house resolution no.27

Reps. Chatfield, Hammoud, Brixie, Crawford, Hope, Kuppa, Liberati, Manoogian, Pagan, Rabhi, Shannon, Sneller, Stone and Warren offered the following resolution:

A resolution to honor the life and service of Congressman John D. Dingell Jr.

Whereas, John D. Dingell Jr. dedicated his life in service to the United States of America. Before he succeeded his father, John Dingell Sr., a twelve-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he served as a House page, a park ranger with the U.S. National Park Service, a second lieutenant in the United States Army, and an assistant prosecutor in Wayne County; and

Whereas, John Dingell was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Southeast Michigan in 1955. He was a champion of Congress and the role it plays in our republic. He firmly believed Congress represents the “great coming together of the American people.” and was quick to assert that Congress serves as a coequal branch of government— and is not subservient to the Executive Branch. He served with eleven presidents of the United States; and

Whereas, John Dingell, over the course of his 59 years in Congress, became the Dean of the House and the longest-serving member of either chamber of the United States Congress, and his legacy is best measured by his legislative achievements and oversight activities on the Energy and Commerce Committee; and

Whereas, He was decades ahead of his time on many issues. In particular, Dingell reintroduced his father’s legislation to provide for national health insurance each session from 1957 until the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and was also instrumental to the passage of landmark legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare Act, Children’s Health Insurance Act, National Environmental Protection Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Water Quality Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge Act; and

Whereas, One of his greatest strengths as a public servant was the help he provided to constituents in need. He was not afraid to use his prosecutorial skills to send piercing letters, known as “Dingellgrams,” or call a federal agency to testify before his committee, if it meant he would uncover an answer that could improve people’s lives; and

Whereas, John Dingell’s service and achievements profoundly transformed our way of life and will forever affect all those who walk the Earth. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama to honor his retirement and service to the nation in 2014; and

Whereas, John Dingell was a giant both physically and legislatively. He raised four children and was succeeded in office by his beloved wife, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. He was known for his legendary and unique lexicon of quips, quotes, and tweets. Perhaps his most profound words of wisdom were to remind us that “compromise is an honorable word”; and

Whereas, John Dingell often said he was not an important person, but that the work we did together was important and essential to improving the lives of the American people and all those who call Michigan home. His humility was admirable, but his many legislative achievements could not have happened without him. His legacy will live on through his family, friends, and his loyal former staffers; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body honor the life and legacy of Congressman John D. Dingell Jr. On behalf of all citizens of Michigan, we offer this resolution as a condolence to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and the rest of the congressman’s family; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.