbreaking, commonsense legislation.
  Most notably, John has been a strong, tireless leader in Congress in 
enacting important civil rights laws.
  Not only does this includes his work on the Civil Rights Act, but 
also his work to renew the Voting Rights Act and pass the Employment 
Nondiscrimination Act.
  This type of diligent persistence and strong leadership is something 
every one of us can learn from going forward.
  1John served for many years as Chairman and Ranking Member of the 
House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he drafted landmark 
legislation and conducted painstaking oversight of the federal agencies 
within the Committee's jurisdiction.
  This includes championing environmental protection--from the 
groundbreaking legislation of the 1970s to the revolutionary Clean Air 
Act Amendments of 1990 to fighting in recent years against efforts to 
roll back the progress that we've made.
  His passion for the environment and the outdoors is unmatched, and 
his accomplishments reflect his deep determination to make America a 
better place.
  Impressively, along with the issues I've already mentioned, he has 
had a tremendous impact on policies as varied as consumer protection 
and health care.
  Few Members of Congress have done as much to improve Americans' lives 
as John Dingell, and we can't thank him enough for his service.
  John's record of public service will be hard to match.
  As a youth, John served as a Congressional page.
  After serving our country in the Army in World War II, John served as 
a county assistant prosecutor before succeeding his father in Congress 
in 1955.
  Since then, he has served 29 remarkably productive terms in the U.S. 
House of Representatives.
  I am proud to call John Dingell a good friend and respected 
colleague.
  It has been an honor working with him on the House Energy and 
Commerce Committee.
  He has been a great mentor, a gifted leader, a skilled policy-maker, 
and a dedicated public servant.
  I wish John, his wife Debbie, and the entire Dingell family all of 
the best.
  Ms. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate the congressional 
career of our colleague, the Dean of the House, John Dingell. As the 
longest-serving member of Congress ever, it is hard to imagine our 
nation, this Congress, and the Energy and Commerce Committee without 
him as he retires at the end of the 113th Congress. I am happy that he 
is leaving on his own terms and I wish him every happiness as he moves 
onto the next phase of his life as a congressional spouse.
  I am just so honored to be here to celebrate and honor somebody I 
call a friend--John Dingell.

[[Page H8917]]

