Governor Granholm has declared Wednesday, February 11, 2009 to be John Dingell Day in Michigan in recognition of Congressman Dingell becoming becoming the longest-serving member in history of the U.S. House of Representatives today.
“For over five decades, Congressman Dingell has worked tirelessly for the citizens of Michigan, working for the things that matter most – good-paying jobs, a clean environment, and health care for every citizen,” said Granholm. “Above all, John is a man who cares deeply about people, a congressman for not just his district, but for all working men and women across America who need a voice.”
Over the course of his 53 years and almost two months (19,420 days) in Congress, John Dingell has served with 11 presidents, led the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and has authored and co-authored some of the nation’s most important laws protecting our health and environment as well as the rights of workers and consumers. Reforming health care in America has been his passion, fighting for the passage of laws that address America’s most pressing needs like making health care more affordable and accessible to all families.
While Dingell has taken heat for being too beholden to the auto industry, there is little doubt that he has been a powerful champion for the interests of the State of Michigan.
The photo of Dingell & John F Kennedy is from Congressman John D. Dingell’s Wikipedia page, which notes that he is the current Dean of the House of Representatives. The ceremonial position is given to the longest serving member (in consecutive terms) and the only duty is to swear in a Speaker of the House when he or she is elected. I thought it was interesting that Dingell has held this honor since 1995, and that while he’s the only Michigander ever to be Dean, fellow Rep John Conyers is the second longest serving member.Here’s Congressman Dingell’s official web site.