  Over my time in the House of Representatives, I have noticed that 
everyone who talks about John Dingell says my friend, my chairman, my 
colleague, my mentor, someone I look up to, and someone I respect. I 
would just like to say that I can't really change those words because 
they echo my own sentiments.
  I was not yet born when John Dingell was first sworn into the House 
on December 13, 1955. It was about two and a half years before I 
entered the world. When he took that courageous vote in support of the 
Voting Rights Act (VRA) and civil rights, I was six-years-old. I recall 
at the time living here in the Washington metropolitan area that my 
father and mother used to bring us to this Capitol almost every Sunday 
after church. They would bring us and we would run up and down the east 
front of the Capitol. We would picnic on the west front of the Capitol.
  I am thinking today how wonderful it is to know there was someone who 
was in this chamber who so valued this institution and who, even when I 
was a six-year old, John Dingell was working to protect my rights. When 
I think about that, I think of the need to create a formula for the VRA 
that the Supreme Court can support that institutes the way that we 
protect our voting rights in section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Almost 
none of us, including John Lewis, would be here had John Dingell not 
had the courage to take that vote in 1964.
  So, it's such an honor to serve with him and to know that while that 
may have been the battle in 1964, he remains fully prepared to engage 
in the battle here in 2014. It is also an honor that we all have the 
great privilege of being able to serve with John Dingell.
  I believe there is hardly anything that impacts our modern day laws 
that we can't attribute to the great hard work and public service of 
John Dingell. The fact that I got up this morning and turned on a 
faucet and ran a glass of water and was able to drink it and know that 
it was clean, was about John Dingell. That I walked outside today and 
knew that I could breathe air that was okay--we still have work to do--
but to know that that clean air, and the cleaner we make our air, is 
attributed to John Dingell.
  I think back to my grandmother who came to live with us at a point 
when she was aging--and it was actually just prior to the enactment of 
Medicare--and how different families' lives are now because of the 
protections that they have for health care as they age and are 
disabled. Those things are attributable to the great work, the 
legislative legacy, and the service of John Dingell.
  When I first came into Congress, I won a primary election against an 
incumbent member. One day John Dingell pulled me aside in the cloak 
room and he said, ``Come sit down, I want to talk to you, I want to get 
to know you.'' And I was, frankly, afraid of him. I knew his history, I 
had watched him Chair several Energy and Commerce hearings, and I knew 
that he was a great friend of my predecessor in this chamber.
  I sat down and I talked to him, and what I gained from John Dingell 
was the kind of honor and dedication that he has, and reverence that he 
has, for this institution. It is unlike any that we see, and we learn 
from that. So we talked, and we became friends.
  Then a funny thing happened. Barack Obama was elected President of 
the United States, and his inauguration was about to occur. It is 
another reminder that John Dingell's almost 59 years of service--that 
anniversary will occur this Saturday--are about this amazing 
legislative work, but it is also about the children, women, men, and 
families of his district.
  The Marching Chiefs of Wyandotte Roosevelt High School in Mr. 
Dingell's congressional district were invited to play in the 2009 
inaugural parade for President Obama. Somehow or another, they booked a 
hotel in Hershey, Pennsylvania, that was approximately 130 miles and a 
couple of hours away from Washington, DC. Those students and their 
chaperones would have had to get up at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning to 
get to the inaugural staging area on time. I have the honor of 
representing a congressional district just outside of Washington, DC, 
in Maryland. John Dingell reached out to me and he told me this story, 
and I said, Well, maybe we can figure out something.
  We found a willing partner in Wise Junior High School in Prince 
George's County, Maryland, where they could stay in the gym. The 
parent-teacher organization, the staff, and the students welcomed those 
students from Michigan that they didn't know at all into their high 
school. They fed them and provided sleeping bags, blankets, and even an 
ironing board. So, the Marching Chiefs were able to actually get to the 
inaugural parade much easier and on time.
  Those students were so grateful to John Dingell. What I saw in this 
great legislator is that the people of his district really did come 
first and he looked out for them, and they knew that he looked out for 
them. I thought that that is the kind of Member of Congress that I want 
to be.
  John Dingell and I have been locked at the hand and the hip ever 
since. In 2011, I was scheduled to speak at a Washtenaw County, 
Michigan, Democratic Club dinner. I flew into the Detroit Metropolitan 
Airport and as I walked through the terminal, the Wyandotte Roosevelt 
High School Marching Band started to play. Unbeknownst to me, John 
Dingell had coordinated with the school as a surprise thank you.
  I think there are so many of us who serve in this institution who 
really do value the message that John Dingell has given us about the 
need to work together and to preserve and protect our democracy by 
working in a way that gives value and service to all of our communities 
and to this great nation. So for that, I want to thank John Dingell for 
being such an important part of this institution and important part of 
the way I have learned to become a Member of Congress.
  Finally, I want to say a word about John Dingell's efforts on health 
care. As many of my colleagues know, John Dingell, like his father 
before him, has introduced a universal health care bill at the 
beginning of each new Congress. Before I came to the Congress, I had an 
experience of not having had health care and getting very sick, which 
required a trip to the emergency room. I ended up having a lot of bills 
that I couldn't pay because I didn't have health insurance. When we 
began to consider what is today known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 
it was John Dingell sitting as speaker pro tempore who gaveled in the 
House with the gavel that he used for the passage of Medicare.
  Then during the course of the debate on the ACA, I had the honor of 
presiding as speaker pro tempore and there was one moment that John 
Dingell was speaking on the floor about his father's experience and 
about his experience working on health care. I will never forget that 
moment because for me it was what we do as legislators, but it also 
felt very personal. It felt so wonderful to know that in John Dingell' 
s service, he has never stopped for a single day of those 59 years to 
make sure that millions of Americans like me could have health care 
that was quality, affordable, and accessible. So I thank him very much 
for his service, and I am so honored to have had the opportunity over 
these past seven years to serve with him and to learn from him.
  John Dingell's retirement will leave a void in this House that cannot 
be filled. I wish him, his wife Debbie, his children Chris, Jennifer, 
John, and Jeanne, and his grandchildren continued success, happiness, 
and hopefully some well-earned rest. I know they have been of 
tremendous support to him in his service to this House and our nation. 
He leaves behind a legacy of service that others can and should aspire 
to.
  Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues to pay 
tribute to the distinguished member of the Michigan Delegation: the 
Honorable John Dingell, as we mark the end of his long and dedicated 
service to this body and, more importantly, to the constituents of 
Michigan's 16th, 15th, and 12th Congressional Districts.
  However, Mr. Dingell's service to this country dates back well before 
he began his Congressional career in 1955. At the age of 18, he 
enlisted as an infantryman for the U.S. Army during World War II. He 
entered the military as a Private and was discharged as a Second 
Lieutenant while serving in the Panama Canal Zone. For his service 
defending our country, he received a medal presented by Oscar winning 
actor Tom Hanks as part of the ``Salute to the Citizen Soldier'' in 
2004.
  After serving in the Army, Mr. Dingell was elected to fill the seat 
and the shoes of his father, who passed away while still in office. 
Together, he and his father have served the citizens of Southeast 
Michigan for well over 80 years. Blazing his own path, Mr. Dingell has 
personally impacted every major piece of legislation for over half a 
century. Even though we come from different political parties, we can 
and do agree on many issues that concern the people of Michigan. As 
Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, or its Ranking Member, 
he has always pushed for solutions to the problems Americans face. 
Impressive in both stature and tenacity, Mr. Dingell has lent his life 
to public service. It has truly been an honor to serve alongside such 
an outspoken advocate for not only his constituents, but the state and 
country as well. And I must add that the dignity and respect he has 
shown his colleagues--and including this colleague--even as a brand new 
Member of Congress--is a testament to the respect he has for his fellow 
Members and this institution.
  Mr. Speaker, the good citizens of Michigan's 12th district and 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle are all better for Mr. Dingell's 
long and steady tenure in the House of Representatives. I congratulate 
him again on his remarkable career and join my colleagues today in 
paying tribute to the gentleman from Trenton, the Honorable John 
Dingell.

[[Page H8918]]

  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I join my colleagues today to honor a 
great legislator, a consummate public servant, and a man whose legacy 
will leave an indelible mark on this institution and every American he 
served during his 59 years in the House of Representatives. As the Dean 
of the House, John Dingell holds the distinction of being the longest 
serving member in the history of Congress. However, it's not the length 
of his tenure that will earn him a place in the history books, but his 
many accomplishments that have improved the health of our entire nation 
and its citizens.
  John Dingell presided over this chamber during passage of Medicare in 
1965, just one of the laws he shaped over the course of his 
distinguished career. He helped write the Endangered Species Act, the 
Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. He has fought diligently 
to protect Social Security, a program his father helped create, and he 
was a champion of the Affordable Care Act following years of advocacy 
on his own part to create an accessible and affordable system of 
universal health care.
  Those of us who have been lucky enough to serve with Representative 
Dingell will remember him as a man of unparalleled fortitude and 
passion, tempered with a sense of respect for his fellow colleagues and 
the legislative process, who raised the overall tenor of discourse and 
debate in the House of Representatives. Although we are extremely sad 
to see his service in this chamber come to an end, his contributions 
will continue to impact our country for years to come, and the Dingell 
name will continue to grace the halls of Congress through his wife, 
Debbie, who will carry the mantle of public service on behalf of 
Michigan's 15th District.
  Representative Dingell, on behalf of a grateful country, I thank you 
for your service to this Congress and to our nation.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, others on the floor are recounting 
Representative John Dingell, Jr.'s historic legislative record, his 
breathtaking parliamentary skills, and his powerful advocacy. I won't 
repeat all of that here.
  But I would like to say something about my good friend, John Dingell, 
Jr., and recount an event that shows a great man in the making. On 
December 8, 1941, soon after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 
delivered his speech saying that December 7th is a day that will live 
in infamy, the House briefly recessed and then reconvened to debate and 
declare war on Japan.
  As I understand it, it was the job of a 15 year-old page, John 
Dingell, Jr., to go up to the press gallery to tell Fulton Lewis of the 
Mutual Broadcasting System to turn off the microphones now that the 
House was going back into session because back then there was no audio 
recording of Congressional activities.
  Instead John told the famous newscaster to leave the microphone on 
and the tape running. The world now has the recording of that House 
debate and declaration of war. Here we see John Dingell, Jr. already 
with a sense of history and an understanding of the importance of 
Congressional action.
  John, who knew that my father was serving in Congress at the same 
time as his father, befriended me early when I arrived in this Chamber, 
has shown me the warmest friendship and wisest counsel. For that I am 
most grateful and full of admiration.

                          ____________________